Search giants like Bing and Google have been promoting personalized search stating that it offers much better results, but users don’t seem to agree. In a recent survey carried out by Pew Internet and American Life Project, personalized search was viewed as ‘bad’ by more than 2/3rd of the participants.
While 29% respondents said that personalized search was a ‘good thing’ as it offers more relevant results, a majority, 65%, said that it was a ‘bad thing’ as it restricts the available online information. Three out of four survey participants looked upon the collection of data for the personalization of results as an invasion of their privacy.
Pew broke down the results based on demographics like race, income and age. Compared to Hispanics and black, whites were much more likely to view personalized search unfavorably. The negativity towards personalized search seemed to increase with age and income. The survey took place from the 20th of January to the 10th of February and covered approximately 2000 US adults.
SEO companies need to be on top of anything to do with search and personalized search seems to be the current buzz word. It does offer a number of benefits, which have been well emphasized by Google. Although a majority of users view this feature negatively, not many seem to be making special efforts to prevent it. While personalization can help increase the relevancy of results, the problem arises when the search engines cross the limit and go too far.