And you thought that SEO was easy.
These days we have any numbers of browsers installed on our machines and searching on them often shows up different results.
According to Google’s Matt Cutts there are three main factors that influence this:
- Personalisation – whether you are logged in or not
- Different browsers support different functionality
- Bucket Testing – different browsers might get different cookies
Cookies could also influence different results between different browsers as well as maybe even presenting different results from a different earlier algorithm.
To personalize your search results, Google uses many sources, the most important one being your search history. You can pause or even delete the search history, but you may find it useful for future reference.
You can temporarily disable Google Personalized Search by adding &pws=0 in the address bar at the end of a Google search URL, e.g. https://www.google.co.za/search?q=Server+Observer&pws=0
Using different machines, IP’s, Google accounts and the like bring up even wider anomalies than the simple three searches that you see below. We used one machine and three browsers – one of the browsers (Arora) has never logged in to a Google Account, we logged out of Chrome and stayed logged in to Google on Firefox.