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Different Google rankings with cookies removed

 9:37 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)


I stopped reading news regarding SEO long time ago so maybe I missed something.

I've been working a site for the last few days, ofter entering my keywords in google to see what's my position.

Today I noticed that I'm at #4 postition which suprised me. To be sure, I used proxy to see that I'm actually at #20 postition. The same happened when I removed google's cookies.

In short: It looks like Google somehow customize the results, basing on cookies, does it? Btw: no, I was not logged in (I've read somewhere that indeed google brings somehow customized results for logged in users, but, as I said, I wasn't logged in).

So, does google change the results, after identifyng users basing on cookies?



 9:55 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yep, whether you're logged in or out Google is personalizing your results. If you're logged out it uses six months (I think) of your search history based on your cookie.


 10:03 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)



 11:41 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google differentiates between two things: Personalized Results (logged in, search history based) and Customized Results (logged out, mostly cookie based).

I'm finding that I get the most neutral results by turning off search history and being logged in - or being logged out with cookies disabled. My search history is now permanently paused, but sometimes I end up searching while logged in to some other Google account for someone I'm trying to help - and then I can really get an eyeful.


 2:10 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

you also need to be careful with your location. if you are using an international proxy you likely see different rankings from connecting directly through your local isp location.

ps be careful with typing, adding an extra space will change serps.


 2:52 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

It says that if you want to check the real rank, you must clear the cookie?


 3:08 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

check the real rank

Is there such a thing as a "real rank" at this point? Given all the variables, I'd say this is a notion that may no longer be valid ~ the best we can hope for is an "approximate rank". It depends on your settings, your location, your search history, your etc your etc. What's real for you on Monday may not be real for anyone else at the exact same instant, and on Tuesday it may not be real for you either. Welcome to Google 2010, where nothing is "real" for very long.



 3:10 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

if you're logged out, and you click on 'web history' in the top right, then there's an option to "Disable customizations based on search activity"
im pretty sure that will stop your results being skewed by cookies.


 3:45 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

"Disable customizations based on search activity"

Is that recent? I thought I read somewhere that you couldn't opt out. Must be the old gray matter coupled with the old eyes.

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