Why Do Google Search Results & Keyword Rankings Vary?

As digital marketers working toward those big-picture SEO results, we get this question pretty frequently: “Why do I see a different Google first page than you?”

The answer, as you may have guessed, is nuanced thanks to Google’s search algorithm complexities and extensiveness. Upon searching for a certain keyword or phrase, you may see a set of links on your home computer that differ from those on your smartphone or tablet. The same can be seen when comparing results between your location in, say, Las Vegas and your pal’s home in Reno.

While these subtle differences on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) might appear like a jumbled mess—for businesses pushing their brand, it can undoubtedly be inconvenient—we assure you that everything is working as intended…for the most part.

SERP Results Different

Different Google Search Page Results: Contributing Factors

Remember when keyword rankings were cut and dry? Oh, how times have changed! A decade ago, you would likely see the same results for certain keywords no matter your location or device. Now, Google considers a variety of factors that influence the first page, including:

  • Device (desktop, mobile, tablet)
  • Location by IP address
  • Browser
  • Search history (cookies, cached data, bookmarks)
  • Google account access
  • Ads shown
  • Keywords
  • Interpreted intent (micro-moments)

This SERP personalization has arguably been beneficial to users, but it can be an SEO headache for brands and marketers looking to make waves past local geographic borders. Because we’re such nice people, here are a few SERP tips and tricks to help you navigate these somewhat nauseating waters.

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Yext Rolls Out New Local Listing Feature: Google Post Scheduler

With great power comes great responsibility, and there’s perhaps no more powerful being in the “local listings” scene than Yext. (Of course, Google is up there, too.) And what do you know? They’re now unabashedly NSYNC with each other thanks to the Yext Google Post Scheduler tool.

See? It’s almost like peering into a mirror and seeing that beautiful J.Timberlake face staring back at you.

Google Post Scheduler Tool

photo: yext.com

What’s the Dealio?

As you know—or maybe you don’t, in which case, you should speak to our local SEO connoisseurs—copy and images from Google Posts can pop up in Knowledge Cards at the top of search result pages. For high-value brand searches, a quality Google Post can change games, set trends, melt faces—what have you. You’re incorporating up-to-date information, which would otherwise be difficult to find, in a vital and prominent position.

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Do Google Reviews Help Your Click-Through Rate?

TL;DR answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes, according to recent data from BrightLocal’s Consumer Review Survey. In it, 91% of those surveyed stated that they read online reviews before calling or visiting a local business. Perhaps more telling is the fact that 56% of those surveyed base their click on a company’s star rating, meaning several 1-star reviews might be the difference between a click and a shoo.

Google Reviews CTR
Photo: brightlocal.com

 

Let’s dive into the deep(er) end of this pool of thought.

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Most Important Search Ranking Factors for 2017 (Part II)

In part I of this blog series we discussed the key search ranking factors to get your site in a local map pack. Today, we’re branching off into a similar territory by discussing which signals might be influencing your organic positioning in standard local-area search queries.

Ranking Factors 2017

  1. Inbound Linking – 29%

Moz’s Surveyed experts identified that links coming to your site have undeniable power in SERP positioning. Totaling over a quarter of the vote, signals like keyword-branded anchor text, domain authority, and a variety of inbound links all make a difference.

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