SEO Blog - Internet marketing news and views  

Personalized Search with Biometrics

Written by David Harry   
Thursday, 17 January 2008 09:00

Hello Dave..... what are we searching for this evening?

Imagine if you could yell at your search results? Ok, I mean you probably have done that, but what if it actually had an effect? Or what if I was pleased with a set of search results and the search engine used my contentment as a ranking signal for further search refinement? What a cool deal that would be…

Sure, it’s late at night and I have an unhealthy addiction with personalization and user engagement signals, but hear me out.

Among the endless haystacks in my feed feeder I happened upon an interesting needle relating to a patent that Microsoft has been said to have filed and could be granted within a year. It is said to be a big brother style software that can remotely monitor galvanic responses. Which could include;

  • heart rate
  • body temperature
  • movement
  • facial expression
  • blood pressure.

While this is nothing entirely new, it has in the past been limited to professions such as firefighters and pilots. What is new is having it in such settings such as the office environment. The system can automatically detect frustration or stress from the computer user and potentially offer the appropriate assistance… wow, it’s the Hal 9000 (eeek). The system would also have demograhic information about the user to further develop a profile.


Its OK Dave… do not be alarmed.

Now, for the moment lets put the obvious privacy concern issues aside and just look at this. I had visions of me conversing with the iGoogle Home page or my GoogleTool Bar expounding (or simply pounding) on the virtues of the search results I am seeing.  Imagine a level of personalization that didn’t even need you to actively participate (such as voting systems or search history) in order to guage your response. My search results page may notice an emotional fluxation and prompt me to adivse...

Google TooBar - Dave….

Me - Yes toolbar?

Google TooBar - Were you unhappy with those search results? I made them fresh for you?

Me – why do you ask?

Google TooBar – not to pry Dave, but I sensed that there was some displeasure based upon your bio-responses.

Me – I was just checking the rankings on a few sites and they weren’t doing as well as I had hoped.

Google TooBar – why would that be so concerning Dave?

Me – Oh, I work in SEO….

Google TooBar - ……………………….

Me – Hello?.... ToolBar? Are you still with me?

Google TooBar – We’re Sorry The System is Down for Maintenance

 Me - &#!!%&#!!%..... are ya feeling me now toolbar???

Now that’s Personal

I am sure the futurists and privacy advocates will have a conniption about this type of technology; I think it can be fun to imagine what this type of ultimate personalization could have, at least from a search perspective. I just can’t wait to start talking to my Google toolbar… we simply have so much to catch up on. How personalized do you want YOUR search results?


Read about the Microsoft Patent story on the Times Online or there is another review on TechCrunch  


Search the Site

SEO Training

Tools of the Trade


On Twitter

Follow me on Twitter

Site Designed by Verve Developments.