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Different search results when logged into Google

6:34 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So I was doing some ranking research on certain keywords the other day. To my surprise my previous end of April drop was gone... I was back to the top of the rankings!

Next thing I know the same keyword has me dropped again... baffled I tried to figure out what was going on and realized if I am logged in our out of my Google account I get different search results.

Anyone else experience this or have an answer? I can never remember this happening before so I am interested to understand whats going on. Are they caching results? Are results tailored if logged in?
9:04 am on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just tried it, hoping it would show less changes :)
Nothing for me here. same results with and without log in.
9:53 am on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

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Mercy, homes, where have you been? For most people the challenge is how to get g### to show you the same search results on any two consecutive occasions. Regardless of what color shirt you're wearing. Regardless of which side of the street you parked on. Regardless of what you had for dinner. Regardless of which way the cat is facing. And so on.

Do you really rank #1 for That Special Keyword, or does g### just put you there because it knows you like that site?
10:27 am on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Google Search History is on by default. As I mentioned in this discussion from July, 2011, to turn search history off, you paradoxically need to be logged in, not logged out....

Google Personalization even when Logged out?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4344113.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Also, though, note that one of the Google's announced search quality changes for April [webmasterworld.com] is...

Better query interpretation. This launch helps us better interpret the likely intention of your search query as suggested by your last few searches.

I'm wondering whether this month's "improvement" is a part of search history, or independent of it... perhaps using cookies or Google serp url modifications. Does it rely on search history, or work even if search history is turned off?
6:29 pm on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I just checked again and same results, but I think I found the culprit :

- When logged OUT of my Google account it ranks #1 for particular keyword

- When logged IN it appears to be the 'regular' results which others are also seeing

- The results ONLY happen in the browser I have the Google Toolbar installed (for pagerank indicator), however, I have 'store history on computer' turned off in the toolbar as well as my Google account.

To turn on the page rank in the toolbar it states that urls, etc will be sent to Google... I think they are using this information to change results catered to pc. When I then login to my Google account it would be seen as another 'person' perhaps or 'defaults' to normal listings?

For the record I am usually not signed in to my account so the above would make sense.
7:19 pm on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

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BOOKMARK this URL to search on Google.com in english without being shown personal results and without auto-complete. Doing so will also give you the default menu so if you're looking for 'videos' for example they will be an option in the sidebar.


complete = auto-complete
hl = language
pws = personalized results

(1=on, 0=off)
3:03 am on May 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Nice - thank you!