Google Still Showing Different Results Base on Case Sensitivity

May 21, 2008 • 8:49 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Back in February, I wrote a story named Upper Case & Lower Case Searches May Return Different Google Search Results. Since then, the discussion on that topic has died off.

But in the past month or so, more and more people have been talking about how a Google search results will change based on if you use upper case letter or lower case letters. I have received emails, saw blog posts and watched thread after thread pop up about this weird Google behavior.

Google still clearly states that case has no impact on search results. From the horses mouth:

Google searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for george washington, George Washington, and gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN will all return the same results.

But yet we continue to see reports about Google being case sensitive.

So I decide to go back to my trusted search on big blue pineapple chair and compare it to the same search but in word case, i.e. Big Blue Pineapple Chair. Guess, what, even though both on my searches were on the same data center, i.e. 208.67.217.231, the results differed. Here are screen shots of the first page results, at the bottom.

Lower Case Version:

Case Sensitive Google

Upper Case Version:

Case Sensitive Google

The difference is the cartoonbarry.com vs. extrasformovies.com results - yes I am not signed in, and I am using a search that turns personalized search off.

So, Google, tell us what is up.

New forum discussion at DigitalPoint Forums.

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Comments:

Romain

05/22/2008 01:26 pm

Yes, i have also seen this strange behaviour. Google tries to give us the best !

Matt Cutts

05/27/2008 03:28 pm

Hey Barry, I'm having trouble recreating this example, and I'm wondering whether you happened to hit different data centers when you were doing these two queries. Can you consistently reproduce different results with upper/lowercase? I'd be curious to know..

Barry Schwartz

05/27/2008 03:30 pm

Just tried it again, and I see it. Feel free to email me if you want me to do more controlled tests.

Igal

12/28/2009 06:21 am

Maybe there is a good reason for that?

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