Your personal browsing history skews what you see. Everything you type into or click on in your browser is stored so search engines can do a better job customizing the results they give you in following searches. If you search for a “new car”, guess what you’ll get more of?
That is called Search Personalization.
Remarking is perhaps the most obvious case you can easily observe how personalized search is employed. That is because Remarketing depends on personalization. Remarketing happens when you search for something, thereby causing cookies to be stored in your browser that tell any future website and search engine what you have been doing online. Try it! Search for “waterjet cutting machines”. There are only a few companies in this niche business, but they are extremely aggressive employing remarketing. Once you use this search term, you will see their ads over and over, everywhere you go online regardless of whatever else you may have searched for since.
Now it should be obvious to you how YOU, on YOUR computer, cannot judge your websites search rank. In most cases your results will be extremely optimistic, thereby giving your website the appearance that it perform much better than it actually does in the real world. Your behavior as understood by search engines, is oriented towards your business niche.
Removing search personalization is obviously vital to accurately measuring search rank. SearchStation does that for you, and more. That means each search appears to be a first-time search. Therefore search engines can only provide a virgin-generic search result, free from “other” results that would occur due to personalization.
Many blogs have been written claiming that measuring search rank is a waste of time exactly because no other person searching is generic – they all have some personalization that skews what they get in their search results. Statistically that claim is weak because we are only attempting to remove personalization in order to understand relative strength and relative weaknesses of our websites performance.
“You don’t have to be faster than the bear, you only must be faster than the other guy.” This saying is appropriate in SEO because there is no perfect website – there is only a better website (than ours) that we are worried about.
Be sure you know what your potential buyer sees when they search for your product for the first time – get SearchStation.