Continued from page 1
Google has a beta personalized search engine at: http://labs.google.com/personalized/profile.html that is pretty interesting to test. You're told to click on Health, then General Health checkbox and search for "stanford." When searching for word "bob" instead of "stanford" at Minimum Personalize setting first three results are "Bob Builder," "Bob Marley" and "Bob Dylan". The rest of this page has no health related information on it as well. But, when slider is pulled to Maximum Personalize, "Dr. Bob" has first two positions followed other results mentioned above. Its obvious Google has a ways to go in developing this.
If personalized search is to succeed, then personal privacy issues need to be addressed and concerns held to a minimum. Will personalized search involve searching your hard drive to see what your interests are? Will your interests be stored in a cookie on your computer? What happens when multiple users share a computer - will someone else get hit with all sorts of Preparation H advertisements because of hemorrhoid treatment searches you wanted to keep private? And will children be affected by adult personalized searches?
These are all questions that SE's need to address so that people do not feel that their privacy is being violated or put at risk. The more control and choice user has over personalized search more likely it has in succeeding for search engines.
Copyright © 2004 SEO Resource
Kevin Kantola is the CEO of SEO Resource, a California search engine optimization company, and has published many articles over the past 20 years.