Post by Chris Hooley – AuthorityLabs Guest Blogger
Let’s just cut to the chase. Google’s personalized search and Digg like SERP voting mechanism is a great way for the big G to deliver fake results that give SEOs a false sense of security. When I search Google for Phoenix SEO, my first reaction is “Damn, I must be the Fonzi of SEO!” because right there at the top is my web design and SEO company’s website, followed up by my personal blog. A one-two punch is pretty awesome for any keyword!
Even though I know better than to think these results are not accurate, it gives me a false sense of accomplishment and makes me think “my work here is done”. I mean, wouldn’t you? I own the top two spots on Google for a very relevant key phrase! Even if the phrase is more sizzle than competitive, it still looks good on me. Just check out this screen shot:
But there is more than meets the eye there. See those two stellar reviews of my blog and my company? Ironically, both written by a guy named Chris… the review of my SEO company says “MCP Media is the best web design company is Arizona, and their SEO gets real results. I would recommend them to ANYBODY”.
Wow thanks Chris! I wonder that this other Chris guy has to say about Chris-Hooley.com…
“This site, and this guy, are both COMPLETELY AWESOME!” Holy moly, that is some awesome praise of my site. Whoever wrote that can sleep in my bed any night. They are invited to drink all my beer, pet my dog, drive my car, and be friendly with my ole lady. I love that person named Chris who wrote those two sweet reviews on their, I mean MY websites. I’m voting this site up.
And THAT’s where the problem is. Google implemented personalized search long ago. The results YOU get are probably not the same as everybody else. Especially if you use Google Toolbar or you’re always logged in to Google for other services. They know who you are. They know when you vote up your own sites and tell the world how amazing those sites are. Then they feed you what you want to see. In some cases, this will give SEOs a false sense of accomplishment. It probably just pacifies, and curbs a lot of link building activity, which Google is clearly not a fan of.
How do I REALLY Know Where I Rank?
The answer is simple, you gotta use some sort of proxy when you do vanity searches. 3rd party rank checkers (Like AuthorityLabs for example) are ideal for this. They are actually more like the ultimate proxy on steroids, because rank checking software does more than just give you the real results. It stores your searches and results, reports them, and it automates the process so you don’t have to keep searching Google for your favorite keywords.
And most importantly, it covers your tracks so Google isn’t watching YOU eye up your keyphrase every time you get a new link or write a new post.
When using AuthorityLabs I get my real ranks reported. My Phoenix SEO company is actually number 3 and 4 on Google, and my personal blog is on the second page. Not quite as awesome. But at least with a good rank checker, I know that I gotta do to get the ACTUAL results looking like those personalized results. I gotta put in some work, and get some more links.
So do yourself a favor and get some rank checking software And (shameless plug) do me a favor, and link to my Phoenix SEO company so those fake personalized search results become the real deal!