Thursday, February 18, 2010

Removing Personalisation From Your Google Results - Any Good?

OK, this might be a bit of a techie post - i.e. not just for the everyday user of the internet, and in fact might be a little silly, given recent finds from Dr Pete over at SEOMoz. Still it's an important metric to be aware of within search.

Google has been using personalised search for more than a couple of years now, and recently decided that they will deliver you personalised results in the serps even when you're not signed in. This means that your search history will influence future results, as will other sites tyou visit on a regular basis. In a similar way that GMail scans your mail to provide you with "appropriate" adwords ads within your email, Google likes to control what they present to you in the serps.

Personalised Search - Barcelona SEO

So for people like us seos who need to check "reliable" serps for reporting on clients, etc. this can be a bit of a pain. Sure, Webmaster Tools recently intorduced a time-saving "your-site-is-ranking-position-X-for-these-keywords" kind of tool, which is veerrryyy handy, but not always reliable.

So, there is simple way to ensure your results are NOT personalised. You make a search and then add "&pws=0" to the end of the search string in the direction bar at the top of your browser. So for example, if you make a search like this for Barcelona SEO Training you can add on a &pws=0 to the end to DE-Personalise the results. Depending on your IP and your previous search history, you may or many not see a difference here. And as the post from SEOMoz describes above (although hardly exhaustive), it can appear to have little effect anyway - it's just good to know the possibility exists and for this to be exaplianed to clients, too.

Are you looking to improve your website's performance? I can help. Contact me at Barcelona SEO for an informal chat about your site and its possibilities.

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