user data

Session: Personalization, User Data & Search

Personalized Search Heat Map 3

The personalization of search results is not the only way to target someone, you can also personalize your website to ensure your visitors feel engaged as soon as they arrive.

Gordon Hotchkiss gave some great examples and data behind personalized search and proved that I actually does work. Everyone remembers the golden triangle right? It shows how people use Google and where they actually click. Now, with personalized search and universal search enabled, the golden triangle changes quite a it. The focus shifts to the content targeted directly to the user and, if there is imagery in the results, the users start there. In their test, Gordon said that when personalized search results were given, users were 3x more likely to click on a results and much less likely to click on ads.

SES San Jose Videos Part 2

Here are a few more videos from Search Engine Strategies San Jose. Matt Bailey – SiteLogic, Andy Beal – Marketing Pilgrim and a short clip from Danny Sullivan’s talk with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. You can listen to the full discussion over at WebmasterRadio.FM.

Matt Bailey
Matt Bailey in between sessions talks about wookiepedia. I had no idea Matt was a Star Wars fan. :)

Andy Beal
Andy Beal before the blogger dinner talks about the “lunatic fringe” of search marketing.

And here’s a short clip of Danny Sullivan and Google CEO Eric Schmidt answering a question from the audience about whether Google will start allowing users to monetize the use of their own clickstream data.

Matt Cutts on Toolbar Data

At last week’s WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Boston, I had the opportunity to talk to Matt Cutts from Google a few times and when I posted my recollection of comments about Google and user or toolbar data for rankings he wanted to clarify. That presented an opportunity for a mini interview about Google’s position on toolbar data.

I started out by posing a few specific questions:

1. Does Google currently use toolbar data for rankings?
2. What do you see as the pros and cons of using such data for rankings?
3. Can you describe any scenario where information from a downloaded application from Google might be used in some way for ranking web pages?
4. If Google does not employ toolbar or other user data for rankings and another search engine does, could that provide the other search engine an advantage?