Does Google return different results based on location?

10 replies
  • SEO
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I'm rather new to SEO, but I was happy thinking I had a site ranked on page one for a keyword, but when I asked a friend in a different state to Google the term, they had completely different results. In fact, I then did the Google search, saved the url for the search (showing the site I was interested in on the first page) and yet, when they clicked on the url they said they still had the same results and the targeted site wasn't there.

The keyword is not location specific at all.

Is this normal and how can I account for it?
#based #google #location #results #return
  • Profile picture of the author KirkMcD
    It's normal. They can even have different results in the same state depending on which data center was used.
    Then of course there are personlized results based on a users search history.

    No you can't compensate for the different results from different data centers.

    Personalized results? If logged in to google, log out, also clear your browser history and any coookies.
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    Thank you, I'll see if it's personalized results on my end.
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    Okay, it must have been a combination of things. I cleared my history and now the keyword url slipped to page 4. I'll recheck with my friend later but she claimed it wasn't showing up on the first six pages (six pages is her limit :-) yesterday. So, it could be her personalized setting or it could be the location making up the remaining difference.

    Bummer, now I must get back to work on this :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author scott g
      Originally Posted by Transcripts View Post

      Okay, it must have been a combination of things. I cleared my history and now the keyword url slipped to page 4. I'll recheck with my friend later but she claimed it wasn't showing up on the first six pages (six pages is her limit :-) yesterday. So, it could be her personalized setting or it could be the location making up the remaining difference.

      Bummer, now I must get back to work on this :-)

      Could be both.

      Figure out your SERP position using:
      Don't rely on plain old Google search from your computer... Ever for rankings!


      CHEERS!
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      scott g
      "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

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  • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
    Originally Posted by Transcripts View Post

    I'm rather new to SEO, but I was happy thinking I had a site ranked on page one for a keyword, but when I asked a friend in a different state to Google the term, they had completely different results. In fact, I then did the Google search, saved the url for the search (showing the site I was interested in on the first page) and yet, when they clicked on the url they said they still had the same results and the targeted site wasn't there.

    The keyword is not location specific at all.

    Is this normal and how can I account for it?

    Just FYI, Yes, you absolutely can turn up different search results in Google, not only in the same state or even in the same city, but also in the same OFFICE. There are literally thousands of Google servers serving up results. At any given time you will hit a different one than someone else. Plus, some portion of those are dedicated to testing G's near-daily algorithm tweaks.

    Localizing results is Google's latest push and it seems you are getting hit with that. Google also personalizes results, so if you are logged in that may impact you. They are only going to localize more terms over time, so you'll need to address it. Even terms like 'jiu jitsu' will show up localized, even though it doesn't seem like it should.
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    Thank you. I will check out the links. It's a bit daunting, because you can't control whether someone is using personalized searches or localized. Fun stuff.
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by Transcripts View Post

      Thank you. I will check out the links. It's a bit daunting, because you can't control whether someone is using personalized searches or localized. Fun stuff.
      lol, welcome to SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Banks
    most differences are by country. Google does have geotargeting. If I use google.ca when I search it returns more .ca domains
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Google factors in your ISPs GEO-location.

    If you travel from one end of the state to the next running on free wifi, you'll get local results for your actual location within a few miles of the ISP. So you could be switching ISP multiple times while driving down the highway.

    Not to mention the entire country coast to coast.
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    Hi
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  • Profile picture of the author Microsys
    You can also try the rank checker in A1 Keyword Research.

    There are no personalized results since no cookies etc. And it can check the various Google country domains + force country/language query parameter. Easier than messing with it inside your browser if you have lots of queries to check.

    (If you need more search engine / country variations, let me know, but version 3.2 added quite a few)
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