One of my local clients recently traveled overseas on business and was not able to find their website in Google's search results. I performed the same keyword search that day, and the client's website appeared for me within the first page of Google's search results.
Why Were Our Google Search Results Different?
Google provides different search results based on a variety of different factors. Two of the main items causing differences in search results are location and personalization.
Location-Based Search Results
One of the reasons my client and I might have received different search results is because Google provides search results based on a searcher's location. Local news, local service providers, and local sports teams are all examples of location-based search results that will appear as a searcher's most relevant search results.
If a person is logged into Google, they can set their location. If a user is not logged into Google, Google will use the searcher's IP address to determine where the user is located. The ability to pinpoint a person's city location based on their IP address is becoming increasingly more accurate.
At the very bottom of a regular Google search results page, Google will display the location (city, state) where they think a searcher is located. In the "Search Tools" near the top of a regular Google search results page, Google provides the ability for users to update their location.
Personalized Search Results
If a searcher stays logged into Google, their previous search results will be used by Google to predict and display future personalized search results.Official word from Google:
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