Are you on the first page of Google? Why you no longer answer this question…

Now that Google has made the shift to Personalized Search even when a user is not logged-in, domain owners can no longer exclaim – “I’m on the first page of Google!” Why? There is no longer a way to know if you really are on the first page of Google since every user receives different results when they search!

While you can turn-off “Web History” do you really think the average web users is going to do this?

For SEO-enthusiasts like myself this is a bit concerning as I now have no way of knowing if my site has made it to the first page of Google for a particular search query. It might show-up on the first page for me – but does it for everyone else?

Here’s an example – when I search “domain investor” I see my blog on the first page of Google. Normally I would jump for joy – but now I think…is that really what everyone else sees?

We have been developing domains with a strong focus on SEO – checking Google to see when we make the first page has become a daily ritual. Now it makes less sense to do this. Now I’m not saying Personalized Search will ruin the market – it could actually get more traffic to our properties…but we just don’t know!

So for all of you who have enjoyed telling people – “I’m on the first page of Google!” You might want to reconsider since where your site ends-up depends on who is doing the searching…

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Leonard Britt December 10, 2009, 10:55 am

    Valid point – I had noticed in recent months that my site was positioned higher (organic search) than the .COM for the domain’s keywords but still in the middle of page one below some WIKI sites and a couple of others. Just yesterday I noticed it had moved to the number one position organically. The .COM competitor is utilizing Adwords. But as you state, perhaps that isn’t the same result everyone else sees!

  • Nameclerk December 10, 2009, 11:08 am


    You’re site is listed in position #6 for me, two slots up from the .com, for the generic domains phrase.

    I haven’t seen much of a shake up in my site rankings since this feature has been implemented. I guess we’ll just have to see how it plays out. Everyone is in the same boat unless the seo hats figure out how to manipulate the personal search feature.

  • Josh Kloblo December 10, 2009, 11:49 am shows up #6 for me.

  • brian December 10, 2009, 1:09 pm

    Just clear your cache and be sure to clear cookies as well and you will see real time results.
    I dont think this will be a bad thing, first time searchers will not have a history so they will see the normal results.
    If you build a site that has great content that attracts repeat visits you should benefit in the long run. Although you could argue that it wont have any effect at all.
    For instance I own a popular niche community. My members come back all the time. If they do a search for my keywords even though my site will list better it doesnt mean they will click on it.
    If they wanted to visit why would they be searching?
    This is the first time I can really say its just a gimmick for google to get pr over.
    Last but not least , if you build minisites and go after niche keywords you are most likely looking for one time visitors and this prob wont make a difference. If you try to rank for popular searches you better build something great.
    Anyway this is just my thoughts on the changes.

  • Helder December 10, 2009, 6:57 pm

    Link building is the way internet was made, and that’s what internet is, millions and millions of sites all linked in a web.

    That’s how things worked well before we let ourselves become slaves of SE’s

    I believe it’s still the best way to be independent from SE’s, build links, and interact with other people, other sites.

    I’ve read a couple of years ago a story of a teenager girl who designs myspace templates and gives them for free in her site, she got about a million visitors a month, if i remember well, and she her traffic from word of mouth (i think it’s the correct expression), someone found out, sends emails to all the friends and talks to them, friends emais friends, then comes social media sites, and things got spread.

  • RW December 11, 2009, 12:00 am


    I remember seeing an article that was similar (about the myspace templates) … a 17 yr old girl was getting over 7 million visitors a month !

    • Morgan December 11, 2009, 6:02 am

      Very interesting – thanks for sharing @RW!

  • Rauhbautz December 11, 2009, 12:42 am

    I use Adwords ads targeting preview tool ( ) to see Google SERP’s in other countries and cities. is also good for SEO/PPC investigations =]

  • Bebs January 8, 2010, 3:21 am

    we love “gratitude bloggers”.

    we are “birds of the same feather”: whether geeks-turnin’-to-geeses or geeses-turnin’-to-geeks!

    3M b/l: manage motivate monetize 😉


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