Personalized Search Versus Personal ChoiceWritten by Kevin Kantola
Personalized search is a hot topic especially since Yahoo! and Microsoft have announced they are aggressively developing this service. Most likely, people will be leery of personalized search if they think that this is just be another way for companies to market to them. Search engine research has shown that there are typically two types of searchers: information seekers and buyers.
If personalized search is to work for information seekers, then instead of lots of targeted marketing, personalized search experience had better offer targeted information that person can use. A better information search experience without having to bypass a slew of commercial sites would appeal to information seeker.
What if you already have information you need or don't want any information, but just want to make an online purchase? For buyers, information-only sites are something to be by-passed in SERP's. If personalized search can deliver products and services buyer wants, and not just what marketers want to push before them, then buyers may find some value in personalized search.
Personalized search must involve personal choice if it is to succeed. The Big Brother and privacy issues need to be held to a minimum. Personalized search needs to be an option that can easily be turned on and off as desired. Personalized search should not be equated with limited choices. The person needs to feel that they are in control and not search engines. They also need to see real personal value in using this service.
What if a person is sometimes an information seeker and other times a buyer, or in matter of seconds they switch hats? How will personalized search accommodate this person? Will person have to toggle back and forth between a couple of different user profiles or click on and off a checkbox to switch between these two different forms of search? These are questions SE's will have to address in personalization.
Google Bombing or Legitimate SEO?Written by Mike Banks Valentine
Today I visited WebProWorld forums and stumbled across a topic "New Google Bombing Technique" and was startled to see that topic had been viewed over 22,000 times! It is by far most active of forums in "Search Engine Insider Reports" section.
This article is simply my response to that discussion thread and I hope it helps cool off heat being generated there. Google Bombing Discussion
The general gist of conversation suggests that appending a question mark ? or a pound sign # followed by a keyword phrase, to end of an embedded link in a web site could lead to ranking a site at top for that search phrase. An example is given of top rank for a particular phrase, then immediately forum members post their own URL's in discussion replies, using technique to link back to their own sites with their own targeted search terms in an attempt to gain advantage with technique, many times with odd or obscure terms. This "new" so-called "#Google-Bombing" technique is simply a routine SEO strategy that has been used for years by pros. When we optimize a site for a client, we include keywords wherever possible within visible page text. The top priority is ALWAYS page text and title tags. From there on, ALL uses of additional techniques are only incremental in value and don't dramatically affect ranking for targeted keyword phrases.
I demonstrate ease of ranking for obscure terms on a page where I discuss foolishness of SEO guarantees by including phrase, "screeching camels" one time on page in visible text. Screeching Camels There are no keyword or description metatags on that page, yet it ranks number one at Google when you search for "Screeching Camels". That is not Google bombing. A one-time use of a keyword phrase on a page got this number one ranking for that phrase simply because it is an absurdly rare phrase. Use of irrelevant and misleading keyword phrase stuffing in keyword metatags, in comment tags <.!-- keyword stuffing --> (leading period used in examples to allow display without embedding links in HTML email) and in ridiculous "invisible text" (using text same color as background) got abusive and so search engines began to penalize those who did those things. They will always attempt to ban obsessive cheaters and keyword stuffing liars.
The ? and # technique has always been used legitimately for ?tracking-referrers, calling ?search-terms and #jump-links to take you to a named anchor within a page. Now obsessive webmasters are attempting to use technique to increase their own search engine rankings. Sometimes when I link OUT to a site, I append ?WebSite101 to tail end of URL simply to let them know where visitor came from (referrer) when they view their logs or use a traffic analysis or tracking service.