Have you ever noticed that your website, or that of a competitor, sometimes appears in a different place depending on where you are searching from? If so, you’re noticing the effect of personalised search – and if not, having read this article, you will start noticing it now!
Personalised search means that search engines are trying to present you with as relevant information as possible, which means that your own browsing habits can affect the search results that you see. For example, sites that you like and visit often will show up higher in your search results than if you had never visited those sites.
This can be a problem when you are trying to find out where your site ranks and what effect SEO campaigns are having. Your own site will seem to rank higher in Google. Because you visit your own website quite often, it will affect the position of your site in your search results, so you may think your website is going up in the search rankings. Similarly, if you click on your competitor sites, their sites may appear to be higher in the search rankings than for other people.
Can you change this? Yes – if you opt out of Google Web History. This page will help you to do that: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/4540094?hl=en
What about the SEO reports that we send out each month? The ranking numbers in those reports are based on non-personalised searches, which gives the best relative results for your and your competitors, allowing you to make accurate comparisons.
For your free personalised report on where your website ranks, complete this form.