The most common reason you would see different results is because your personal location and browser settings are different than the location set in your Position Tracking campaign.
Are you tracking a client’s rankings for a business located in San Diego but Googling from your office in Minneapolis? You probably won’t see the same results.
This is because Position Tracking shows unbiased SERP results, while Google shows personalized SERP results.
When you search on Google from a personal device, Google personalizes its results according to multiple factors. These factors include the user’s location, previous searches, Google account settings, and more. See Google's support article about this here.
Even if you try your search in Incognito Mode and check your location to confirm that it matches your Project, it might not serve the same unbiased results as Position Tracking.
If you scroll all the way to the bottom of your Google results page, you can see the location that Google is using to serve your results.
In Position Tracking, you can check the location of your campaign at the top of the interface.
We offer the ability to track positions on a national level, state level, city level, and even zip code level.
If the location in your Position Tracking and personal device are not exactly the same (different zip codes in the same city will serve different results), then you could see different results. Therefore, it is best to track your campaign in the most specific location that you are trying to target with your website.
The second reason why you could possibly see a difference would be due to the volatility of the SERPs you’re tracking.
The second reason why you may see a discrepancy is because search results can be volatile and change many times during the course of a single day. So depending on the time of the day that our daily update occurs and the time of your search, you could see a slight difference.
Keep in mind our Position Tracking tool updates your data every 24-36 hours.
This daily update is the industry standard and normally enough to see any positive, negative or neutral correlations between marketing efforts and rankings.