How Google Changes Its Ranks From Day To Day

    August 11, 2008

Rankings are in everflux more than ever…hey that sounds weird. Meaning the ranking constantly seem to be moving around for many 2-3 keyword phrases. So when some SEO’s run these ranking reports it really just takes a “picture” of where the website currently ranks. I would like to explain how Google can easily Photoshop that picture (ranking) into something else:

1. Google uses tens of thousands of datacenters. At anytime you could be accessing a different one because of load balancing. So what you check today could be different than tomorrow. What your mom in California checks the same you check in Texas can also be different because you are both using different datacenters. Google is also known to test different algorithms on different datacenters at anytime during the month. This makes the change even harder to pin down because you never know when or why they are doing it.

2. Geo-location also makes a difference. Even if your mom in California is using the same datacenter as you in Texas you can see different results because Google is trying to further “personalize” the search results to your location. They feel this is best for queries that are possibly effected by localization. Take searching for “plumbers” for instance. If you search for a plumber in California you probably don’t want to see plumbers from Texas in your SERPs. Google is becoming more transparent about this of late testing a new feature in the SERPs that you can read about here:

3. Google Personalization can affect your SERPs when you are logged into your Google account. They can take any number of demographic items from your personal data to make the SERPs more customized to who you are.

4. Lastly Google Universal Search has probably changed the SERP landscape the most. With the addition of Related Searches, Google News, Images, Video, Blog Posts in the SERP landscape one would wonder how much room is left for those 10 spots per page.

Their has been much talk in the blogosphere lately of Google banning rank checking software Web CEO and Web Position, so beware ladies and gents.