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Are Your Sales Dropping as Your SEO Rankings "Soar high?"  -  Part 3

By John Alexander


If you have not read parts 1 and 2 of this article you should review these first.

In the future as the "personalization of search" continues to play havoc with traditional rank checking methods, it is important to under stand the challenges so you can understand the solution. Here is a quick overview of what has been happening in the last few years, most recently in 2008 and 2009.

Personalization is not some new shifting of the algorithms, but rather it is a personalized shuffling of results based on each users search history. This means if 3 people sit down at the same computer, they could potentially see completely different results (even for the same keyword phrase) based on their own search history. The next thing to be aware of is that ranking "in the traditional sense" of the Top 10 or the Top 30 results can no longer be determined, since the search engine is delivering up results based on each individuals search history.
Some will be quick to condemn ranking tools saying that ranking tools all seem to be broken and delivering up conflicting reports. The challenge is that the ranking tools are not broken, but the search engines are not operating quite the way they use to. Some might say, "I just won't turn personalization on." That solves it! 

Not true.

Actually, if you have any free Google service such as Google's Gmail or Google Analytics then Personalization IS turned on by default. The challenge is that Personalization of Search actually does work over a period of time and people seem to like it because it gives them results more personalized to their interest.

Personalization of search is described by distinguished IBM Engineer, Mike Moran as: 
"One of the biggest changes in the SEO industry since the introduction of PPC."

Think about it. 

What will your 2009 look like?

What kind of results are SEO students getting when they 
invest in their own skills? 
Read some recent reactions

If you see yourself in "Number 1" position, you won't be sure that the rest of the world sees you as number one or not. Or maybe you see yourself ranking number 5 and you are doing everything you can to get to number 1 spot (not realizing that perhaps to the rest of the world you are already showing up in top spot - until you make the changes which spoil your advantage. 

In other words, someone who visits similar Web sites to their own and then sees their own site ranking number 1 because of their own personal search history - may be surprised when it looks like they're number 1 but they are the only ones who see their site in first place. Thus, what looks like a high top ranking to them - may in reality be number 80 to the rest of the world, so your sales drop off to zero because the rest of the world cannot find your Web site.
You are flying completely blind-folded and maybe did not even know it. 


It's the implications of personalization and "shuffled up" results, based on each individuals search history. 

So it's important to realize that traditional rank checking is finished finished with. Now some marketers will put a different spin on this and say "rankings are dead" or "SEO is dead." 

Listen up now. "Ranking" is not dead - it just needs to be understood in a different light. I'll say it again, ranking is not dead - it's just different than you thought it was. In the future, it will continue to become more different and for SEO professionals and business owners to be truly successful and maintain visibility, it will be a question of how your Web pages rank, FOR the biggest percentage of the most correct audience AND for what percentage of the time? 

These things are not so easily measured. 
But there are some powerful solutions to help you that don't have to be too complicated to understand. 

If you understand the challenge, then what is the best solution? 

Some say the solution is to watch your Analytic reports as opposed to rankings. Is the solution really to watch your Analytics reports? 

That's what some people will tell you.

Actually your analytics will tell you that your business is slow.

Analytics can tell you that your traffic is falling.

Analytics can tell you that you that you have a definite problem.

Analytics can detect a downward trend or reflect the history of sales being lost.

But no, watching analytics alone cannot ever tell you how to fix the problem. 

That is not the solution.

Be sure to read next week's 4th and final article:

Understanding A Solution To the Implications of the Personalization of Search - Part 4

If you don't want to wait?
Enjoy the Best SEO Educational Resources

Live instructional chats, Webinars, Basic and Advanced SEO courses all together at a very affordable price!

Access a wealth of SEO resources, live instructional Webinars, Instructional Archives, 
Basic and Advanced SEO self-study courses and access over 1000 pages of detailed 
strategies by Robin Nobles and John Alexander in a community of SEO Professionals.

Or attend one of our local community Search Engine Academies for in-depth skills on solutions to these issues and all of the other issues that are keeping your Web site from performing. Find local upcoming dates and locations

About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first comprehensive online search engine marketing courses. John is author of
an e-book called Wordtracker Magic and has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide. John is also Director of Search Engine Academy with localized Search Engine Academy training centers where the Complete SEO Mastery Workshop and 6 Month Mentoring program is taught locally to business owners and individuals in communities across North America and Internationally in Asia

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