The reason we need SEO is because without it, nothing would really be visible on the web the way it should. Because it’s human nature we also try to squeeze as much additional exposure out of it as we can without crossing into the ‘dark side’ of Google’s penalties which can seriously affect a company’s ability to draw traffic from the web and damage its bottom line.

Since 2007 we have set upon a path which in terms of search it is delivering more and more personalisation. The Holy Grail of search, as a matter of fact, is for search engines to know enough about you to be able to present you with the relevant information you want, when you want it, before even you are completely aware that you want it. For that to happen there has to be some way to anonymously (because you still have strong rights to privacy) collect enough data about you to know what you are looking for and what you are most likely to look for on the web.

Google does this through a variety of techniques which are part of its real-time web drive and which include geolocation and personalization. Google’s +1 Button and the introduction of Google+ are really the final pieces needed to personalize search.

There are two questions which really matter here: Will this benefit end-users and what’s in it for webmasters?

Like most of Google’s services this is a horse and cart question. Although the company is firing on all cylinders a large chunk of its focus is on the mobile platform. Mobiles are at the starting stage of the web and Google is already there not just with search but with Android, its own mobile platform, and a partnership worth billions of dollars in sales in smartphones and Tablets.

Smartphones and Tablets, unlike PC’s and even laptops are mobile personal devices which work best when they deliver local results to the end-user. Google’s focus on the end-user experience when it comes to search is really driving many of its innovations. The Google Panda update, for instance, is intended to increase relevance and filter out spam websites and everything Google has done before (i.e. Google Caffeine and Google Instant) and since, Google +1 Button and Google+ has been intended to do two things: improve the end-user experience and create greater personalisation.

Ultimately personalisation should allow us to find what we want, faster, at a local level, without significantly compromising our ability to search for something globally. So for the end-user personalisation is great news. It is also great news for businesses who look to reach local customers through search and search engine optimisation.

Optimising your Website to Attract Local Customers

Since personalisation is going to play an ever increasing role in search webmasters must begin to optimise their websites to appear for local searches which means they really need to help Google understand their website’s relevancy to local searches.

This will also affect the social media marketing being carried out. Because social media responses are being used as a metric for localisation creating a campaign which will get people from all over the globe to recommend your website when really you are based in downtown Manhattan is ultimately counter-productive.

This increases the pressure for relevancy in social media marketing which is also another welcome point as it means that ultimately social media marketing will stop being about hype and start being about real value.