Check SEO Ranking of Website
Do you know that your searches are personalized and others likely aren’t seeing the same listings in the order that you are?
Many people don’t understand the impact of search personalization when they are checking search engine rankings. If you want to get a better idea how your site ranks on search engines, you will need to follow the lessons we will share below.
As an analytics & SEO company, clients look to us to improve their site’s search engine results page (SERP) rankings and help users find them easily. One of the first steps when beginning an SEO project is to conduct a SEO audit to get a benchmark of page rankings for various key terms, which can be compared against later. Though rankings are definitely not the only success criteria, they are one key metric clients still use as a way to measure progress.
Frequently after reviewing the search engine ranking data provided for key terms, clients report that when they search for a key term from their home or work computer, the site ranks differently from the results we provided, often better. Sometimes clients get a #3 ranking for a key term on their work computer, where in reality they are a #8 ranking for that term.
This discrepancy is a result of personalized search, a feature which delivers tailored results based on a variety of factors. Google places value on user experience and seeks to make sure search results are relevant and engaging to users. Personalized search is an expression of that value, and continues to change the way search results are provided.
Personalized Search – How does it work?
Google customizes your search results based on your past search activity or clicks which are linked through a cookie in your browser. It looks at the last 180 days of your web activity and serves up a result based on that information (and about 200 other factors.)
No one knows the “secret sauce” Google uses to rank websites, but we do know that your personal behavior plays a role in the results you get, now more than ever. For example, if you frequent a local coffee shop’s website you may see their website as the first listing above other coffee shop websites, even though it wouldn’t rank higher in the SERP for someone else. If you are a business owner and frequently visit your own website, you may observe that your site ranks higher in SERP than it actually does to other searchers.
If you are a marketing executive at a large company, you want to be careful of how you report search engine rankings to the rest of your stakeholders. You don’t want to make the mistake of reporting a #1 search ranking when you actually rank #8.
Google’s Explanation of Personalized Search
“Previously, we only offered Personalized Search for signed-in users, and only when they had Web History enabled on their Google Accounts. What we’re doing today is expanding Personalized Search so that we can provide it to signed-out users as well. This addition enables us to customize search results for you based upon 180 days of search activity linked to an anonymous cookie in your browser. It’s completely separate from your Google Account and Web History (which are only available to signed-in users).” – Google Blog Personalized Search for Everyone
But I don’t want skewed results – what do I do?
We have found that many people are not conducting searches properly and don’t know how to get an unbiased view of their SERP rankings. We will share tips on how to check search engine ranking searches and get an accurate view of your site’s search engine ranking.