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Try This Trick to See if You're REALLY on the 1st Page of Google

google-search-personalizationIf you are a blogger, internet marketer, or website owner, I’m sure you have interest in knowing where you stand in Google. I remember when I first started understanding how to use keywords for my website, I would search for my website using that keyword and ultimately show up on page one of Google. Great, right?! Wrong!

It showed up on the first page because Google sometimes customizes your search results based on your past search activity. This usually includes searches you’ve previously done and the results you’ve clicked on. Well, of course since I was constantly doing searches to see where I fit in from the search results and always visiting my own site, it was listed on the first page.

What all of this means is if you have previously visited a website, there is a possibility that your browser has been stamped with a 180 day cookie that will highlight any related keywords pertaining to that site.

The end result is the site you visited may appear higher in the search results the next time you look for something related. While this may not be a problem for some, seeing the search engine result pages “how they are” and not “how they are skewed from personalized search” is a preference.

So how do you see what your “real” results are?

Turn off search history personalization

Google does have an official way to disable the feature (I am listing it first because it’s official, NOT because it’s the easiest way to do it).

Disable Google Personalization: One-Time (Browser Independent)

This is the one I use most often as I like the personalization feature by Google and don’t want to turn it off completely. So in this case, what you need to do is manually modify the search query URL path. To do so,  just add this parameter to the end of the search query in the address bar:

&pws=0

The “&pws=0″ parameter removes the search personalization. Voila! Now you can see where your site really stands with a certain search/keyword. :-)

Your turn…

Do you know of another method that wasn’t covered here? Please share your feedback in the comments section below.

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26 Comments

    • Kesha

      @Monyelle, no problem deary! Always willing to share tricks and tips when I learn them :-)

  1. Pedro Cardoso

    Correct! This is a very useful tip, which novice webmasters are often unaware of. Here’s another nice tip: there’s a free wordpress plugin called “rank reporter” that will keep track of your SERPS automatically; you can add as many keywords as you like, and it even charts your results across time. Look it up!

    • Kesha

      @Pedro, thanks for the resource! I personally use Market Samarai but it’s not really recommended for a beginner. I will look into Rank Reporter and check it out :-)

      BTW: loving the topics on your blog (especially funny cat pics!)…you’ve got a new reader :-)

  2. Stella | Great Headlines Swipes

    Yay! I’m on the first page of your comment feed today (lol).

    You touched on a very important point that many beginners and not-so beginners are not yet aware of.. Thanks for using video to illustrate it:)

    You know, Kesha, the Google personalised search is also not bad on the one had – because it’ll make newbies feel happy and MOTIVATED seeing their sites on (fake) page 1.

    • Kesha

      @Stella, ha! Love how you see the positive in everything (even if it is fake LOL)! :-)

    • Kesha

      @Diana, glad it’s useful for you! Let me know if you ever need anything while you’re still learning the ropes :-)

  3. Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur

    Darn! Just when I thought I was lookin’ good on Google! And then you had to come along and take away all my happiness.

    Now my bubble has been popped. I’m clinically depressed. And I’ll never blog again. :-)

    Kidding aside …
    This is a great trick, Kesha. Can’t wait to do a search by adding this little (depressing) parameter. LOL!

    My life is garbage without you,
    Melanie

    • Kesha

      @Mel, ha ha – guess Stella was right below! I’m bursting too many bubbles :-)

      I’m sure this little depressing parameter can be fixed with a little of the bubbly which means I have to come out to CA sooner rather than later! ;-)

  4. Lynn Brown

    Thanks Kesha you are such a smart and wonderful webmaster. This is really good to know because I always thought my computer gave me results based on my searches. When I ask friends to pull up the same keywords they always got different results.

    So you have explained it all and I am so happy you are sharing this little tid bit on how we can get the real scoo! Thanks again.

    • Kesha

      @Lynn, you are absolutely a gem…I will definitely have positive dreams tonite with that compliment (I feel a big head brewing) :-)

      I’m glad it helped and was able to clear up the confusion…personalization is great until we don’t need/want it right!

    • Kesha

      @Patrick, you have me over here cracking up!! ROTFL :-)

      Sorry deary to burst the seo-ego-bubble! *wink*

      BTW: love the secret stuff video and just added you to my RSS reader…looking forward to connecting more!

  5. Adrienne

    Well aren’t you just full of helpful information young lady! Thanks for sharing that tip with me. I bet a lot of people get their ego’s busted after watching this video. I knew that these were personalized searches but I didn’t know how to get around that. Then enters Kesha with this oh so handy post.

    Way to go girl, thanks a bunch!

    Adrienne

    • Kesha

      @Adrienne, ha! Thanks deary but I might not be the popular one anymore being the bearer of bad news! ;-)

  6. Jeff

    Definitely good advice!

    You can also go to scroogle.org and use the Scroogle Scraper. Just type in your keyword phrase and it gives you “unbiased” results.

    A much better solution is to use the free Rank Checker tool from SEOBook. You can enter all your keywords and it shows you where you rank for the keywords with Google and Yahoo/Bing. You can save the results and track your progress over time.

    Very easy, helpful and free.

    JC

    • Kesha

      @Jeff, thank you for sharing additional resources. Others will definitely appreciate these as well! :-)

  7. Bellevue Dentist

    Kesha,

    Great video. I think I did this correctly by putting the “tag” at the end of the searched URL. However, after reading all the comments, I am not sure that I did it correctly. I have four major key word strings that I searched and then “tagged” the end of the URL. Our website was in the Local A position for two, the Local B for one, and the organic 1st position for the other one after the regular queries on Google. After inserting the “tag”, all three Local positions stayed exactly the same (2 A & 1 B) and the one that was 1st in the organic search position was gone completely from the organic area but had moved into the Local A position (first). If I did it correctly, I am happy. If I didn’t do it correctly, I probably don’t want to see the results, LOL.

    I put you on my FAVs at StumbleUpon and Twitted your site. Also, gave you a like (as Gilbert). You have some great info on your site.

    • Kesha

      Hey Jeanine, let me know if you need any assistance!

      btw: I was rooting for you at the Black Weblog Awards in LA last month – next year maybe both of us will have trophies ;-)

      • Jeanine Byers Hoag @ Seasonal Color Analysis

        @Kesha, how sweet of you to root for me! Yes, let’s plan on winning next year, shall we? :)

        And actually, to be honest, I couldn’t figure out how to add on the part you said to add. Is there a basic URL link for Google searches beyond its main one? Because I tried putting in the keywords & then, adding it to the link that formed and putting that in and it didn’t work.

        *confused*

  8. Veronica Cervera

    i just want to share that you can also check your search engine results page by using Market Samurai. It might be costly but it’s worth the price. It has a lot of functionality just like keyword research, rank tracker, and competition analysis.

  9. Kate Brown Wilson

    This is a good help , I have to admit, all the internet marketers and blogger are doing too many things to their site, for Google to recognized. We all know that Google controls the algorithm of each site, I think that these tricks will work well.
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