5 reasons to why SEO’s see different search results than clients
I am sure all SEO companies faced this problem at least once, where a client looking up their keywords online would see different website ranking than the ones stated in the ranking reports. How do you convince the clients that you aren’t trying to cheat them.
Below are 4 reasons as to why that might be the case.
We know that search engines like Google and Bing custom trailer your search based on your previous queries, websites you have visited recently and the search results you have previously clicked. So by the sound of things your search results get biased by default.
One of the major ways search engines collect user’s browsing history by planting cookies into signed-out users’ browsers. For instance, you are signed in with your Gmail account. Your Web history will be recorded there. And, if you are signed out of all your Google accounts, Google will send tracking cookies to your browser and your browsing history will be kept track of with the help of those cookies.
To avoid this, sign-out of all your accounts, clear browser cookies and perform the search again,
Search engines can tell where you are because they know your IP address. Hence, they also tweak your search results based on what would be of interest for your specific location. For example, if you look up “coffee shop” and you are searching from London, you will probably see websites of cafes close to you. Search engines also look at the language of your browser and take it into account while personalizing your results.
Social Media Activity
Now that Google’s +1 button and Google+ have been introduced, there is even more tweaking of the search results based on your Google contacts plus-one. For example, if a contact from your:
- Gmail chat list,
- Google Plus,
- Google Contacts list,
- Google Reader, or
- Google Buzz
plus-ones a webpage or a search result (no comments on the idiosyncratic nature of that), the +1′d page may appear higher in your personalized SERPs and will contain your friend’s “recommendation.”
To nullify the effect your social media activity has on your search results, sign out of all your social media accounts and clear your browser cookies.
Thing is, search engines nowadays sprinkle their “regular” search results with Video, Images, News and other types of results. This is what they call Universal Search – a system of blended search results, first introduced by Google in 2007.
So, if we are talking about a given site’s positions in the SERPs, it’s also important to consider what part of Universal Search results we are talking about. Are we talking about everything? Or just Images?
So, users may see different search results while looking up one and the same term for the various reasons noted above. And, if your clients have questions regarding this, simply refer them to this article.