Google, please personalize search with these 38 social items

Google started personalizing everyone’s search results last week. This week, they added real time search. If they get social, they can make make search really personal. Here is the start of what I would want integrated into a personalized search algorithm:

  1. Twitter: Pages that I’ve linked to
  2. Twitter: Pages that my friends have linked to
  3. Twitter: My lists
  4. Delicious: My bookmarks
  5. Delicious: My network
  6. Delicious: My network’s bookmarks
  7. Google Reader: My subscriptions
  8. Google Reader: My tags
  9. Google Reader: Items I’ve liked
  10. Google Reader: Items shared by people I follow
  11. Google Reader: Items I’ve starred
  12. Google Reader: Items I’ve shared
  13. Google Reader: Items I’ve commented on
  14. Vimeo: My likes
  15. Vimeo: Channels (topics) that I subscribe to
  16. Vimeo: Groups (communities) that I belong to
  17. Vimeo: My contacts
  18. Vimeo: My videos
  19. Vimeo: My albums
  20. YouTube: My favorites
  21. YouTube: My subscriptions
  22. YouTube: My playlists
  23. YouTube: My videos
  24. Songs that I’ve blipped
  25. Songs that my favorite DJs have blipped
  26. My playlist
  27. My favorite DJs’ playlists
  28. My library
  29. Music recommended by
  30. My listened tracks
  31. My top artists
  32. My top tracks
  33. My tags
  34. My groups
  35. My loved tracks
  36. My friends’ activity
  37. Friendfeed: My feed
  38. Friendfeed: My friends’ feeds

Each of those items mean more to me than popular, or “trending,” topics from social networks.

Of course, this is just the beginning. A socially personalized search should also include Facebook and LinkedIn activity. For me, Social Median and Publish2 would be helpful.

What about you? What social media factors would improve your search results?

If news organizations blocked Google this morning

The idea of newspapers blocking Google from indexing their sites has become quite a topic of discussion recently, so I used the search engine this morning to look for some popular items. These screenshots help to illustrate how much Google relies on news sources for its best search results.

Obama China

Almost every entry for Obama China came from a  news organization.

Google search results for Obama China

Shuttle Atlantis

Aside from the block of news results at the top of the page, no news organizations ranked near the top of this search.

Google search results for shuttle Atlantis

Edward Woodward

This time the block of news results were lowered to the fifth listing on the page. Aside from that, no news organizations appeared.

Google search results for Edward Woodward

Groats disease

News companies didn’t appear on this page at all. Google didn’t even include a block of news results this time, which makes sense for this made-for-TV fictional medical condition.

Google search results for groats disease

Google wouldn’t lose much

Shift your eyes away from the main search results and look to the right side of those screenshots. That’s where Google makes it’s money with AdWords … and that spot is blank in three of the four examples above.

Of course, this is just one set of randomly chosen samples, so please take it all with a large grain of salt and share comments below to explain how Google’s business would suffer if it couldn’t link to news sites.


These recent developments prompted this post:

  • Rupert Murdoch might start blocking Google from indexing News Corp sites.
  • Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis agrees with Murdoch’s logic and thinks top news sources should also charge Bing for exclusive rights to index their content.
  • TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington says Calacanis’ idea “would shift the balance of power away from search engines and to the content sites – if they could pull it off.”
  • CUNY journalism professor Jeff Jarvis thinks other news publishers wouldn’t join Murdoch’s efforts. Instead, they would “celebrate the chance” to pick up some of the Google rankings that News Corp would sacrifice.
  • Back a TechCrunch, Mike Butcher reports that Microsoft recently held a “secret meeting” with newspaper publishers. Details of that meeting were not known.

For some Google perspective, make sure to read Danny Sullivan’s interview with Josh Cohen of Google News.

Google helps Twitter in new emails

If you get an email from Twitter every time someone starts following you, congratulation! You’ve probably already joined campaign “twitter20080331162631.”

Last week, Twitter changed their email notifications to include a Twitterer’s avatar and number of friends, followers and updates.

New follower email

But another change wasn’t immediately visible to the naked eye. Each link is now tracked by Google Analytics.

What’s being tracked?

The link labeled “their profile” brings you to L.A. LIVE’s Twitter page and sends this information to Google:

  • You clicked because of a follow notification.
  • You received the notification via email.
  • The email was part of a campaign called twitter20080331162631.

Check out Justin Cutroni’s blog post to learn about campaigns and Google Analytics.


I don’t know exactly what twitter20080331162631 is all about, but the numeric part resembles a date and time in ISO 8601 format. If that hunch is right, the campaign is tied to March 31, 2008 at 9:26:31 am (PDT). Digging through the Twitter blog archives didn’t reveal what happened in Twitter history on that date. If you’re an amateur Twistorian, please share your knowledge in the comments below.


Linked to from this post:

Journalism links, Google and SEO edition

While Peter Osnos’ argues that Google should pay newspapers, and Mark Potts calls that idea sheer idiocy, I’ve decided to tap my Delicious network of experts to help journalists leverage the power of search engines.

Web life of an article

Why should you care? The Web Life of an Article graphically explains how a “well-written and well-optimized piece of content” reaches its audience.

How does one optimize content? Monica Wright offers 10 simple tips  to help newsrooms “conquer” search engine optimization.

What does Google say? The web search leader debunks some myths and confirms some facts about how Google News works.

What about video? David Rich shows how to make a video “Google-friendly.” It’s the fourth bullet in his post about making online videos that work.

Who’s searching who? Mark Jackson explains some more advanced link research techniques that the help improve off-site SEO,  links from other sites pointing to yours.

Do you employ other SEO techniques to help your content’s rank on Google. What other blog posts or articles have helped you understand SEO in the world of journalism. Please leave any helpful tips and links in the comments below.