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Different results when I edit a search term

 4:28 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've noticed for a while that when I edit a search term in the search box the display refreshes to show the new set of results, However today I'm finding that the results are different from when I open a new page and type in the search term.

As an example; if I go to google.co.uk and type in red widgets, I get one set of results. If however I type in blue widgets, then edit it changing the 'blue' to 'red' the results are different.

I've tried deleting my search history, blocking the google cookies, deleting the existing google cookies but I get the same result.

Anyone got any ideas about why thias should happen?



 4:55 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi superclown2. I've fun a few example tests this afternoon and see no difference. You may be simply hitting different data centers therefore receiving different SERPS.

Can you provide any example URLs and/or screenshots?


 6:21 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi chrisianis. I don't think the TOS here allow URLs or screenshots. I agree, it probably is different data centres but the only results that come near to the ones I'm seeing are mainland Europe ones, and I'm in the UK. It's sporadic, doesn't happen every time so perhaps it's a load-balancing system?


 9:32 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google tries to personalizes all SERPS. One way they do this is based on previous search history.

For example if you only search for "widget" you will see general widget sites. If you search for "repair widget" and then search for "widget" you'll likely see sites about repairing ranking higher in the "widget" results.


 9:56 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Although it hasn't been discussed much so far, Google Suggestions have been getting more and more localized and personalized in recent weeks - and Instant Results are triggered by those suggestions. I heard one SEO who watches Suggestions quite closely say they are not different at least to the granularity of the useer's telephone area code.

Added to that, query revisions are one area that Google watches intensively. There are big clues in that data about how well their search results are matching user needs. So it doesn't really surprise me to hear that editing a query term can generate a different set of results. I haven't noticed it myself, but it doesn't surprise me. So thanks for bring up the topic - I'll keep an eye out for this behavior.

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