I’ve played a few tricks on you in the past. Most recently I’ve shown you how I got ranked at the top for a huge trending topic. That was a trick – I was really illustrating the power of social search – or as Google puts it “Personal Results”.
When I’m signed in to Google, any search I do is affected by the LIKE’s and +1′s of my friends.
I was at a conference last week and there were plenty of conversations that sounded just like,
“I was ranking in Google at #___ for this term last week and this week I’m at #___“.
Whether they ranked higher or lower makes no difference to my point. I asked a few of them about how they searched. Some knew about Personal Results, some didn’t. All in all the conference was attended by some really smart guys. Many were quick to point out that they signed out of Google before they searched.
You can turn on the Personal Results or you can turn them off. Did you know that the SERP or Search Engine Results Page will still reflect the actions of your friends? It’s baked into the Google Algorithm. Personal Results puts a greater weight on the friends than Non Personal Results.
But what happens if you sign out of Google and search?
That’s what the smart guys at the conference said they did.
Incredibly, Google will look at your past history (cookies, cache, etc) and it will have a direct reflection in the SERPs you see. It’s ok, I didn’t know that either.
Is there a way to see a natural Google SERP?
Well yes there is. You could clear your hard drive, wipe it clean, clear the cache, the cookies, etc and then without viewing any website you could now go do your search in Google. Sounds like too much work, right? I think so too!
How’s this instead? Go to http://goosh.org
According to it’s author Stefan Grothkopp it’s a command-line search-engine interface. I just learned about it on the radio show yesterday. It emulates a shell and searches Google for you in what I can best say is the “raw” format. It’s nothing fancy. Just enter your search at the end of the command line and it will show you the raw SERP for any term. There’s even a help section http://goosh.org/#help
How cool is that?
Here’s a search I just did for Custom Facebook Business Pages (something I want to rank high for)
In Google with Personal Search turned OFF here’s the top 4 results. I’m #3 That makes me happy.
Using Goosh here’s the top 4. You’ll see there’s a difference, a slight change in the rankings.
This example was close, there were other terms that I thought I ranked highly for that I wasn’t even listed. I suck! That’s important to know, right?
The next time someone says they rank for a particular keyword, now you know better. Check it out and see. Then show them the Goosh!