That's why it's important to regularly Google your company name, product name or your own name. It's nearly impossible to get "pure" search engine results anymore, as Google serves up results based on your location, sites you've visited and other data it knows about you. However, Meyers says, you can get a less personalized look at results using Google Chrome's incognito browsing mode and setting your location to "United States" (or another country).
More Ways to Stay in Google's Good Graces
Here are several additional strategies that will help keep you a step ahead of changing algorithms.
Stay up to date. Google will only continue to refine and update its algorithms, so stay on top of it by readings SEO blogs; attending conferences such as Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo and the Online Marketing Summit, and regularly visiting the aforementioned SEOMoz Google Algorithm Change History.
Keep your bounce rates low. If lots of Google users find a page on your site in a keyword search, click to go that page and then quickly return to Google's search results, your page will have a high bounce rate. That's a signal that users didn't find your content helpful-and Google is "starting to consider signals like that from user behavior" when ranking content, Meyers says.
Get visitors engaged in your content. When evaluating links from external pages pointing to your content, Google is increasingly looking for "real social activity and commenting on your content," Martin says. "Google wants to see a qualifying scale of true human interaction with a page before it counts a link from that page as a true vote for your site." Links to your content shared across Google+ are one way for Google to validate the user engagement of your content, he adds.
The bottom line: "Create great content that people want, instead of content just designed to get eyeballs to your site," Martin says. "Great content will get true interaction from actual people. That's what's best for your business now, and that's what will be best for your business in the future."
James A. Martin is an SEO and social media consultant and writes the CIO.com Martin on Mobile Apps blog. Follow him on Twitter. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.