Ask the Expert 3/13/2013: Google Personal Results & Varying Keyword Rankings
Got a question? UpCity’s Ask the Expert encourages our members to ask inbound marketing-related queries and receive in-depth, personalized answers from our experts. Each week, we will post some of the Q&A’s here on the UpCity Daily Tips Blog.
To access our database of questions or to ask your own question, become an UpCity member today! Sign up for our free UpCity Daily Tips newsletter to learn other strategies for improving your online presence.
Question 1: What is the link at the top of my Google search engine results page (SERP) that says “606 personal results,” and can I turn this off?
Our Response: This is a setting that shows personalized results in addition to the public results. Nowadays, a user can control his or her Google search results to be more personalized. If you compare your search experience to another person’s, this means that no search experience is ever alike. The impact of personal results provides a more social experience. Personalized searches (friends, co-workers, Google+ connections, etc.) display more results from people you are connect with. Overall, the opinions from people you know are becoming more important in the decision-making process in this increasingly digital and social world.
To update your personal settings for a one-time search, click the Earth icon at the top right corner of your screen. If you swipe your cursor over the Earth icon, a message pops up that reads “Hide Personal Results.” Clicking the icon again will switch your settings back to personalized results.
To update your search settings more permanently, click the Gear icon at the top right corner of your screen. Then, choose “Search Settings.” Scroll down to “Personal Results,” and click “Do Not Use Personal Results.” Last, be sure to save your actions. It’s easy to change back your selection when you wish to do so.
Question 2: Why do my keyword rankings reports show varying results when I check different sources?
Our Response: One of the reasons why you may not be seeing the same data in your reports is because of the above reason! With the personalized searches and many factors that fit into a search engine’s algorithm, it’s fairly difficult to view the exact rankings in any search engine or generated report. Personalized social settings, location, IP address, competition, and how many times you’ve searched the keyword phrase may all factor into this data.
We recommend sticking to non-personalized sources when tracking your keyword rankings progress. In addition, paying close attention to trends over time is also important. UpCity offers keyword reporting to its members. See also 7 Steps for Successful SEO Keyword Optimization for more keyword tips.
Question 3: I have a Google Webmaster account but am very unfamiliar with how to use it. Could you provide some quick tips?
Our Response: UpCity members can read the answer to this inquiry, as well as many others, in the UpCity Ask the Expert Help Center. Members are encouraged to ask their own online marketing questions for their business, and our inbound marketing experts are on call to respond to all those questions.