Dealing with Personalized Search [Infographic]

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Melissa Fach previously shared a great infographic on the public perception of personalized search here at SEJ. According to the data cited, 65% of search users are against the push towards personalized information in search results. Despite such a strong desire to limit Google intrusion into users’ privacy, only 38% of all respondents say they know how to do that.

What does it mean to us SEOs?

It proves even further that search users – and the target audience of your website – are a mixed bag. Some favor personalization; others don’t. Some limit access of bots to their search history; others are clueless about how to do that.

Add a variety of location and language settings, and you will get a whole patchwork of search results just like your real users get. And it is not really obvious how you can track them.

From the infographic below, you will learn:

  • Why exactly your site ranks differently for different users.
  • How you can simulate miscellaneous search scenarios to see if your site really gets enough visibility.

Aleh Barysevich

Aleh Barysevich

CMO and Co-Founder at Link-Assistant.Com
Aleh Barysevich is CMO and Co-Founder at Link-Assistant.Com, the company that makes SEO PowerSuite (website promotion toolkit) and BuzzBundle (social media software) for bloggers, webmasters... Read Full Bio
Aleh Barysevich
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  • Karpos Media

    Great infographic, Aleh. I know there are rank tracking tools that modify the custom location parameter to approximate search results in a given city. There are also a few that track rankings internationally, but these seem to just query international Google servers (ex: SEMrush. They don’t actually change all the query parameters like you’ve illustrated in the infographic. Are you aware of any rank tracking tools that can show results for different settings permutations?

    • Aleh Barysevich

      Hi and thank you for stopping by! As I mentioned in the infographic, you can approximate search results in a given city as well as change other search parameters with Rank Tracker – read more about it at

  • Nick Stamoulis

    I’ve found that I have to keep reminding clients about personalized search. When the VP of Marketing constantly checks their top 5 keywords every day the results are going to skew for him. Then the efforts of the SEO campaign aren’t matching up with what they think should be happening based on what they see in the search results.

    • Aleh Barysevich

      That’s a great point, Nick! People are often unaware of the fact that search history and other custom search settings change search results to a great extent.

  • Matt Bennett

    First thing that springs to mind here is, why put all that juicy textual content, and an excellent reminder of some of the key search parameters… in an infographic!?

    Whatever happened to not having text locked away in an image?

    • Aleh Barysevich

      Matt, glad to hear you find the content useful!

      And as to putting the data into infographics. For many people this way of presentation makes info clearer and easier to comprehend, judging from my experience at least. Many men, many minds still.

  • Mike Wilton

    I think this does a good job at illustrating HOW you can track these things, but with the SERPs changing so drastically because of all of these facets is it worth it? I suppose its nice to see these things just to gauge how you are performing overall, but from a task ROI standpoint it seems like a TON of extra work just to obsess over rankings.

    That being said, this is a nice reminder of how personalization impacts search results and why rankings shouldn’t be the core metric you obsess over as an internet marketer.

    • Aleh Barysevich

      Hi Mike,

      great points – thank you for your comments and feedback!

      I think there’s really no need checking each and every variation of your rankings for all search settings.

      However, it’s worth making a couple of search scenarios typical to your target users to check if your prospects see your website in SERPs at all – and thus find out how you’re performing overall.

      If you’re monitoring your rankings, checking these extra search scenarios won’t mean a ton of extra work. You can just add your custom search parameters to Rank Tracker and check them out together with your standard rankings.