The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

First Page Google Search Claims – Dig Deeper

1st page google claimsI remember when postcards and flyers – worked! I remember when they were the preferred method of marketing in the real estate space. Not anymore. Consumers have shifted their behavior – online. Today, over 90% of consumers start their home search on the Internet. This “shift” in behavior has caused a land rush – on the Internet. Real estate agents accustomed to fighting for market share with direct mail are now fighting for a different kind of real estate – One of the top TEN coveted spaces available on the 1st page of Google.

It makes sense. Being on the 1st page of Google is the closest thing I can think of to having your product or service prominently displayed [to consumers] at the exact moment in time they have identified a need for it. In direct mail terms, it’s like your “postcard” arriving at the exact moment someone is ready to buy or sell a home. The real estate agents that understand the significance of the Internet in their business are scrambling to learn as much as possible about getting “found” online. This interest in learning how to grow their real estate business has spawned a plethora of Internet “guru’s” that are now teaching classes on Internet marketing. There is only one problem  – some of them are full of crap. Some demonstrate a first page rank for terms NO ONE [no human anyway] would search for. Ranking for “Tempe Real Estate” is great! Ranking for “Tempe Real Estate for sale DOG included”” is not. Why? Because No One in their right mind would ever type that into a search engine!


Yep, I said it. CRAP, CRAP, CRAP, CRAP, CRAP. {Some} Current and former industry professionals, have flooded the real estate space with their “Look who I got on the 1st page of Google” crap.  They offer evidence of this feat in the form of screen shots and videos. Rather, manipulated screen shots and videos. Look closer and you will notice the offender cut off the top right corner of their Google screen shot. What’s there Stephen? Great question! That is where there are 2 very important words that put search results in the correct context. Those words are their name. Seeing their name, [Stephen Garner] on the top right means they are signed into their Google account while searching.


No Bueno


Being signed into your Google account scews your search results. If you search for “Scottsdale Homes For Sale” (a competitive search term I’m sure) enough times [while signed into your Google account] Google will scew or “display” your results based upon your previous searches. Meaning, If you search for “Scottsdale Homes For Sale” enough times, you will be on the 1st page of your own search result. This is not a true representation. It’s Google customizing your search results based on your past search activity.  From Google:

Types of customizations

  • Search history
    Sometimes, we customize your search results based on your past search activity on Google, such as searches you’ve done or results you’ve clicked.If you’re signed in to your Google Account and have Web History enabled, these customizations are based on your Web History. If you’re signed in and don’t have Web History enabled, no search history customizations will be made. (Using Web History, you can control exactly what searches are stored and used to personalize your results. 

    If you aren’t signed in to a Google Account, your search results may be customized based on past search information linked to your browser using a cookie. Because many people might be searching on one computer, Google doesn’t show a list of previous search activity on this computer. Read more

In short you cannot get a true representation of how you or your website ranks in Google if you are signed into your Google account OR if you have web history enabled. The next time you run into a “guru” or expert demonstrating a 1st page search result for a common search term, you should search the same keyword’s/keyword phrases on your computer. They may be signed into their Google account or have web history enabled. Either one will scew the results and not provide an actual representation of rank. Ranking on the 1st page of Google for competitive terms takes a lot of hard work and time. It truly is a marathon and not a sprint. Be weary of anyone that tell you they can get you on the 1st page of Google – Dig Deeper.

Whether these “guru’s are signed into their accounts or not while demonstrating a top rank in Google is irrelevant. At worst – the “Guru” is intentionally being misleading and at best the “Guru” should have known how Google works. Either way, they should take some time to learn from some of the good old boys that have been doing web design, SEO and SEM for years……Like I did. Wait, you didn’t think I was one of the “former” industry professionals teaching classes did you?

Did you?

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Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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  • Allen Henderson

    Good point Stephen. I went along for along time thinking was doing better than I really was because Google shows you what they think you want to see, based on your google history. When I want a truly un-prejudiced search result, I go to the local library. Their computer cookies and histories are scrubbed every evening and yield truly organic results.

    Allen Henderson
    The Ahwatukee Broker

    Former Title Rep.? I didn’t know! Que passo????

    • MyTitleGuy

      At least you were smart enough to realize it Allen :-) We are announcing classes next week on WordPress next week, hope to see you there. Hope all is well, it’s been awhile. Check out the new site

    • Stephen Garner

      Yep, “former”. After 10 years it was time to do my own thing. We have some very exciting things going on. In addition to real estate agents we are building and managing sites for title companies on the east coast, as well as the law and restaurant industries.

  • The Col.

    Allen I think you can clear your history by holding the Ctrl key and then hittiing r or f5

  • Jeff

    Another cool way to search is

    • Jeff

      to search your site from a seperate proxy server…