Personalized Search

MoreVisibility - October 8, 2007

A close friend of mine purchased a new SUV over the weekend and we decided to use Google to research various aftermarket accessories.

I typed “Nissan rims” into the search bar but did not find what I was looking for. In an attempt to get more specific results, I entered “2008 Nissan Xterra rims”, and again I didn’t find what I was seeking. In my third attempt I typed “Chrome Rims” and was very surprised by the sponsored ads. The displayed paid ads were all for Nissan products. The various titles of the ads read “Nissan Parts”, “Shop Nissan Parts”, “Nissan Xterra Tire”, and other titles with the keywords “Nissan” or “Xterra”.

I was a bit concerned about Google tracking my searches but I do remember reading about personalized search in the past. However, I was under the impression that you had to be signed into your Google account for Google to track your web history, which I was not. What does it mean for Google to be more personalized with Google accounts?

According to Google, “Personalized search is now offered as an option whenever you sign up for a Google account, which you need to use AdWords, Gmail or other Google services. You can also add personalization using your “manage accounts page”.
I was NOT signed into a Google account when I did this particular search. To test this theory, I also tried the same searches on a different computer; again not signed into any Google account. I received what looked like personalized search results on an alternate computer as well.

Any answers?

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