Additionally, Google has tried to incorporate a more personal experience using location, search history, and social media behavior (e.g., past +1s) in results for logged-in users. The result based on additional factors is called “personalized search.” It isn’t new, but it is important as brands consider their relationships with customers, fans, and prospects.
Personalization algorithms compared with universal search can make it difficult to get an idea of where your brand site or other Web assets rank for your audience. Though there are ways to determine the average ranking through Google Webmaster Tools, many companies rely on employees to conduct regular searches and might not realize they’re working with data heavily influenced by the personal relationship with the company.
If you’re looking to gauge the success of your SEO program, consider monitoring the following:
• Total SEO traffic to site and webpage(s). Most website analytics tools provide standard traffic details. Consider looking at the time period before you loaded a piece of content or conducted a PR initiative versus the time period after. If you see a notable increase in traffic, consider it a success.