This post is taken from a research paper for my Internet Consumer Behavior Class. I hope that you find my research interesting.

Do They Help or Hinder Internet Marketing?

Personalized search and Blended search are two additions to the way results are traditionally presented to searchers. There are both positives and negatives to each search for those searching for information and those that want their content to be listed in the search results. I will discuss what personalized and blended searches are and how they influence Internet marketing.

What is Personalized Search?

According to an article on Web Design WorkPlace,  personalized search is when a search engine delivers the search results based on the account information of the searcher either when logged in or by the IP address (What is Personalized Search). Tom Krazit from cnet digs deeper and includes the information that the search results can also be personalized from searchers that are not logged in, but that have an unspecified cookie to keep the history of the searchers clicks (Google extends personalized search to all). Douglas Macmillan at BusinessWeek explains it as, “In theory this means that eventually, a car lover and a zoologist typing “jaguar” into the search field will wind up with two different sets of search results” (Google Get Real-Time, Personalized Search). This type of search is used in search engines like Google and on e-commerce sites selling goods or services such as eBay and Amazon that want to present items that you would be more willing to buy.

What Does Personalized Search Do for the Public and Marketers

Personalized search will make a searching easier for the public, as they will now have results that are more accurately based on what they want.  It is an excellent tool for the e-commerce sites but this could be potentially a problem for companies and marketers that have spent good money and/or time on SEO  practices to have their site on the first page of the search results on a search engine like Google for their targeted keywords (Google’s Personalized Results: The “New Normal” That Deserves Extraordinary Attention). It is not a complete loss as the site could potentially get better targeted traffic and if they provide good fresh content with good usability, optimizing in the way would give the site a lower bounce rate and better targeted traffic that would have more interaction on the site, which would still keep the site high on the results in the personalized search. In the case of search engines specifically, personalized search will also help the search engines give the searcher ads based on their history Google extends personalized search to all. This would be a bonus to companies and marketers that advertise on these search engines.  If the ads are more targeted to the searchers interests, then one could assume that the searcher would be more likely to click through and possible make a buy at some point.

Many More Types of Choices In Search Results

Traditionally search results from a search engine would only include static web pages with a blue link and a short description (Internet Marketing Topics: Blended Search Results can help your site rank better in Search Engines). Now, when doing a search on Google we get a blended search, which is also called universal search. This is when different forms of media and content search results such as video, images, products and news are integrated into traditional results (SEO Strategy for Semantic Search). Search engines are now using this technique to offer more choices and fresher content to the searcher.

Diversity In Marketing Campaigns Give More Chances to Get Traffic

Because of all the different types of media and content in the blended search results, it is harder to have your website listed on the first page of the search engine results (Internet Marketing Topics: Blended Search Results can help your site rank better in Search Engines). That is the bad news for those using SEO to drive traffic to their site, but there is good news. Since there are so many different types of media listed in the search results, a website owner, builder or marketing specialist can expect to have more chances to get in the first page results if they incorporate these types of media into their marketing campaign. It can only increase the credibility and/or brand to have a product, video or image also listed in the search results with the static webpage. Jody at Marketing Jive points out “blended search is allowing everyone to compete for these ketwords and gain visibility for keywords that traditionally was reserved for larger sites and large brannds.” [sic] (11 Ways to Leverage Blended Search in 2009). Now there are more chances for the searcher to click through to see what you have to offer.

Have You Found All Your Opportunities to Drive Traffic to Your Site?

The information presented here shows how personalized search and blended search has changed the way content on the Internet is listed in search results for the searcher and made it a different experience for each user. It also shows that because of these additions to the search experience, there are now more opportunities for marketers and businesses to get their information in front of the public and it is still possible to get good, targeted traffic to wherever it is being driven to. Marketers now more than ever have to use other methods in addition to traditional SEO tactics of keywords and metadata on their site to get their site listed in search results to draw in traffic and get their brand out there in front of the public.

What are  your opinions on personalized and blended searches? Let us know in the comments.

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