The ongoing struggle for balance between consumer privacy options and ad personalization is having impacts on Search Engine Optimization for local traffic. With services like Google Maps offering the option to turn off location tracking, local SEO techniques can suffer a loss of information. There is hope, however, as free platforms strike a balance between valuing customer privacy and generating ad revenue through personalization.

Ad Personalization Versus Consumer Privacy

Websites, internet browsers and social media platforms gather information from users about interests and locations to show them targeted ads based on products or services they have looked at in the past. This can help consumers find what they are looking for as well as keep marketing budgets lower and ad campaigns more effective. This targeted marketing technique has led to memes and complaints about mentioning the need for a new car and then seeing advertisements for new cars on social media, in emails or on a blog site.

While companies and some consumers find ad personalization helpful, privacy issues surrounding the gathering and use of personal information persist. Local SEO techniques, for example, use location tracking to show you advertisements from car dealerships in your area because those are more relevant, but using the incognito mode for Google Maps means that your location is not saved and cannot be used in targeted marketing campaigns.

What Is the SEO Impact of Finding Balance?

Finding the balance between ad personalization and consumer privacy is a struggle that is likely to take quite some time with the court system and government weighing in. So far, companies are offering the option to opt-out of some information gathering with features such as incognito searches and more detailed privacy settings, but most consumers are not taking advantage of it. This means that your SEO and targeted marketing campaigns will continue to function much as they have been. When optimizing for local traffic, it is also important to remember that most people will include location tags in the keyword to find items they can purchase immediately instead of waiting and paying for shipping. This means that your site will rank higher in searches for nearby customers when you optimize locally.

Local SEO techniques have been building on the information gathered for ad personalization to generate more targeted keywords and marketing campaigns. The rising concern for consumer privacy has put many of these things in question and finding the right balance between privacy and personalization seems like a never-ending struggle. As this balance is achieved, it is important to remember that many consumers will opt-in for location tracking to find what they need quicker and more easily.