Not All Google Results Are The Same

by The Guy April 13th, 2007 

As a friend discovered this week, not all Google results are the same.

A search from Toronto and a search from New York will usually resulting in a different set of organic results appearing.

To be clear, using Google.com as your base search and not Google results from Google.ca or Google.ca Canadian specific results will show variations depending on where you search from.

To borrow from George Orwell's Animal Farm; All searches are equal but some are more equal than others.

The difference of course is about server location, IP and all of that. I've long maintained that this is, while probably an algorithm oversight, nevertheless a shortcoming of the search engines.

A little perspective. A search for cancer for Toronto is a search for cancer. Just as a search for cancer from New York is the same thing. Why should results be different? Functionally, the disease is the same and as an academic and research tool as Google has long claimed itself to be the best literature available should be the best literature available. Period. End of story.

This oversight has ramifications both for ecommerce and for local search. For ecommerce, I've personally seen the industry leader unseated by its affiliates. Why? The industry leader is based in Canada and it's affiliates are based in the U.S. At the very least, it throws the the SEO Algorithm basics off IF YOU ARE NOT U.S. BASED.

And this is an important distinction as articles much like Ranking The SEO Ranking Factors tend to be written from a U.S. centric and necessarily biased position.

A U.S. search perspective is not a search persecptive and as such, those countries outside of the U.S. must try harder and if and when they do, they have a little more insight that those from outside of that country. In other words, if you're a Canadian company with a Canadian marketplace, hire a Canadian SEO/SEM firm. It's that simple.

If you're a Canadian company doing business in the U.S. ask them to do one simple thing. Have them do a search on your top term. Then do one of your own. Then meet with them face to face and present your results. If there is the least hint of surprise from their side, move on. They are not the company for you.

By the way, your results will vary from their results and there will be billing issues based on those discrepancies.

And finally, to see how your results stand up in the U.S. look into Secure Accelerator. It's a nominal investment with a wealth of knowledge in return.

Have a good one.

~ The (SEP) Guy

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