Are you suffering from ‘Personalised Search Results on Google’? Many clients complain about their search results, only to find that their search results have been personalised to rank their competitors higher because they are checking up on their competitors so often.

Search Results are personalised in either of two ways:

  • You are signed into Google - history may be turned on, or search results may be personalised based your Google plus tagging of various sites
  • You are not signed into Google - your search results may be customised based on signed out activity

Therefore when checking search results, you need to be:

  • signed out of Google
  • Have ‘signed out personalised search’ turned off
  • OR use a private window such as Google Chrome’s incognito mode

Another way of making sure that personalised search is turned off, is to include the &pws=0 variable at the end of the url of the Google query string.

Personalised search based on “location”

If the ISP that you are connected to is based in a different region to another person searching, they may see the Google local listings for their area as compared to yours.

Different Data Centres

If there is a current change in the algorithm happening, or new links data being integrated due to new linking for a website, the different data centres at Google may not be totally in sync. Moment by moment, there may be different rankings as your browser gets its data from different data centres.

Geographic Targeting

If you are searching on from New Zealand, and another person is looking on from Australia, there will be a New Zealand as compared to Australian bias in the results, despite you looking on the same search engine. Results can differ from an Australian looking at and a New Zealand based searcher looking on

To interpret the rankings for any one search phrase, all these different variations need to be taken into account.