Why is My SEO Report Different From The Search Results I’m Seeing?

by Kym Merrill

When you are paying for an SEO service, you want to make sure that you’re getting great results, and that means good rankings. Thus, it can be frustrating when you get a report from your SEO agency that says that your website ranks great, but then when you search the keywords yourself the results don’t always match. Why is that? 

To answer this, it’s important to understand that when your SEO team generates a report, they do so using technology that provides generic results that represent what an average user is likely to see when they search for a keyword, not exactly what you will see when you search. Google search results are always changing, for a large variety of reasons. Understanding why these results change can help you understand why there may be a discrepancy between your search results and your SEO report. 

Personalized Search Experience

Google tailors search results based on your individual preferences, search history, and online behavior. This personalized approach ensures that you receive content that aligns with your needs and interests. As a result, when you search for keywords, your results may differ from the averages provided in your SEO reports. Business owners sometimes notice that the more they search a certain keyword, the more the results change. This can happen because Google assumes the original results didn’t satisfy you and you’re looking for something different. 

Location Matters

Local businesses usually target specific regions, and Google understands this and customizes search results based on your geographical location. Your SEO provider likely takes this into account (at least, we do at Kite Media) and provides you with results centered around a specific geographic area. If you search from outside that area (or Google thinks you are outside that area) it’s natural to encounter discrepancies in the rankings. 

Real-Time Changes in Rankings

Search engine rankings are not static; they can change in real-time. Factors like your competitors’ activities, the addition of new content, and ongoing algorithm adjustments can lead to fluctuations in rankings. The reported rankings from your SEO team represent a snapshot in time. If you are comparing a new search to an old report, you are probably going to get different results.


Because there are so many factors that affect search results, there’s no need to panic if your search results are different from what your SEO report states. If you are still worried after understanding what factors can affect your search results, reach out to your SEO team! At Kite Media, we love helping our clients understand their reports and going over any concerns. You should feel confident in your SEO team and the reports they provide.

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