Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Apr 2012 14:01 UTC
Google Yesterday, I wanted to leave a link to a search query in a Facebook comment. Then this happened. Please Google, fix your damn query URLs. This is unusable, user-hostile crap.
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Same Query, Different Results
by runjorel on Wed 18th Apr 2012 15:25 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

This happened to me only on a few occasions and maybe it was just a fluke at those times, but there have been times where I sent someone a google query url and it did not return the same results that I saw. What I *think* happens is that if two people are signed into their google/gmail accounts, google tries to adapt queries to your personal preferences/click history so the same query would produce two different results but that is completely anecdotal.

The specific example I am thinking of was that I sent someone a google query of 'Groovy'. My first result is the Groovy scripting language. I can't even remember what the first result was on the other person's search but it was not for the scripting language Groovy. It was like 3 or 4 links down for him.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

runjorel,

I've definitely seen cases when different people see different results. I don't know this for a fact, but I always assumed it was a deliberate design to provide localized and/or context sensitive results. It's possible it was a bug, but I don't think so, and for the record neither of us were signed in.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lokrisch Member since:
2012-04-18

There are two reasons for this.

The first is the so-called "filter bubble" phenomenon. Google delivers content ranked by an order of what they think you want to see. And there are presumably more factors taken into acccount than just your click or search history when you're logged in (cookies, geolocation, language settings, ISP, ... endless possibilities).
A simple explanation of this has been published by the Duckduckgo people at http://dontbubble.us in order to raise more awareness to this problem.

The second reason is obviously just an updated search index. The web content changes constantly and so does Google's search index. If you look at your search results a day later, you may also get different results.

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd assume also third reason: the index and its results not being strictly deterministic of sorts - operating on a best effort basis within preset time delays, momentary availability of nearby resources, and such.

Reply Parent Score: 2

AnyoneEB Member since:
2008-10-26

The siblings explain pretty well why bubbling happens, but if you want to be aware of it, there's a Chrome extension that displays other possible search results for the same query from different locations: http://bobble.gtisc.gatech.edu/software.html .

Reply Parent Score: 1