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Friends get different search results for same query

They can see my site is listed, but I can't?

9:33 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 28, 2003
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I hope I am not asking a dumb question here, but I couldn't find anything like this when searching this site.

Here is what's happening:

I just noticed my site is listed in Yahoo, because my stats show someone found me. When I search for the particular keywords on Yahoo myself, my site is nowhere to be found.

I asked a friend if he could have a look and he told me my site ranks fourth for the keywords.

I then asked another friend to have a look, but my site doesn't show up when she performs the search.

Next, I went to one of those "check your Yahoo rankings" pages and that page told me I was indeed listed fourth for that particular query.

How is this possible? Is Yahoo serving IP based results? My friends and I are all in the same town in the same country, so IP-based results does sound strange to me. Any other clues?

11:51 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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joined:Sept 24, 2002
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I'm not sure what is going on either. I'm seeing different data sets and different titles depending on which browser I use. I don't know if it's a coincidence or what. When I search for "widgets" with an IE browser I get one set of results with the titles saying one thing, then I immediately do the exact same search with an Opera or NS browser and get different results with different titles. Keep in mind not all the sites are different, some of the same sites remain. That's how I can tell the titles are different. Who knows?

Maybe it's a coincidence and the data sets are changing in the middle of the day.

9:52 am on May 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 7, 2003
votes: 0

Two things here.

There are multiple datacenters which aren't always in synch. Therefore the same search can give different results. This is the same for all search engines.

Yahoo claims to have technology built in which alters the results based on your previous search query. I don't know how they do the tracking but this may also affect search results.

10:55 pm on May 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 28, 2003
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Now the page doesn't show up anywhere anymore. Not in my friends' browser and not in the "check your Yahoo rankings" tool. Straaaange stuff. It has just disappeared again. What a shame, those were pretty nice keywords my page was found with. :-(

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