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Mozilla vs IE results
Quite different results
anallawalla




msg:722028
 4:24 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Am looking at a site that is just coming into the SERPs at #2 in IE. In Firefox the site is nowhere to be found (from the same PC).

The DCs are not in sync, which explains why my PC using Firefox shows a total of 223,000 results while IE shows 134,000 results. A different PC pointed at a different DC using Firefox sees 223,000 results and his IE sees 232,000 results.

Has this browser-dependent SERP difference been noted before?

 

dodger




msg:722029
 4:37 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've noticed it plenty of times not only that but I often get different results on different computers in the same building and it's not a cache' issue.

ronburk




msg:722030
 4:46 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Has this browser-dependent SERP difference been noted before?

Yes. The issue is somewhat hard to construct a good Google query for, though, so it'll probably keep coming up over and over :-)

anallawalla




msg:722031
 4:53 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Dodger, Different PCs in a building will get different DCs and different results all the time, but I am referring to the same PC using an unchanged DC which gets different results in two browsers.

Ash

security geek




msg:722032
 5:05 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've noticed this too but its probably independent of the browser. When you visit a link your browser does a DNS lookup for the IP address. Both your browser and your IP stack remember the IP address so they don't have to keep bugging the DNS server. The computer's IP stack doesn't remember this very long but the browser can. So if you keep hitting google in Firefox you'll probably keep hitting the same DC. But wait a couple minutes and open IE and it will likely get a different IP address for a different DC, giving you different results.

Firefox even has plugins where you can adjust how long it keeps this information (eg; FasterFox). On a Windows 2000,XP,2003 computer you can clear the IP stack DNS setting from a command prompt by typing ipconfig /flushdns .

Try going to a command prompt (assuming Windows) and type "ping www.google.com" (without the quotes), make note of the IP address, type "ipconfig /flushdns", ping www.google.com again, note the IP address. You may have to do this a few times but you'll eventually get a different IP address.

sit2510




msg:722033
 5:24 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>> The DCs are not in sync, which explains why my PC using Firefox shows a total of 223,000 results while IE shows 134,000 results. A different PC pointed at a different DC using Firefox sees 223,000 results and his IE sees 232,000 results.

I don't think the different results that you see are dependent on the browsers. You are hitting different Data Centers and that has nothing to do with the type of browsers. If I'm not wrong, 223,000 results are from BD while 134,000 results from non-BD. To get a bigger and better picture, it would work best if you query by using Google datacenters tool, instead of default Google or any Google's specific IP.

anallawalla




msg:722034
 9:54 pm on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Stickies sent. Appreciate DCs and DNS flushing - all done and checked, but it doesn't seem to apply here.

Opera also sees the same results as IE. This has been tested on 8 PCs so far at home and work. Most have minimal Firefox plugins.

kaled




msg:722035
 12:42 am on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Try changing/switching off the user agent string (and disable javascript and cookies if you're feeling really paranoid). Also make sure that proxy settings are identical. Clear all caches, etc, again and recheck the results in different browsers.

I'm guessing, but I think you'll find the browser does not affect the results.

Kaled.

2by4




msg:722036
 8:48 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you use the google search box it sends out a query string with the mozilla id. You get different results slightly if you use that.

If you want to make a real test, all you have to do is go to google.com in the address bar, don't use the search box.

Open MSIE, Opera, and Firefox, enter google.com in each, manually, then do the search where you saw differences.

Also, make sure to delete your google cookies in each case, or block them, since each cookie in each browser might reflect different useage patterns.

This has been discussed many times here.

anallawalla




msg:722037
 2:33 am on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you use the google search box it sends out a query string with the mozilla id. You get different results slightly if you use that.

If you want to make a real test, all you have to do is go to google.com in the address bar, don't use the search box.

Did that.

Open MSIE, Opera, and Firefox, enter google.com in each, manually, then do the search where you saw differences.

Did that. Actually we use Google.com.au with Pages from Australia selected. Not interested in google.com for this exercise.

Also, make sure to delete your google cookies in each case, or block them, since each cookie in each browser might reflect different useage patterns.

Did that. Cookie deletion is standard practice when checking out such anomalies.

This has been discussed many times here.

If what I am reporting is not covered above, then it is something new. We are seeing changing behaviour. At times both browsers showed the same results and same total count; yesterday the site of interest was showing only in IE (IE6 and IE7 beta) but today it shows only in Firefox with a total count almost twice the quantity. Also seeing this for other searches. I will check this with Vista in the weekend on a virgin machine.

So far WW members have stickied me that they see different results in the US and India to what I am seeing.

Maybe regional Googles are behaving differently. I am not obsessed with finding out why this is happening - just reporting that this is a curiosity and that all the suggestions have been tried.

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