Do you have a Google account? Do you use Google for your primary search engine? Are you curious about whether your own past search history may be warping what you find (or don't find), when conducting new Google searches (i.e. research)?
Additionally, if you are responsible for search engine optimization (SEO) at your organization, you may be fooling yourself in terms of your company's overall search rankings.
Google has recently enabled the ability to turn on and off your personal search results. Why might this be useful? Here are just two examples:
- You are conducting new research, and don't want to see past history. You are looking to find new content / sites.
- SEO is important to your firm's profit or success. If you see your own history interspersed within your results and don't recognize those results as not representative of the web at large, do you truly understand your Google ranking?
It is easy to toggle on and off between your personal results. Here are four screenshots. Did you know that the NorthStarNerd is #1 when it comes to Nordic Ski Knickers? Not!
However, my ranking for reviews and tests of the new Republic Wireless is quite good, but not yet number one for this query "Republic Wireless Review", but is #1 for Republic Wireless Test. This kind of nuance is important for SEO. Once you get below the 3rd result, not that much traffic gets driven to your site (learn more ... see prior post which includes academic research conducted by Cornell University)
Click upon any image to view at full size.
Nordic Ski Knickers Example
Republic Wireless Example