In the past, methods for measuring the effectiveness of search optimisation were based on understanding natural rankings for terms that drive revenue or leads for a particular site, but a recent change to Google’s algorithms “dramatically changes” how marketers should monitor success.

This is according to Ray Comstock of Search Engine Watch, who said localisation and personalisation have had a major impact on search engine optimisation (SEO).

He added that where a user is and who they are when they enter their query now makes a “profound difference” to what Google returns.

As a result, old ranking reports that detail the position of a particular site on a particular search engine for a given keyword are no longer reliable for judging performance as they only capture a snapshot in time and “may or may not be indicative of the general trend in ranking for this query for most users”.

Mr Comstock said marketers therefore need to switch to Google Webmaster Tools, which takes issues like personalisation and localisation into account.

In related news, Eric Enge of Search Engine Watch recently said it takes “consistent – and constant” investment in expanding SEO knowledge in order for companies to stay at the top of organic rankings.

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