There have been resent changes to the personalized results Google. You might have seen personalization in your search results when:

  1. Google places links you have clicked on before multiple times #1 on your search results.
  2. Google automatically uses your location to get you the closest product/service.
  3. Google learns from your behavior in your previous searches to develop your new search results.

So how does this change affect your current strategy? It means branding is more important than before. For example, many companies are ranking in Google by tons of links pointing back to their website from fake-spammy sites. Google will now place less emphasis on this standardize approach and look at your online brand and presence instead. This can be accomplished by content production and developing a large following on social media. So while many websites were found just by being ranked #1, we can see their rankings quickly drop and the companies who have been tirelessly building a community online will now receive the recognition they deserve.

On #3, Google learns from your behavior and will notice when brands are growing on the internet because users and consumers will be searching for the brand specifically. Now Google sees a trend with the popular brands and gives them more keywords ranking for the associated content on their website in return. So basically, not only do these companies’s get better rankings they receive many, many more.
These three changes show the importance of focusing time and effort into developing your company’s following online instead of trying to buy or trick your way into the search results.

To find out more about personalization in the search results please watch this week’s (Intermediate Level) SEO MOZ Whiteboard Friday: Personalization and SEO.