If you own a website, SEO and Google rankings are probably very important to you. You may even spend a lot of time checking search terms related to your niche to see where you rank on Google.
Is this you?
You log into your Google Analytics dashboard to check your traffic stats then pop over to the Webmasters tools to look at your Search Analytics to see what keywords people are using to get to your site. Then you decide to test out a few to see where you ranked.
Lo and behold you didn’t rank too badly with many of your pages appearing on the first page of Google. Don’t rejoice just yet.
False positives in Google search
I noticed I was appearing high up in Google search for a variety of keywords. Whilst doing my happy dance, I paused to think about what I’d done to deserve it. The things I write about are mostly commonplace and written about by millions of other bloggers and media outlets. It’s not that I didn’t want to pat myself on the back, I’m just overly cautious and with good reason.
I decided to do the same searches in a different browser to see if I got the same results. I didn’t. Did it have something to do with cookies? No. The difference was being logged into my Google account.
Google has 200 ranking factors but I don’t think being logged into your Google account is one of them but for whatever reason, when you are logged in your keyword searches rank higher and you will be lulled into a false sense of security. So when checking on your keywords make sure you are logged out of your Google account.
Try it and see for yourself. When you are logged in even your Google+ pages may appear on page one. When you are logged out the results are very different.
I haven’t found a reason for this but I’m glad I discovered the discrepancy because no one wants to live a lie.