I frequently use Google to search for results on my own site, so you would expect that when using Google Personalized Search, pages on my own domain would rank higher for very obvious specific search results.
You would be wrong…
The Most Personal Searches
Whilst I was tempted to demonstrate this with a specific piece of content, there are too many other known or unknown factors involved.
In the end the best demonstration of this strange phenomena, some might look on it as a bug, was perhaps the most personal of all searches, and ego search.
Ego Search For Andy
That order has changed fairly recently, because Matt the Dancer is topical
Unfortunately for me, even Andy which is an abbreviated form of Andrew has almost as many results in Google as Matt, and of course there is also a WordPress developer called Andy Skelton.
Then of course there are all the “notable” Andy’s who have a Wikipedia page dedicated to them.
I also read a lot of blogs written by people called Andy, and I have visited a few other sites from searching for Andy in the past.
Personalized Search Results For Andy
Google now state in the search results window that you are looking at Personalized Search Results. I haven’t seen anyone mention this, but I haven’t been reading quite as many feeds for the last few weeks as normal.
16th for a personalized search for Andy –
Then I noticed the text about this being a personalized result, and thought it would be a good idea to test this without personalized results switched on.
Normal Search Results For Andy
This could be datacenter related – I am gaining in ranking for ego searches at a reasonable rate, and personalized search could use a newer or older dataset compared to the main index.
I believe since I first started using personalized search I have clicked through on more search results containing the word “andy” to my own site than I have clicked through to Andy Beal or Andy Hagans.
I also spend a lot more time on my own site, and click through on general results to my own site more than I have to Andy Beal or Andy Hagans.
Why do I rank higher for “Andy” in the non-personalized results? (13th place)
p.s. I noted that Andy Skelton for some reason now has both his blogs set to noindex nofollow though it is still showing in the main Google index, but not the personal results. Matt Harding’s blog on typepad is also showing noindex, nofollow