How to better understand your position in the search results

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Google offers personalised search results based on your search activity. So if you are trying to assess the performance of your SEO manager / agency and are frequently searching on the same set of keywords, Google will begin to alter your results based on what you click on as they attempt to serve you more relevant results. Google is attempting to serve you more relevant results but this doesn’t help when you are performing artificial searches to assess your search position – so, as a manager involved in new customer acquisition via online channels, you need to turn off personalised search to get the true picture of your search engine coverage.

Whilst I personally really like Google Chrome, I think it is probably unnecessary for most normal Internet users to download an additional web browser just because it is the easiest for turning off personalised search  permanently (highly recommended for search marketeers if you haven’t already). With other browsers, a simple bit of code allows you to adjust the search results you are looking at so you get the same results as someone looking at this set of results for the first time.

What to do

  • Go to your favourite browser & navigate to a page (any page)
  • From the favourites tab select ‘Add to favourites’
  • In the dialogue box replace the text with “Turn off personalised search”

  • Select your favourites tab and scroll down to the new “Turn off personalised search” bookmark and right click
  • Select properties

  • In the URL box enter javascript:location.href=location.href%20+%20’&pws=0′;
  • Then click ‘OK’ (make sure you have entered all that is in bold above)
  • Anytime you want to review the results without personalised search – select the “Turn off personalised search” option from your favourites and your results will reload with personalised search turned off

If you have any issues with the above instructions, contact your IT team and ask them to make the above amends on your behalf.

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About Geoff

I run the digital marketing for the UK division of a global supplementary education provider. To find out what I'm up to join me on Google+

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