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Different Results in different browsers - even after cache clear

 8:52 am on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi, this is driving me mad. I am seeing different SERPs in FF to IE to Safari. Which one is "right"?

Even after clearing all history, I see my site at #1 when I know (or think I do) that it's about #6. Checking the same SERP in IE shows a different result so I check on my phone with Safari and it's different again. It's really annoying. Any site that I click on seems to be favoured in the SERP - after clearing all history it will still be there for a couple of days. I should mention that I am not signed in to G but I wonder if the google toolbar is the culprit somehow?



 3:56 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is no one "right" ranking these days - as you've discovered. Logged out, logged in, different browsers, different cities, different times of day... the list goes on and on.

If you have a Webmaster Tools account, check the rankings report in there by clicking on one of the keywords. You'll get a picture of all the different ways that keyword has ranked in the past month.

Ranking reports are more of a diagnostic help these days than a core metric. Search traffic is more useful for me, and conversions from search traffic even more so.


 4:19 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Try these

1) delete all cookies
2) log out gmail or any google a/c
3) clear history
4) delete temp file

You may also try to go to the web history on Google search results page and click on "disable customizations based on search activity" and then go ahead to clear the cache.

Try to perform the search query again.

The search results might be back to normal.


 4:25 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

"disable customizations based on search activity"

first do a search, otherwise you won't see this option


 10:39 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

No matter what you delete, you're still the same UA (or finite number of UAs) from the same IP or known-to-google IP range.* Do your searches from a genuinely public terminal such as a school or library. For some searches, this itself will be skewed (results targeted to people with a given educational level, or to lower-income people who don't have their own computers) but it's probably as close as you're going to get. Try your laptop from an Internet cafe and the WiFi area of your public library, and split the difference.

* You don't meet a whole lot of professional webmasters on dialup.


 9:05 am on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have to say, it's seriously annoying. I can't see any benefits to it.

Looking at one of my SERps today I have sitelinks on one result (at #2) looking in IE and then looking in FF there are no sitelinks and still at #2 (one of the few SERPs that show the same position). To me the SERP's being diferent on every search with odd crap being thrown in at odd places reminds me a bit of my 10 year old daughters bedroom. A total unruly mess!

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