How do you check where your website appears in search results?
Chances are many small business owners are simply typing their key words or phrases into Google and seeing where their website appears.
This can be misleading due to the increasing use of personalised search by Google (and Bing). The effect is particularly noticeable if you are logged into a Google account such as Google+ or Gmail.
For example if I search for “online marketing york” while logged in to Google, I’m at a very respectable position 3. However, if I log out and then search, I’m down at the bottom of the page – so still some work to do!
You’ll probably have noticed that Google is pretty good at working out your location. So that if you search for “plumber” or “florist” you will often get local listings appearing at or near the top of the page. But increasingly the search engines are getting smarter at presenting results based on your personal browsing history, and sites you visit often will get a boost.
I’m often told “we’re on page one of Google” by businesses I talk to, but when I do the search myself, they are nowhere.
So if you are searching to check your website rankings, you need to do a “depersonalised search”. The simplest way to do it is to add a “&pws=0” to the end of Google URL after you search the normal way. Then search using the standard Google box and your results will be depersonalised. Read here to find out more about depersonalised search.