So, if you search the same thing as I do, I don’t get the same results?

Short answer? No, you don’t.
Is this answer sufficient? Skip the rest!

Your Google Search depends on more than 200 clues

If you want a more detailed description on how Google Search works, read How does Google work?

Most of the time search results are different because they depend on more than 200 factors (clues) like:

  • Your Google account (if you are logged in) and the search history associated to it
  • Your geographic location
    Local sites and businesses usually get preference in the search results
  • Your IP address (on which your geographic location might be based)
  • Your cookies and other information about sites you have visited that is stored in your browser
  • The local Google site you are using (.com, .us, nl etc)
  • Your computer network and the type of traffic that usually comes from it
  • Data from your Google+ profile
  • The Google ‘data center‘ that serves you your results
  • Which browser you are using (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge etc)
  • Your operating system (Windows,  Linux, Android, iOS etc)
  • Your device (tablet, desktop, laptop, smartphone)
  • Your device’s specifications (resolution, cpu etc)
  • Your searching patterns (automated or not. Irregular or regular)
  • Your current search session (what you have searched for before, even if you don’t store cookies)
  • What Google thinks your demographics are
  • Your personal search entity (social media profiles for example)
  • Retargeting data from Google’s search partners (remember visiting a website and later on seeing ads for that site popping up all over the place?)

These are just a few that could affect the search results. Google Personalized Search has been around since 2004.

So whichever way you do it, there are no ‘pure’ search results.

Google’s index is constantly being updated so even the same search on the same machine (and everything else the same) can yield different results.

How will I know how my page rank?

You can use Ranking tools like SERPs rank checker to check your ranking but these tools are on a network, on a device and have a search history so the 200+ factors still apply.
You can only use tools like that to see results that aren’t yours.

When using logged into Google when searching you can change your search settings so fewer clues will be taken into account when doing a search

Don’t worry!

In most cases the results will be very similar to your friend’s though.

Knowing that this is going on gives you more power to master SEO.

What about you? Have you noticed different results?
Leave your comment below.

Send this to a friend