If you are doing your own SEO work, you may be getting lulled into a false sense of security because of Google’s penchant for personalization.
Everybody knows how important it is to be on page one of Google for the keywords relevant to their industry. Have you ever typed in your most relevant industry keywords and seen your company’s name appear in a prominent position on page one? It probably filled you with pride, to see that of all the millions of possible results available for that topic, Google thinks your website is one of the best.
But wait a minute… Are you really on page one?
Don’t get fooled by Google personalization. You may be misled by Google because of the search engine’s algorithm, which has been written to provide as much personalization as possible.
Search has gotten so sophisticated over the past several years, and Google’s search algorithm strongly takes into account your previous online behavior. If you have done searches in the past and have clicked on a particular website 100 times, Google is going to consider that when determining the best search results for your query. That’s Google personalization.
It’s also going to deliver local content, taking into account your geography. It uses your IP address to deliver the best location-based results for you. That’s why you were likely to get the pizza parlor down the street or right around the corner when you go searching for the “best pie in town.”
Remember, because of Google personalization, all search is relative, so when you want to know how you really rank, you can’t rely on your own normal search results to tell you how you’re doing.
Here are two alternative ways to find out how you’re doing:
#1: Clear your search history and open an “Incognito” window. Type in your keyword and see where you come up.
#2: Use professional services. There are plenty of great resources that can monitor your rank. Two that we recommend are SEMRush or HubSpot.
If you’d like to get a full analysis of where your website ranks for relevant keywords in your industry (as well as those of your competitors), feel free to set up a free consultation. We’ll look at you and your competitors and let you know where you stand. Schedule your meeting today!