Not long ago, I explained how personalized search will send rank checking the way of the dinosaur. Google has now taken the next step in personalized search. If successful, this could be the first step down that road. If every searcher gets different results, then no one is really #1. Andy Beal has another take—will personalized search make spamming much tougher? I hope Andy is right, although spammers have responded to each escalation in the arms race thus far. In our book, Search Engine Marketing, Inc., Bill Hunt and I explain how to avoid the tricks and stick to search marketing that avoids all spam techniques—perhaps personalized search makes that approach even more critical.
Everyone has used Amazon, and most like the way Amazon personalizes pages for each customer. By paying attention to the kinds of books you buy (and what others buy), it offers (mostly) helpful suggestions about what you might want to buy next. So where are all the other personalization successes? Why is personalization talked about so much and so rarely done well?