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I have one client, who according to all testing I can do, is now ranked between 6-9 on her main keyword, on every data center I can find.
When she turns on google and searches for this keyword, she sees the site at 11 or 12. I know she is not fibbing to avoid payment.
So what could it be?
As far as the whys?
whether she's clicked on the link or not,
"impartial" datacenters will also often geo-locate,
10 other things Goog does to the SERPs to make them more "personalized" and hence different.
What does the WMT rank the site as?
While often buggy, WMT is the only "constant" you could use if you're getting paid for rankings.