The Power and Effect of Personalization for Search Results

Out of my house, fool!

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

One of the newer features in search engine technology and end user engagement is that of personalization – the ability to customize your own search engine results experience.

Specifically I’m talking about the ability to “block” search results so that you can have a better search results. You’ve probably seen this in Google as you can block sites and certain domains that you simply don’t want to see.

For example, there are definitely some domains and blogs that continually come up in my own search queries that have historically offered extremely low relevancy and value to my time and search results – as such, I block them with maximum prejudice and never have to deal with them cluttering up my search results!

But what does this mean for bloggers? I could mean that if you’re subject to too many people blocking your site that you could be hit with some penalties in terms of organic search returns.


And this makes sense since if enough people tell Google that they don’t like your site and/or blog then Google (and other search engines) will take that as a signal that you’re creating content that’s just not worthy of people’s time.

What this means is that personalization through blocking can be seen as a negative ranking factor for your blog, and that’s not a good thing from any way that you look at it.

As a result of this new personalization technology (and certainly more to come as search engines continue to mature) you’re going to want to make sure of the following:

  1. Always have highly valuable and relevant content for your readers.
  2. Make sure your content is very focused in continued themes and articles.
  3. Make sure your titles of your blog posts are relevant and never misleading. Nothing like a blog post title that has nothing to do with the actual content! That’s a serious candidate for blocking in my book!
  4. Stay on topic, always. Perhaps the help of a better categorization strategy can help with that.
  5. Post consistently.

Other than that there’s nothing you can do to stop someone from putting your blog on their block list, but you can do everything now to make sure the motivation (or temptation) is as minimal as possible!

Take care and be sure to look for even more personalization options coming down the pipe from the major search engines.

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]