When teaching an SEO class or working 1-on-1 with a client, we often notice that they see different search results than I do… if it is a classroom, different people will often see different results. Sometimes the actual organic search results are in a different order and sometimes the search results page has totally different information on it.
This flummoxes people but they generally understand easily that there are three causes :
- Personalization: if you are logged into Google, Google can change your results based on your search history.
- Geographic Bias: Google will definitely change your results if you perform a search in two different geographic area
- Plain old multivariate testing: Google shows different things to different people just to test it.
Sometimes the actual organic search results are in a different order.
If you want to try to de-personalize a search and de-geographic bias a search result, here is how you build a search string that does it:
- The google.co.uk will use the United Kingdom version of Google
- The &GL=US puts the geographic location back in the US, but without any geographic bias
- Finally, add &PWS=0 to “de-personalize” the results
Here are two links for Glenwood Springs you can try to see the difference:
- DePersonalize: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Glenwood+Springs&GL=US&PWS=0
- Normal: https://www.google.com/search?q=Glenwood+Springs