Google has become the leviathan that it has because it was first in figuring out the algorithm that could serve up the most relevant search results given the technology of the time. Obviously, the most relevant results possible have to do with exactly what the user happens to have in mind at any given time, but trying to reconcile that puzzle of artificial intelligence telepathy just wasn’t an option in a time when the interwebs were still the Wild West and even the user wasn’t sure what it was that they were looking for. As things have evolved and coalesced, however, we’re getting closer and closer to some kind of artificial intelligence telepathy, and it looks like it’s going to be some kind of personalized search. That’s why I’ve been watching personalized search closely for SearchAnyway and have even briefly touched upon its more social manifestation here.

Basically, personalized search will mark the dawn of a semantic web because users will be able to yield search results that are more relevant to what their intent was when they typed in those keywords. The fact that something is the future, however, implies that change is on the horizon, and change usually always has implications for stakeholders. As far as search engine marketing goes, moreover, the biggest stakeholders (next to the search engines themselves, that is) tend to be the advertisers. After all, money makes the interwebs go ’round, and as with most forms of media, it is the advertisers that tend to foot the bill.

Well, Michael Marshall has taken the time to look at what some of the implications of personalized search will be. Summarized, they are as follows:

  1. Advertisers will have to develop a better understanding of their target online market
  2. Less time and energy will be wasted on pursuing the wrong channels
  3. SEO is going to get turned on its head [some SEOers are very upset about this]
  4. Search engine marketers will need a better understanding of therelationship between users’ thoughts and behavior

Michael goes on to explore both the challenges and sociology of a semantic web, and anyone who is serious about understanding how to better reach users with their content should really check out the original post. After all, marketing is about growth, growth is in the future, and this is the not-so-distant future of search engine marketing.

But the underlying point is one that personalized search is rather Web 2.0 in its own right. Web 2.0 is fundamentally more social than its predecessor, and the value of that social element is that it is better suited to building trust economies because users people trust what they are more familiar with. Well, when personalized becomes mainstream (whether it’s the standard or just one of many options), people are going to have more trust in the authority of the sources of content that appear in their search results because the content is going to be closer to what they expected and, therefore, more familiar.

More on Personalized Search
Personalized Search is Good for Online Advertising & SEO
Behavioral Targeting and Personalized Search
Vertical Search 2.0 — Can it Kill Personalized Search? — Another Alternative to Personalized Search

And An Older Video for S**ts and Giggles

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