As for me, I faced this problem when reviewing SERP results for my keywords in a rank tracking tool. Yes, that was quite surprising, I should admit. Even more - I was alarmed why Google SERP results can vary so dramatically, particularly when compared them to any approximates given by top-ranking trackers on the whole. Of course, I understood that my organic traffic was far more critical than what I could actually see in the search engine result pages. So, let’s see why Google SERP results are always different. Here are some reasonable suggestions on that:
Personally tailored results
The world’s search giant is known to display SERP results based on the user’s recent history and typical patterns of behavior to provide individually tailored results to be fitting each user needs and intentions. It means that your Google account activities, browsing history, as well as social media engagement (sharing, liking, commenting, playing YouTUbe videos, buying products or ordering services from a particular website) do matter.
Of course, if you need to track your actual statistics, you can use some special online tools to have more precise data. You might as well log out from Google account, and go into a private (a.k.a, incognito) browser mode.
IP address and geolocation
No doubts, your current location is considered regarding Google’s personalized search. At the same time, your actual IP address can also be used to determine your search location. This feature is performed best when you are filling in a search request with a query like “near me”. Just try doing a search like that. That way, you might as well use proxy or VPN solutions for Google search to test how it works.
I recommend here using the same device for your everyday browsing and occasional checkups with rank tracking tools. Apparently, your mobile SERP results will always be in contrast to the original desktop ones. All you need to remember is that local SEO is now brought to a brand-new level of critical importance for mobile-friendly online platforms, as well as the rest of the websites running under AMP.
Other factors driving SERP results
First of all, check your search settings, as they have a noticeable impact on search rankings that are never considered by keyword ranking tools in particular. I mean here that there are various search options we commonly choose at once, such as the websites themselves, maps, images, videos, and so on.
Next factor driving SERP results is the actual time of your current search. For example, there are some extremely sensitive requests like global affairs, weather forecasts, or breaking news. Every search request like those is commonly changed several times daily.
After all, don’t forget about Google making synchronization via data centers across the globe. The search engine relies on many data centers, that’s why the process of data synchronization is often facing rather considerable delays. That’s why sometimes you can see quite mismatching results for the same keywords, as there could be various data that may be still on the way to synchronization.