All Collections
FAQs about keywords
Why Do Rankings Differ When I Search on My Local Device?
Why Do Rankings Differ When I Search on My Local Device?
Maja Nagelj avatar
Written by Maja Nagelj
Updated over a week ago

We take accuracy very seriously in our company. If you encounter discrepancies in your app's data, we encourage you to contact our Customer Success Team at [email protected] for assistance with any queries or concerns.

Let's look at some examples why you might see different results when comparing rankings in Nightwatch with manual searches on your local device.

Challenges of Simulating Local Searches

Accurately simulating a local search on a personal device is inherently complex. Nightwatch offers a feature that allows you to specify a geographical location in alignment with Google's supported areas, impacting the search outcomes.

Unfortunately, replicating this setup on your local computer is not straightforward unless you are physically present in the target location. This partial solution does not fully replicate the conditions set in Nightwatch.

For a more accurate self-check of your rankings, please consider the following guidelines:

  • Always use your browser in privacy mode (Incognito).

  • Employ a proxy or VPN that matches the exact location of your tracked keyword.

  • Adjust your Google settings to the same language as your tracked keyword

  • Experiment with displaying "10 results per page" and "100 results per page."

Additionally, our Search Simulator Chrome extension can facilitate unbiased search requests for any country directly from your browser, eliminating the need for proxies, VPNs, or Incognito mode.

You can read more about it here.

Still, it is highly possible that you won’t be seeing the same rankings as in the tracker, and that’s okay.

It is not as easy to simulate unbiased search queries from your computer, and if you manually search for your keywords from time to time, you should know you can’t rely on the results completely.

Possible Reasons for Ranking Discrepancies

Ranking inaccuracies can occur due to several factors:

  • Google's location determination based on your IP address may differ from the location settings in Nightwatch.

  • The settings you use to access search results (language, device type, location/IP) might not align with those configured in Nightwatch.

  • Your website may experience fluctuations in keyword authority, commonly referred to as the "Google Dance."

When you observe that situation, it is sometimes helpful to add the same keyword to Nightwatch multiple times (with different precise location settings) - this helps you better understand how it affects your rankings—this approach is explained in our ultimate guide to tracking local rankings.

Regular Updates

Our system is designed to determine the optimal times for updating rankings, ensuring they are refreshed daily within a 24-hour interval.

For more information, we recommend reading our blog post: Why Are Your Search Engine Rankings Inaccurate?

Did this answer your question?