Episode 034: The One About How Google Fools You

How Google Fools You

I’m going to talk today about localized search results and what it means for you, what it means for your patients, what we’re seeing dentists running into as far as problems with checking their own search results with the localization and personalization that Google and Bing are doing right now. In the good old days you could go out to Google and you could search for yourself and you could see where you’re ranking and to a degree you could still do that today. I talked a little bit about yesterday with the blending of search results. Search engine ranking reports really don’t matter anymore not that they ever really mattered because search engine ranking shouldn’t matter to a dentist at all. It’s an okay metric to look at for “I’m doing good, or I’m doing bad, or I’m on the right track,” but if you’re not tracking phone calls if you’re basing all your success on your search engine ranking reports I’d be really concerned but with the blending of search results search engine ranking reports have just really gone out the door, they hold no value that they hold no purpose anymore. With localization and personalization of search results what Google is doing is they are you use to be able to go out and search for say Santa Cruz dentist and a dentist in Santa Cruz, California, a dentist in Salem, Washington, a dentist in Chicago, Illinois. a dentist in Florida would all see the same organic search results appearing for those searches. Now of course the adwords results are tailored based on location but that’s not what we’re discussing here, we’re talking about only the organic results and now a days what we’re seeing is not only are the paid results, which have always been tailored by location, we’re also seeing the organic results and with the blending of the search engines the local and adword search results that are also being tailored based on the location of the searcher. The search engines Google and Microsoft Bing are getting increasingly adept at pinpointing somebody’s location whether it’s on your cell phone and they’re using your GPS transceiver or there are even phones that do not have GPS, if you’ve been on Google maps in the last two or three years for phones that don’t have GPS, Google Maps offers a triangulation feature, if you ever watched NCIS or those cop mystery shows on TV where they find the killer before he kills anybody and they have those little antennas on the top of their vehicle as they’re driving around trying to find somebody on their cell phone, same concept, they are triangulating based on signal strength between the cell towers to locate your position within a couple dozen meters if there’s several towers in the area that they can triangulate from if you’re in a rural area and there’s only a couple towers around they may only be able to pinpoint your area within a half mile radius of the tower if you’re only within receiving range of one tower. They know where you’re at on your cell phone, with your computers they have your IP address they know where you’re at to a certain degree and they are tailoring these search results to where you are and what they think is the best content to deliver to you. You really have to put yourself in Google’s shoes, spin the table, Google is just trying to make money and they are testing, they are the king of the split test, they are going to find every possible way to deliver the best possible results to their customer and their customer is you or your patients, the person that is searching. They want to deliver the best possible results to them because that’s how they make money. If they started delivering crap results people would stop searching, they’d go to other search engines so this is why Google controls 80% of the US market share of searching because they’re the best. When you’re searching for yourself and maybe you drive 15, 20, 30 minutes home at night and you’re on the computer late at night, kids are in bed and you’re checking out your search engine ranking for yourself keep in mind that if you have driven away from your office, if you’re not in the area, even if you’re right down the road if it’s a metropolitan area Google is localizing those search results. Now talking about personalization of search results, also make sure when you’re searching that you’re searching you are logged out of your Google profile. In the top right hand corner if it has your account in the corner you’re logged in and Google is actually personalizing search results based on your past history. You can go into your Google account and pull up all your history forever for your past searching and if Google sees you’ve clicked on this website before, you’ve searched for Chicago implant dentists ten times in the last six months and everytime you click on your own website Google knows, hey I have to deliver this result again and they’re going to deliver that to you so make sure you’re logged out, I would go as far as clear your cookies maybe even do a private browsing session in Chrome because without a doubt Google is doing everything they can to monetize their customers right now and cookies, there’s been a lot of research data on tracking browsers without even using cookies. Think of your fingerprint, the ID that your computer has, the browser, the version, the type of plug ins that you have, the fingerprint of your browser without using any cookies, without using any kind of tracking system strictly only looking at the type of browser and computer that you have when you’re accessing their website has been proven to be unique like one out of 300,000 was the study that was done a couple years back. Even if you’re logged out, you clear your cookies Google and the search engines can still practically uniquely identify you just based on the fingerprint of your computer. I would go so far as to tell you to pull out your iPad or device you haven’t used before, go down to Starbuck’s, you really want to get a fair sampling of your search results to the average person because of personalization and localization, you practically have to be crazy about it these days. That gives you kind of an overview of where things are at with that in regards to search engines these days.


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