Google “Do you mean…?” Results Baffling

Lately I’ve noticed that the “Do you mean keyword?” results in Google vary quite a bit from a toolbar or search box search. For instance, let’s take a search for “rayban sunglasses” as an example. Most folks search for “ray ban sunglasses” (with the brand name as two words), but there is still a large number of searchers looking for the brand name as a single word.

Here’s what I get as I write this:

Image of search for rayban sunglasses

You’ll see that the Ray Ban sunglasses catalog page for comes up #3. Nice, but notice the “Do you mean ray ban sunglasses?” link at the top.

The Google Do You Mean link

Click on that and you’ll get this:

Google ray ban sunglasses result

Still a nice #3 ranking, right? Well, maybe not. Do the exact same search for “ray ban sunglasses” in the Google search bar:

Google search bar

This is what happens. A totally different result:

Google results from search bar

The page drops to position 6.

At first, I thought this might simply be a case of different data servers serving up different results in much the same way you can get different results from search bar searching. But, it appears to be consistent. Each and every time I click on a “Do you mean…?” link I will get one result and then a totally different one from a search bar query.

Is Google favoring pages in the “Do you mean…” links for some reason? I tried this in several different browsers (Firefox, IE7, Opera, Safari), not signed into Google with cleared caches and get the same actions every time.



3 thoughts on “Google “Do you mean…?” Results Baffling

  1. I see rayban is used together in the url. Is there a greater proportion of the term used together than apart on the site? I guess it all depends on what the competition is doing, too.

    It seems like “did you mean” factors might be one more thing we need to take into account when doing keyword research – and tune the site accordingly.

  2. Hello all,

    Yes results are different as long as keywords are themeselves different. It is then appropriate to rank rayban, ray ban and ray-ban since results are not the same.
    Have good day,

  3. shannon says:

    You are missing the point of his post. He is saying that the same exact search for “ray ban sunglasses” gives different results depending on whether you type the phrase into the search box or click on the “Did you mean?” link which pre-fills the search box for you. If you look at the images you will see that the same search is performed both times with different results.

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