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Why do search results vary from computer to computer?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Why do paid search results vary from computer to computer? On 1 computer, our ad is #1, and on another it's #4.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Why do search results vary from computer to computer?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Each computer has a search history.... here's a great example for you from one of the books I read (I think it was Avinash) - let's say two people both search for the word "bass" - how does Google know which results to serve - should it serve results about bass guitars, bass fishing or bass pale ale?

and yet - it will often manage to serve the results the searcher was actually searching for - and they often will not even notice that there were a whole other swathe of results that were not served.

The answer is that Google knows that one of the users has visited bass fishing sites in the past and the other has looked at bass guitar related sites - so when they make the search Google will serve the "most relevant ads" - remember that is Google's Holy Grail - giving their users the exact links they were looking for - this is what their algorithms are designed to do.... and they are getting better and better at it...

A fun thing to do is to get tow people to search for exactly the same term at the same time - check to see where the differences are and then try to figure out which sites and searches you have run in the past few days or weeks that would have caused that!

The best way to check your search results is to use an "incognito" window in Chrome or a new private window in FF - not perfect, but a decent benchmark...

Re: Why do search results vary from computer to computer?

Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

"Why do paid search results vary from computer to computer?" you ask. It is because every impression is a different auction in which competition can be different with different daily budgets. This page explains why positions vary for every auction :

 

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/142918?hl=en

 

"The auction determines whether or not the ad actually shows and in which ad position it will show on the page."

 

"Since the auction process is repeated for every search on Google, each auction can have potentially different results depending on the competition at that moment. "

 

Not all advertisers afford 100% of the daily impressions, their budget or their bid ( MaxCPC) or their QS influences this situation. Even your own Ads do not appear for every search term that could match your keywords. 

 

This page explains the metrics that measure your "slice of the pie" :

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2497703?hl=en

Re: Why do search results vary from computer to computer?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
I think that the simplest way to say it is that each time a search is done, it enters a new auction. On one computer, the auction put it in position 1, while the other auction put it at position 4.