A Shocking Fact About Google

June 11th, 2009 by Bob Bly

Did you know that your web site can actually have different positions in Google — depending on who is searching for them!

?Several things can account for differences in search engine position results,? says my SEO guru Ed Taylor. ?One factor is the Google server (data center) that is accessed. Google has many data centers around the world and they often have slightly different rankings.?

Another factor affecting the results you see in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is the location of your PC. According to Ed, the organic rankings can also be affected by the computer’s location. This is very evident on searches that Google deems of a local nature (i.e. a dentist). In the case of local searches, very often the Google Map setting will appear with a group of listings specific to the local area.

Ranking differences can also result from the searcher?s computer settings. Computers that are logged into a Google account often display different ranking results that than those that are not. These results are influenced by the web sites the searcher has visited in the past.

Action step: when checking your site ranking on Google, has several people in different locations search on your keyword and let you know where you appear.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 6:21 am and is filed under Online Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

348 responses about “A Shocking Fact About Google”

  1. David J. Peyton said:

    I wanted to add to this awesome post. If you have a Google account, your search results actually vary if you are logged into your account.

    Try it – search for something when you are logged in, and then search for the same thing when logged out.

  2. Bob Bly said:

    David: I say this in the original post:

    “Computers that are logged into a Google account often display different ranking results that than those that are not.”

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  5. Achinta Mitra said:

    I learned something new from this post. I don’t recall any of the SEO gurus ever mentioning anything about being logged into your Google account.

    I just checked for one of my key phrases, when logged in I’m at #3 and after logging out, I dropped to #11. WOW!

    Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Morgan said:

    This so-called “shocking fact” about Google has been known in the SEO industry for years. The best way to view core Google indexes, the rankings uninfluenced by your browsing history and location, is to clear out your browser’s cookies, cache, etc. and then do a search.

  7. Bob Bly said:

    Morgan: I did not say that the fact is new. I said it is “shocking” — to me, at least — because I never heard it before. And I have a successful online business which has employed several SEO consultants who never volunteered the fact to me until I asked. (I also read constantly and have never seen it mentioned in any article that has crossed my desk.)

  8. Sante said:

    Here is a small tip I hope will help you and other readers of your blog: To make sure you are seeing results that are not skewed to your tastes and likings append the following parameter at the end of the Google URL after you run a query:

    &pws=0

    You might see the results change significantly.

    Just another reason not to trust (too much) ranking reports.

    Hope this helps 🙂

  9. tyre changers said:

    I just discovered this too, it seems because I obviously visit my own site alot it was showing me first. Then I realised I was logged in doh!

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