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The problem with personalized search results

Just wanted to give you a heads up on this if you haven’t already heard.

Google is now personalizing all search results whether you’re logged in or not.

That’s great for your own personal results (presumably more targeted results) but not so great if your business is online and you want to check your ranking because you and your visitors may have different preferences.

Used to be all you needed to do to check your results directly was to log out of your Google account. Now there’s one more step and fortunately it’s pretty easy.

All you need to do is log out of your account and then click Web History. There is a link right there you can click to enable or disable customized search results.

For more information you can go to Google Help.
http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=54048

On the surface this looks like it would be bad for your ranking or that maybe getting to #1 isn’t so important but I don’t think so. If you’re #1 in the non-customized results you’re sure to be there in front of the folks who are particularly looking for what you have to offer.

What you don’t want to be doing is checking your ranking in your own customized results. That doesn’t tell you much at all other than you’re interested in your own site. Don’t need Google to tell you that now do you?

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