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I am planning to make some changes to my site, based on SERPS I see lately. I am dropping for my favorite 3 keyword phrase from a long held no 1 position to a 4/5 position. (At least from where I am looking)
However, when I use the Google API, or AOL, or search from a US ip address, I still have the nr 1 position.
Google Webmaster Tools reports that I have an average nr 2 position for the 3 word phrase.
What is the difference in SERP "calculations" between API searches, and "ordinary" searches?
I guess that localization in the broadest sense of the word, plays a big part in it, as well as user behavior maybe.
Now what should I do? I see that my other "friends" in the business use this 3 kw phrase in a more exact way, and with more repetition, especially in the title and meta. Body seems less important.
However, this doesn't seem to matter to the API or AOL.
Should I, instead of changing my titles and metas, better concentrate on finding out what "localization" issues are influencing SERPS?
I am afraid that if change titles I run into some sort of penalty. I already have one for a certain phrase, and it looks like its sticking.
I'm not sure what you can do, directly, to change this, Get links from websites hosted outside the local area, maybe? I'd think you're better off strengthening your site all around, with good content that attracts good links and so on. I'd say your intuition about not tweaking titles too frequently is accurate.