Does Your Internet History Effect Google Search Results?

We were recently asked if the browser makes a difference to your search results when searching on Google? According to a recent Google webinar, the answer is no; however, your internet history, (Which may differ from one browser to another), will make a huge difference! By now we’ve all noticed how advertisements are directly related to our search history and Google’s search results aren’t any different.

Googles aim is to provide the most relevant results for individual users, and they expect search results to be different from one person’s computer to the next. One reason why a search result for the same keyword or phrase can be different, is because of a user’s geographic location. Google tracks IP addresses to determine where you’re searching from. For example, if you search “restaurants” in one part of town and try it again in another, Google will often suggest different restaurants. Google also has the capability of personalising search results based on your internet history.



What is Google Personalisation?
Personalised search was introduced in 2005 to users with Google accounts. In 2009 Google launched the feature to everyone who used their search engine, including those not signed into any Google account.
According to Google, personalised search gives them the ability to customise the results based on a user’s previous 180 days of search history, which is linked to an anonymous cookie in your browser. This is how Google personalises results when you’re not signed in under a Google account. When you are signed in, Google stores your web history and search is personalised even more.
By tracking search results, Google attempts to provide the most useful and relevant content based on your search. For example, if you start searching and clicking on links from Tesco, Google will learn that you prefer to shop with Tesco and may provide more search listings from them.

It is possible to turn off Google’s personalised search, but Google doesn’t make it easy to do so! If you would like to find out how, please let us know and we will write a post on how to do it.
Although you can turn off personalised search, Google can still personalise searches based on your geographic location and other factors.

How it affects SEO?
Naturally, personalised search results can affect a websites search engine optimisation (SEO), and the “organic search results” that individual users see. It’s a common discussion between website owners and SEO companies, if you would like to know more on this subject, please get in touch with us today.

Hopefully this helps explain why two people searching for the same keyword can generate different search results.