Module 2 - Understanding Personalized Search (Video)

Explainer Video

This explainer video covers:

Has this module highlighted issues with your website or SEO work but you don't know how to resolve them?

Click here for help

Now continue to the text element of this module to learn the detail

Video Transcript

SEO Basics Course. Module 2

Understanding Personalized Search

OK lets recap!

In Module 1 we looked at SEO Scams and Cons so you can avoid the companies that could cause your website considerable harm.

Now its time to start learning what legitimate Search Engine Optimization is.

We'll start with something that is. The number one newbie SEO mistake and the reason 'guaranteed first place in the search results' as offered by some shark SEO companies is not possible.

Let's get back to Lenny and follow him as he makes an uncomfortable discovery.

Lenny's been working on the SEO of his new website for several days now. One morning he does a Google search for a phrase which is on his site and finds he's number one!

Lenny thinks he is the king of SEO and the world has just got to know.

He dashes straight round to his friend, Sally, to celebrate. Sally is impressed but can't quite believe her eyes.

They try the same search on Sally's computer and . Ouch . Lenny's site is nowhere to be seen.

So What just happened there?

Lenny has been looking at Personalized Search results, most people do. Here's how it works.

Search engines know which sites you have visited . and which ones you visit more often and for longer. We'll come to how they know this later.

If you spend a lot of time on one site in particular they assume you like it a lot and so, if it is relevant to a search you carry out, they'll serve it up more in the future ... in your search results.

This is what happened to Lenny. Google had picked up he was spending a lot of time on one site and so it served it up to him in the search results. He just didn't realize it and thought he must be a SEO expert.

Sally hadn't been spending time on Lenny's website and that's why it wasn't in her search results.

That was module two, understanding personalized search. Next up Module three, how search engines rank websites, and, as they always say at the end of these videos, if you like what you saw, remember to subscribe.

But it doesn't end there.

Search Engines know where you are in the world. That's why someone searching 'italian restaurant' in New York will get completely different results to someone in San Francisco carrying out exactly the same search.

Its very common for many small business owners to think "I rank number one, why is my website so quiet?" only to find that if they changed location within their own country, or even their own state or county, they would discover their rankings are very different.

'Personalized search' is especially strong if you are, for example, signed into your Google account when searching on Google or signed into your Windows account when searching Bing or Yahoo because you are making more data available to the search engine for them to try and please you more.

So how to avoid this? There are two steps

Step One. Hiding your history

Browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari have 'private browsing' or 'incognito' window options. Use them to hide your history. To start a private window.

In Firefox press Ctrl + Shift + P all at the same time.

In Chrome press Ctrl + Shift + N all at the same time.

In IE and Edge its Ctrl + Shift + P all at the same time .

In Safari use Command + Shift + N all at the same time.

Step Two. Change your location

You can never hide your location from search engines but you can change what they see by using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or as they are sometimes called, proxy servers. These services allow you to be physically located in New York but to search engines it will you can make it look like you are in Perth, Australia ... or anywhere else you choose.

There are plenty of VPN services to choose from like Strong VPN, Nord VPN, IP Vanish and Express VPN. Typical pricing ranges from $5 to $10 per month There is a full list of the most popular, reliable services is in the module text.

Now you can see where your website, or a site you are working on, really appears in the search results at any location around the world and avoid Lenny's embarrassing mistake.

Has this video highlighted issues with your SEO work or with a website you are working on but you don't know how to resolve them?

There are simply too many ways a website can be built for us to offer a comprehensive how to part to these tutorials however we would recommend the following steps.

Google it! If you know what platform your website is built on (say XCart or Wordpress) just try googling what you need. For example "How to make WordPress urls SEO friendly" to find out how you can make changes to the urls of your WordPress based site.

You'll be surprised how often issues have already been resolved by others and sometimes they have even created plugins so you can make the changes you need to without needing any technical skills.

If this doesn't resolve your issue you probably will need the help of a programmer. In this case see the 'Need Help' link below this video or in the module text for options.

That was module two, understanding personalized search. Next up Module three, how search engines rank websites, and, as they always say at the end of these videos, if you like what you saw, remember to subscribe.