Yikes! My Google search results are different from device to device.
Before you pull your hair out, let’s start by pointing out that Google search result differences from browser to browser and from device to device is fairly typical. At one time, SERPs (search engine results pages) were very consistent throughout different browsers and computers, but now there are many components that can fluctuate from one user to the next.
Floral website administrators puzzled by the effects of Google search results may attribute this to a bug or glitch, but the truth is it’s by design. In this blog we’ll examine why you or some users may see your floral website search algorithms differently.
Google Random Testing
Google is continually tweaking their search algorithms, which means that as many as 40% of Google searches may be used in testing. This will cause differences in search engines results, so don’t be concerned if your search engine results tend to fluctuate for a period of time, these variations will usually resolve itself quickly.
Search History/Google Accounts
Google will harvest as much information as it can. Any content you view in-browser will be cached and may inform your first results, which means sites you visit frequently will show up on top of your SERP.
Any Google accounts you’re logged into—Gmail, Google+, Youtube, etc.—may also affect your SERPs as Google will use this data to bring up search results.
Did you know all websites you visit can tell where you are located, thanks to your IP address? Search results consistent with your location will most likely be given top priority. Your location information is stored in a cookie in your browser, and this information will factor into all your Google searches. (Cookies are little files stored on your computer that hold information specific to you, like saved passwords.)
When searching on Google it is important to be consistent with your keywords, however there can still be some slight variation considering the number of search options on Google from content, video, and images. Any minor change in search terms could change your SERP completely.
We all have seen the Google Ads in SERPs, these are pay-per-click ads that can appear on the upper, side or lower page of Google search page. As the position of these ads changes on different devices, it could also affect your SERP results.
Google Data Centers
Every time users do a search on Google, there are data centers across the nation working to process the search result. Google search will gather results from the Google data center that is nearest to the user’s location. Although Google data centers do not affect your floral website search results that often, there may at times be differences in SERP depending on location in between updates.
Image via Shutterstock
So What Are We to Make of All This?
With so many moving pieces, is it even possible to get accurate search engines results? The answer is mostly yes, but sometimes no. Your floral website results should not vary that much from device to device, though fluctuating between a few stops is perfectly normal.
Checking your search engine results daily is not recommended for the many reasons explained above. Google will rank you according to the quality of your website, so make sure you update regularly and work on getting your results organically high on SERPs regardless of the minor fluctuations.
- Engage with social media
- Use backlinks
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews
- Consistently write blog posts
- Update products and content on your website
Image via Shutterstock
How do I see Accurate Results?
The word accurate is used loosely here—remember, the goal is to have a website rich with quality keywords, links, and content. Although search results can be the same for most, they will be slightly different for some. If you want to check your floral website results you can do the following:
- Use a different browser besides the one you use daily
- Go “incognito” on Google Chrome (hold Ctrl + Shift + N)
- Note: Incognito mode may still draw on location information
- Log out of all your Google accounts, clear your browser cache, cookies, and history
- Note: This will delete any stored passwords you may have!
In conclusion, there is no magic wand to prevent Googles algorithms from affecting your floral website results, but the most important thing is to be vigilant and give Google what it wants to see. There is no way any of us can control what cookies and history are stored on other users’ devices, however keeping a quality website is more important to raise your organic rankings.