How Search Engines Benefit from Personalized User Results

If there is a single dynamic that the internet age has fueled, it is the desire for personalization, individuality, and instant gratification. With the entire world now connected, finding like-minded communities, customized solutions and quick access to services is just the status quo.

Behind these demands and expectations are search engines. Serving as the backbone for most of the world’s digital queries, it should not be surprising that advanced search algorithms and elements are now being used to ensure each user’s search results are customized based on their preferences.

But how are search engines themselves benefiting from this phenomenon? Here are just a few prime examples.

Additional Advertising Revenue

Search engines are well-known to track user behavior for a litany of reasons. Google, in particular, is well-known for doing such (why are keyword searches different on Google?). 

Arguably the single biggest reason why search engines wish to personalize user results is to ensure optimal impressions from their advertising efforts. Whether it be Bing Ads or Google AdWords, search engines have a vested interest in delivering maximum results for advertisers. Even though search engines get paid for the ads running on their platforms, it still behooves these search engines to further refine their algorithms (to ensure even more ads are purchased in the future).

One of the easiest ways to improve ad performance is to refine how users perceive those ads. Ultimately, personalizing search results also means personalizing which ads users are seeing – even within an already confined niche. One user searching for local dentists may see a completely different ad than another user searching for the same keyword: that’s the outcome of highly personalized search engine results!

Grow or Maintain Dominance

Search engines like Google don’t want to relinquish their dominance in the search market. Even relatively smaller contenders such as Bing have sizable segments of search market share: they obviously want to grow (often – and usually – at Google’s expense). 

To provide users with the most relevant search results possible leads to satisfied users. Satisfied users generally stay with the search engines that provide them with relevant information and access to products, services, and entertainment. As such, search engines have a personal stake in providing personalized results to users: it keeps people happy, and that helps search engines grow.

Increased Use of Alternative Services

Search engines often provide more than simple search services. Take Google as one example: the full list of Google services just for individual use is in the dozens. Each of these services provides inherent value to Google – often in the form of personal information and data they can use to generate additional profit.

The more personalized search results are for users, the more integrated recommendations for select products provided by these search engines become. Ultimately, search engines can use personal data to profit and subsequently generate more relevant search results, which then offer the ability for more services to be integrated (each of which collects additional personal data).

More services being successfully integrated into personalized search results makes search engines into more profitable endeavors over the long-term.

While personalization has many benefits for search engine users, it also provides immense value to search engines. The next time you see customized results for a keyword or query, don’t assume it was done just for your benefit!

About the Author



Usman Raza is the co-founder of a Christian Marketing Agency and a marketing strategist working with various brands online. Usman is the content marketing manager at PSD to WP Theme, 2SecondPrayer, and The Dressing Table. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, SEO, and small business growth. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.


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