Posted July 30, 2008 5:11 pm by with 15 comments

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Google today announced that it will start providing more “transparency” (its wording, not mine) in its customized search results.

Nothing’s actually changing with the way Google customizes search results, it’s just going to start making it clear what’s at work.

Starting today, you’ll start seeing little messages at the top right corner of your results. They’ll look like this:

When you click on “More Details” you’ll get this message:

Which basically describes the three areas that might receive customization, namely: location, recent searches, and web history. For the full explanation, head to the Official Google Blog.

Now at least, when your SEO clients see their web site listed at #1–when the rest of the world doesn’t–you’ll be able to point them to an official explanation! Or not, depending on your level of evilness. 😉

  • Wow this is a pretty big deal and makes localized optimization even more important.

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  • In my opinion, customizing search results to the user’s search history opens a large can of worms.
    I personally don’t save the search history and was very annoyed when Google launched it and set it to enabled by default (I think it should be a user’s conscious choice to enable it) – with this move, I assume more and more users will realize they’re targeted based on their very personal, very private and intimate online behaviour and there will be a backlash.

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  • This is very nice and will help to monitize our various blogs and websites that much more. I wasn’t too keen on Google search before they made this transition.

    While talking about Google AdSense does anyone know if they are going to replace Google content ads with something new after they faze that part of the AdSense program out at the end of August?

  • @SEOGuy: it’s the referrals program to be stopped in August, not ‘content ads’ (not sure what do you mean by ‘content ads’? Ads will be of course available to the content network, through the AdSense program).
    How exactly would the transparency in regard to customized search help monetize blogs?

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  • Hi Otilia

    I’m afraid I’ve been caught red handed with reading to fast and to much into an article.

    Yes, you are correct that it was the referral program I was referring to. Further, Google Search changed the configuration for the code Webmasters can put on their sites just recently. Basically if you add Google Search as a component of your website and people search on it, then instead of getting multiple selections that have nothing to do with the topic at hand they get niche focused results which help to monitize a website. This is what I was talking about not what is actually in the article.


  • It’d be nice to know what people are seeing in other markets. Wonder how much this will change the industry.

  • This would be even more interesting if we could switch the actual localisation in some google option.
    Sometimes i need search results from other countries and it would be much easier than using some slow proxie to simulate the results.

  • It is going to be very handy for my seo work.

    @ Warenwirtschaft

    I think you can chose your area in your profile.

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  • I would like some specifics as to how exactly people will use this new information for success in their Internet Marketing campaigns.

  • I don’t know if I’m too excited about search results based on your region… I like there to be some consistency with the search results… but maybe this could open up new avenue’s for local optimization.

  • I think it really depends on how and when google slips this into a users results. if a user has to make a setting, most of the time they won’t. If google automatically does this, then the industry will get interesting. A whole new set of rules that people have to make sure their sites jive to.

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  • Is this for only certain places in the world. I am based in South Africa and this feature is not active in Google.

  • Good for Google. They’ve long needed this type of transparency.

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  • It’s good to get localized results. I just hope we will be able turn off this feature if wanted.

  • Don’t see this feature for anonymous requests.

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