The Future Of SEO Is Personalized Search: Interview with Warren Lee

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warren lee interview

As part of our coverage from last week’s sold-out Searchmetrics x Search Engine Journal conference in San Francisco on SEO, Content Marketing and Analytics, I recently caught up with SEO professional Warren Lee after he gave a presentation on “Bringing Sexy Back for SEO” which covered increasing relevance and influence of SEO in overall marketing strategy.

Warren believes the future of SEO is in personalization, and that SEOs could be doing a better job of taking advantage of how search can be personalized in a strategic way. Warren also describes Hummingbird as a big game changer that SEOs aren’t taking notice of as much as they should.

So I asked Warren, “What are the key things people should be doing in regards to search personalization and Hummingbird?”

Hear his response in the video below:

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • One of the major changes that came with Hummingbird was the personalization of search results based on an individual’s search history. Right now there are no tracking tools available that take search history into account when monitoring rankings.
  • Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn are doing a great job getting to know its users and understanding who they are. Warren believes Google is late to the game by comparison and could be making better use of user data.
  • Something search marketers could to do prove their value to the C-suite is take the intent data they’ve extracted from search campaigns and use it to inform email marketing campaigns, display advertising campaigns, and so on.
  • Our conversation shifted to SEO and paid search, and whether or not you should pay for high cost-per-click keywords if you already rank for them organically. Warren’s advice is that it’s a good idea to double up on branded keywords, and stick with just organic rankings for non-branded keywords.
  • On that same topic, if you don’t currently have any SEO in place then Warren suggests a different strategy. Look at who is already ranking for the high value keywords you want to target, and then try to capture their audience with display advertising, remarkerting, and things like that.
  • To wrap everything up, Warren says that the future of SEO personalization means bringing together all the marketing vehicles that do personalization and using the intent data from search marketing to fuel those campaigns.

For more video interviews please visit SEJ’s YouTube page.

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands FRSA is an entrepreneur, investor, business advisor and speaker. Newlands is also an adviser to the Draper Nexus Network of Things Fund that invests in IOT companies. He advises entrepreneurs and start-ups on various subjects from funding to growth strategies. Newlands received a Bachelor of Laws and he is qualified as a Lawyer. He gained his Green Card by being recognized by the US government as an “alien of extraordinary ability.” Newlands is the author of “Online Marketing: A User’s Manual” published by John Wiley & Sons. Murray regularly contributes to Forbes and Entrepreneur. Murray co-authored Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals with Bruce Clay. Murray runs the agency Influence People based in Palo Alto.
Murray Newlands
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  • It’s interesting to see Hummingbird mentioned because it seems to have been off the map since its launch. It’s a shame that there are no tracking tools to take search history into account! Google seems to be dropping the ball a little bit when compared to say Facebook in getting to know their users.

  • Noel

    The future is coming, and the personalized serach means that. I sure that Hummingbird update is close, and big seo changes will be developed be this one.
    “Historical seo” will be the new work to do in the next seasson.