Google Search Personalization in 2023
July 11, 2023 | Posted in: Search
Google has long been the dominant search engine and venue for accessing information online. Their product now holds over 80% market share (Forbes). Over the years, Google has continuously evolved its algorithm to provide users with more relevant (and personalized) results. Personalization can be defined as their software’s efforts to tailor the list of websites returned for a query based upon individual preferences, location, search history, and other factors. In 2023, the issue of SERP (Search Engine Results Page) discrepancy between users has grown to become more significant and is concerning for a few reasons:
- In most cases, one result is better than another regardless of who typed in the query. That result has deservedly held the top spot for years but increased personalization means traffic from search may start to fluctuate.
- Internet marketers used to be able to rely on tools like Moz, SEMRush, Ahrefs, AWRCloud, and manual searches to gauge the performance of their clients’ sites but it’s become almost impossible to predict the exact order in which websites will appear for a potential customer.
- We live in a time with growing partisan divides and unprecedented speeds at which misinformation can spread. Personalization can create a “filter bubble,” where users are primarily exposed to content that aligns with their existing beliefs and interests. This can lead to a limited perspective that reinforces existing biases.