I discovered something about Google recently that could be of great use to Average Joe business owners.

Now, a word of warning here. I’m a Virtual Assistant at heart. I’m a helper, a doer, a supporter. As a Social Media Virtual Assistant, I spend a lot of time learning about digital technology that can benefit my customers. I am not an SEO expert. I’m more a Social Media kind of gal. The Social Media principle that creating useful content about your niche is good for your business seems logical to me. SEO tricks and tips to squeeze your way up the search rankings is of interest, but I find it’s complicated and difficult to keep up with.

That said, I do use Market Samurai* to check the SEO aspects of my website. I also like to periodically check my Google rankings manually for my most important keywords. If you use Gmail, did you know that when you are logged into Google your search results will be different to what other people see? Because you’re logged in, Google alters the listings to show you sites you have previously viewed. I had clicked on my own site more often than competitor websites, so it ranked my site higher.

I’m sure that any SEO people will be rolling their eyes, saying “that’s obvious”, but I’m also sure that the majority of us mortals, just didn’t even realise that Google was serving up personalised search results.

The moral of the story here is that you must log out of Google if you want to check your Search engine rankings.

Social Search – Serving Up Unexpected Changes

Many small business owners are barely hanging onto the coat tails of the businesses and thought leaders leading the Digital Revolution. Unfortunately, I fear that new trends with Social Media could see many small business owners losing their grip completely. Users who sign into Google on their computers may notice that the smiling faces of their Social Media friends are popping up near Google listings.

Do you see the benefit of Social Search?

Not convinced? Let’s say that you connect with Average Joe business owner on Twitter. Average Joe searches for your service. Average Joe is logged into his Google account, so his search results are personalised without him even being aware of it. Your smiling face from your Twitter profile pops up beneath a link to your website. He recognises your face from your Twitter picture and clicks on your link. Without giving it much conscious thought, he is impressed with your online presence and is reassured that you must be a reputable and stable company to have such a prominent listing.

Social Media Advice for Small Businesses

My advice to all business owners is to start making connections with Social Media. Either start learning to do it yourself or outsource your Social Media presence to a Social Media Virtual Assistant.
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*I am an affiliate of Market Samurai, and I will earn a small commission if you buy from my link. I personally use this tool regularly.