The new Google Personalised Search, launched in December 2009, is one of the biggest changes ever made to the Search Engine 鈥檚 results pages. In the old days, this feature only applied to users who were signed into their Google Account with 鈥 榃 eb History 鈥?enabled. They then received tailored search results according to their web history. These days, Google Personalised Search is the default, regardless of whether or not you are signed into your Google Account. Why did Google do this? As a market leader in the industry, Google continuously aims to deliver users with the most relevant results possible. It is this reason why sometimes the search results are customised. For example, if you regularly search for 鈥榳 eather report in auckland 鈥?in Google and choose to click on the result for 鈥楶 rimetime Auckland City Weather 鈥?most often, Google will associate your preference for this site and may rank it higher in the results next time you perform a search, therefore helping you easily find the site which you have used often in the past. How do they do that? Google retains up to 180 days of your search activity through an anonymous cookie in your browser. As mentioned above, you don 鈥檛 have to be signed into your Google Account anymore to receive personalised search results. If you are working on a shared computer, the anonymous cookie will also record the web history of these users too. Your geographic location can also be taken into account with customised search results. Google can decipher your country and regional location based on your IP address. It is this technology which ensures that you are provided with local and relevant search results for a given query such as 鈥榩 izza delivery 鈥? Can I tell if Google has customised my search results page? Unless you are signed into your Google Account, you won 鈥檛 be aware that customisation has occurred. What if I don 鈥檛 want customised results? Firstly, you should note that this feature of recording users 鈥?searches is not new to Google; they have always recorded your search information. Now however, they use this data to provide tailored results. Google acknowledges that not everyone wants this feature and provides you with the option to opt out. To do this you need to click on 鈥榃 eb History 鈥?at the top right of your Google screen and click on 鈥楧 isable customisations based on search activity 鈥? This feature will now be disabled from future searches on your browser. If you change your mind, you can simply enable it again. Does my website rank get affected by these results? Yes, it is likely. Your websites position within Google 鈥檚 Search Results may appear differently for users who have personalised search enabled, compared to those who don 鈥檛. Given this new feature, it is important that you don 鈥檛 solely rely on your websites search engine position as a measure of how well your website is performing. What doesn 鈥檛 change is the importance of still having a well optimised website which adheres to industry best practices. Keywords related to your website that are being searched on will provide you with an increased opportunity to gain visitors looking for your products and/or services. Monitoring how visitors interact with your website is an excellent way of indentifying particularly areas that work well, or alternatively require more attention. For instance, if you notice that your contact page is getting a lot of traffic but you aren 鈥檛 receiving much enquiry via email or phone, perhaps it isn 鈥檛 clear how to contact you; maybe you need to include an online form in addition to your email address? With the focus not so much on rankings anymore, it is still imperative that your website is well structured, relevant and optimised so that you have a higher chance of reaching your target market. Apex Internet is a specialist Web Site promotion company offering Search Engine optimisation and positioning services to New Zealand (NZ) and International clients. Our marketing solutions will help your Web Site achieve top rankings on the Search Engines. Whether you're looking to get more visitors to your existing website, or you're launching a new web initiative, our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services are designed to improve your Search Engine rankings for the targeted keywords and search phrases that potential customers use when searching for the products or services your business offers.
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