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How to purify your Google search results

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

So you've got your web site(s) all optimized for certain keyword searches and you do a Google search on a regular basis to make sure your web site is at the top of the list for those keywords.  Did it ever occur to you that Google might just be showing you what it thinks you want to see?  (It's very agreeable that way.)  When you search with Google (and other search engines), your results are often affected by past searches and other online behavior.

For example, if Google knows that you regularly search for pictures of rabbits, then your search for "rabbit" will probably show results more heavily weighted with cute bunny photos; someone who does a lot of searches for recipes, however, will probably see results for rabbit stew. 

How can you do a search that disregards your browsing history, cookies, etc. without deleting the history and cookies?  By using private browsing!  Private browsing helps prevent your browser from storing data about your browsing session. This includes cookies, temporary Internet files, history, and other data.

If you use Internet Explorer, click on Tools, Safety, InPrivate Browsing (or press Ctrl-Shift-P) to open a private browsing session.  In Google Chrome, click on wrench icon, select New Icognito Window (or press Ctrl-Shift-N).  Now run those keyword searches again (and try not to scream).  In my case, a search for "Herndon Real Estate" shows one of my web sites at the top of the first page in Google.  Using private browsing, it shows up at #2 - okay, I'm still happy. :-)

Try it and let me know your results!

Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Glenda, I always log out of Google before I search my site.  I love the results I get when I don't log out but you are right it is not correct results.  Spring TX real estate is a good example I'm at the top of the first page if I don't log out but in number 8 position when I log out.  I'm still trying to scratch my way up that list.

Jan 19, 2011 10:15 AM
Melanie Hedrick
Elite Texas Properties, the best homes from McKinney to Dallas! - McKinney, TX

Interesting -- thanks for the info on private browsing.  I hadn't thought about having to be so sneeky to get the real truth!

Jan 19, 2011 10:23 AM
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
RealtorĀ®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Glenda, thanks I was wondering how that was done. I have noticed that Google tends to lean on your favorite searches. Great tips

Jan 19, 2011 10:24 AM
Priscilla Dakin
HomeMarketNM.com - Albuquerque, NM

Thanks for this tip.  The things we learn on activerain.  It is hard to know whether to be more impressed with how clever they are in identifying what they think we want or the fact that there is a way to get the clean results.


Jan 19, 2011 10:38 AM
Michele Cadogan 917-861-9166
Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229 - Brooklyn, NY
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker -

Thanks for this tip it nice to know how to get around Google search.  I really appreciate this.

Jan 20, 2011 02:14 AM
Glenda Cherry
Keller Williams Realty - Herndon, VA
Realtor / Photographer

Thanks for your comments, all!  I think, for the average user, the browser's tendency to target searches is probably helpful.  But for those of us with web sites, the results can be a little disconcerting!  It's nice to know there's an easy way to run a "clean" search.

Jan 20, 2011 04:02 AM
Emily Medvec
eXp Realty LLC - Santa Fe, NM
Broker | Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

Thank you for your instructions on how to fine tune the results a Google search. I learned something new!

Jan 29, 2011 12:00 AM