If you use Gmail, your search results will be ‘personalised’ by Google. If you are signed in, your results will really be tailored to reflect what you have previously clicked on. Even when you are not signed into a Google account, your experience will still be personalised based on past search information linked to a cookie in your browser.

I recently had one customer who used Google+ and was always logged into her Google account. She thought her page was ranking on page 1 in the Search Engine Rankings. She signed out and thought something bad had happened to her website because she was no longer on page 1. The reality is that she was never on page 1. Google was showing her personalised rankings.

I don’t think that most users are aware that Google is doing this for them. Is this a good or a bad thing? What do you think?

(Updated 15 June 2015 – It’s an old post, but I think it’s still something many people don’t understand.)