Search and Social is all about personalization these days. Google has seen the light: if we can personalize the web for our searchers, we will be the ones they turn to for their most relevant information. No more clutter, no more irrelevant news, no more content you didn’t want to see in the first place.
In basis Google’s idea, and Facebook’s for that matter, is not that bad. Personalized means for example that we get advertising tailored to our needs. Like cars? You’re getting cars! Do you have small kids? You might like these diapers.
But it goes a lot further than just the advertising. Clicking on links means you are telling companies like Facebook and Google what you like, or maybe even don’t like, based on the amount of time spent somewhere or your reaction on for example Twitter, Facebook or Quora. You are ‘feeding’ the search engines, social networks and other online companies with your data so they can give you as personalized data as possible. Data like for example search results. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Personalization can have its advantages but also its disadvantages. And how far is Google with this anyway? Are we all seeing totally different search result pages? Time to dive into this for a little bit. I’ll write about this in several posts over the next few weeks, trying to ‘unfold’ personalizations and the directions Google is heading in to. (more…)