Google Search Results Reflect Previous Search

booleanstringsBoolean, Google 5 Comments

This post is just to share something quite interesting that I have noticed while using Google search. (This is not a “sourcing tip” type of post.) I am curious whether anyone has seen this – or any posts about it. It could be that I’ve seen some experimenting on Google’s part, not available across Google search.

Here’s what I did. I simply searched for Oracle and got this:


No surprises here. The piece on the right is part of the Knowledge Graph: Google search knows that Oracle is a company.

Then, I simply searched for Javascript and then repeated the search for Oracle. By the way, I was doing this in an incognito window. Here’s what was unexpected: the results were now different, obviously favoring the keyword from the previous search:

See the difference in the search results the first and the second time? I am not sure what to make of it! If Google is going to show different results based on past searches, this has serious consequences in how we should be searching altogether.



Comments 5

  1. Hi Irina – Google will learn from your past searches. If you log out your Google account or open an incognito browser, this should ‘neutralise’ the results and you will be able to see a difference.


    1. Post

      Billy: maybe it “should” but it doesn’t. As you can see my searches were done from an incognito browser window, not logged anywhere.

  2. Irina

    Google Search Engine goals from the talking to my search expert contacts at Google

    – They consider it a WIN if you click on the first few search results. They consider it a LOSS if you click on results that are lower down

    – They consider it a WIN if you select their suggestions, a minor LOSS if you don’t

    Achieving above goals will make Google users, especially those that are on small mobile foot prints, extremely productive and efficient

    To get to a better WIN ratio for them, they will use all knowledge they have of your previous browsing & will customize suggestions and results accordingly.

    So what you are observing is a natural evolution of search engines.

    CEO – eGrabber

    1. Post

      Yes, of course, Google collects and analyses the info on clicked links. Still, in this case I’m not sure how this works.

  3. Hi Irina,

    Quite odd indeed. But… if Google learns from our choices, which most probably does from what you’ve shown and Chandra says, what happens if you choose “wrong”?

    I mean, if you don’t know how to search and Google learns from your choices, what will happen? A “lazy” search can only bring “general” results. For example, I regularly access Oracle Documentation page… and if I search for “Oracle”, would Google know or try to guess that’s the page I want to see and not the Oracle company website?

    I agree with Glen Cathey when he says that “no system will ever know what you want or need”.

    Your post got me thinking.

    Thanks a lot, Irina (as usual)

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