Am I Really on Google First Page?
Search Engine Optimisation is both challenging and rewarding. If you’re just starting out, it can seem an enormous challenge—almost as daunting as starting to learn a new language. However, what you put into it is what you’ll get out from it. With enough hard work—intelligent “hard work” would be more correct—you’ll start to see progress, and therein lies a great deal of reward. While the champagne should be kept on ice until the campaign turns potential clients that find you in search results into actual clients, tracking your tangible progress is a fantastic reward too. Nothing, however, is more deflating and counterproductive than thinking you’re doing better than you are. And there’s every chance you’re over-estimating your progress, and even prematurely celebrating Google first page success, without this little insight…
Our computer-buddies are clever little things. Yet sometimes their smarts can work against our efforts. For instance, your internet browser is designed to save websites you’ve viewed, and feature these “cached” sites in future search results. For example, you’ve probably seen search results with a message similar to this one before: “You’ve visited this page two times. Last visit: 14/08/13.”
While this is very helpful if you’re looking for the same website each time, in doing price comparisons, for instance, it can foster a false sense of SEO success. In other words, since you’ve no doubt viewed your own website a few times—and if you’ve been working on it for any reason, you’ve probably checked it countless times—your browser will include your site on your “first page” of search results. “Yay! I’m on Google first page!”
The delirious excitement of scaling the “first page” summit will give way to a cavernous low upon realising that this is not the “first page” result viewed by anyone else.
Google First Page ~ Getting an Honest Look
The answer? Clear your browsing history.
How do you do that?
The one disadvantage of clearing your browser is you might lose your saved login information to sites you prefer to stay logged into such as Facebook and your mail server. Since I use Google Chrome, here’s how I get around this particular inconvenience. (I’m sure the other browsing platforms have similar functionality.) The magic lies in:
CONTROL + SHIFT + N
Open a new tab, and push the Control, Shift, and N keys together to go “incognito.” Incognito mode allows you to search the internet without recording your history. In other words, if you want to see how your website is faring in search results, enter incognito mode, and type in your SEO keywords. This will give you an “honest” view of where you feature in search results.
While this might prove underwhelming at first, only an honest reading of your progress will help you achieve your first-page Google goal.