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I'm going to assume that the toolbar has a memory of some sort and maybe shows me sites that I have visited previously when I perform specific searches. I have a #6 position for a very popular phrase on the system with the toolbar. And then no positions to speak of on the system without.
Please ask me "where the heck have you been" and I'll know this is the case. Thanks in advance!
I did test with and without the toolbar and there are totally different results. Sites that I visited when having the toolbar installed were positioned on the first couple of pages with my own site in position #6. When I uninstalled and deleted cookies, those sites moved considerably and my own, well I can't find it yet! (I found it residing in results 41-50 of about 298,000).
Is it possible that those of us with the toolbars installed are seeing results that are not accurate? Here I am thinking that I have these strong positions only to find out that the toolbar may have influenced the results I was seeing.
Any concrete explanations out there?
As far as ranking goes - I do sometimes see a difference in position - especially recently. Usually this has to do with indented rankings not being there in some cases. Right now - it appears that google is still not settled - which is unusual - as they WERE settled.
However, when talking on the phone with whoever - and they say - hmm, it is coming up #3 on mine, not #7 - I can usually get the same ranking by having either them or me change to www 2 or 3.
Personally, if it is something that I have monitoring for a time period - I usually consider it a new ranking if it has the same or greater number of results as the previous one. Always look at the number of result given to make sure you are not getting an abridged version of SERP when looking at results. I am much happier and confident with a #1 listing showing 1.2M, than 700K.
(I disabled the URL with the "*" on purpose for us to read them carefully, instead of clicking on them like mad. ;-) )
Now with all cookies off...
Now from opera's search box...
Finally from IE with the Google bar...
SERP accordigly vary.
If I want a plain vanilla search, not wanting Google to mess with my stuff, I would type the following in the adress bar, carefully avoiding Google search box.
It is all in the URL...