Your Google results are not the same as my Google results. Huh? What gives?
Hughes Media works with companies across a wide range of industries and geographical locations. It happens often that when we discuss Google search results over the telephone what we see and what our client sees are two different things. Is Google making it up as it goes along? Nope. There are several factors that affect what Google shows you:
1. Where Google thinks you are in the world
Google uses GEO IP technology. Simply put you get a unique number of digits assigned to your computer when you access the internet (an IP address - it looks like this). There is a global map of IP addresses to locations that Google will reference to determine your location (Hughes Media uses this technology too to steer people towards country or language specific versions of a website - see our article on GEO IP). You IP address is handed to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) when you log on to the internet. If your ISP is based in Aberdeen then Google will use this as your location. Try looking for a local based service such as "window cleaners" with a Scottish ISP and you'll see results based in the Aberdeen area.
2. What Google already knows about you
If you are logged in to your Google account Google will keep a record of what you are up to (Big Brother anyone?). If you use Google's free Gmail service it will know even more about you as Google acknowledges that it scans your email. Google will then use the profile it has built up about you to influence the results it presents to you after you make a search.
Not logged in to your Google account? You would think that you were anonymous... beware cookies! In this case Google issues you with a tracking code in the form of a cookie and remembers your searches for the past 180 days. This track record is then used to alter the search results that you see.