Getting Accurate Search Results
UPDATE MAY 2012 – Scroogle was shutdown in early 2012. I’ve kept this article for historical reference.
For an updated post with an alternative solution to Scroogle, click here
You’d think that it would be pretty simple to get accurate results for a search query, wouldn’t you? Put simply, the answer is “no”.
In reality you could be relying on very biased results and getting a false impression of how well your site, or competitors sites are ranking. You see, every time you do a Google search, Google uses your IP address and cookies and your Google account (if you have one) to customize your search results to make them more “relevant”. It will return you results based on your previous searches.
If you are doing casual searching, then this isn’t too bad as you’ll generally get results that are more targeted to your profile. However, if you are trying to get an accurate view on a particular website you are promoting or checking out a competition website, then you may find you’ll be getting misleading results.
The problem is particularly apparent if you are located outside the US as Google will redirect to the Google page for your country and you will get results biased to your country of origin.
How Does Scroogle Help?
Scroogle is a site that allows you to perform unbiased Google searches. Essentially it does this by ensuring Google can’t set any cookies and randomizes the IP address it uses. No search terms are stored and logs are deleted within 48 hours.
What this means is that you can perform the same search query over and over and Google will be seeing that query as a unique query and therefore won’t “customize” the search results.
Additionally, Scroogle displays just the search results. There are no ads, no suggestions etc, just the pure results.
If have privacy concerns, you can use the SSL version of Scroogle to ensure your query and results are encrypted.
If you use Firefox, then you can use the Scroogle SSL Search plugin to add Scroogle to your Firefox search box.
Try the following search test. From your standard browser, use a search term that you’ve previously searched on. Then enter the same search term into the Scroogle search box below and compare the results.