One way to rank your site well on Google is to let Google’s personalization tell you want you want to hear. Google collects information about the way you search, and the sites you visit, then adds some localization so as to serve you the results he (I’ve always seen Google as a he) thinks will make you happy.
If you visit your own websites often – you will find that Google places them higher in the search results than he would for someone who had never heard of you or your websites.
It’s called personalization. And it means essentially, that no two people see the same search results. If you are interested in where this is could be going politically, you may want to watch this TED presentation by Eli Pariser where he presents his view on it.
My take is that I want to see where sites really rank without my web browsing habits shaping the results I see. This is because I am interested in where my sites appear for certain search terms and don’t want to always have to open up Market Samurai to check something.
Penny and Jane
To demonstrate this, I asked two of my WordPress coaching students (Penny and Jane) to make Jing videos of themselves searching for the term lemon cheesecake. I then took screenshots of their first page results. Both Penny and Jane are located in the UK about 210 miles apart. You can see from the comparative results below that the sites retrieved by Google are practically the same for both my internet ladies.
But There Is A Slight Difference In The Search Results
Penny had been working hard on her low cost recipes site at pennysrecipes.com and she had just published a recipe for Lemon Cheesecake. Her own lemon cheesecake recipe appeared at page 1, position 4 in her SERPs (search engine results pages). On Jane’s search, Penny’s site appeared at the ‘correct’ position 22, in other words on page 3.
How To Rank On Google?
From Penny’s point of view it would have been easy to assume that everyone searching for lemon cheesecake would find her recipe on page 1 of Google. See below. Fortunately in her case, she already knew about personalization.
How To Prevent Google Personalization
So what can you, Penny (or for that matter, Jane), do about the personalization that’s built into Google? Well, you could do nothing and always have to open tools like Market Samurai to give you a more accurate understanding of where you stand in the rankings.
If you are serious about building a business using your website, you will need to have basic monitoring tools, and Market Samurai is a good tool with a one off pricing and a free option. You can start now by downloading your free version of Market Samurai.
But if you would also like to see your search results less personalized, and if you use the Google Chrome or Firefox browsers, you can install an extension that not only prevents personalization but also allows you to search in a handful of countries outside your own. Please watch this video.
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