How do rank trackers work?

It's always bothered me how dependent my agency is on the software behind our enterprise SEO rankings tracker. I've inquired about how it works and haven't got much back from our vendor.

Google searches reflect a user's past search history and location, so I'm curious how the rankings trackers come up with their generalized (for lack of a better word) rankings for a given query. The enterprise SEO tool also offers separate mobile rankings for queries.

Any insights/thoughts would be great. It makes sense that businesses might want to protect their proprietary information, but I'm just concerned we're counting on something that's inherently flawed.

SEO | 👁 771 | Posted 2018-03-21 | Share on Facebook | Twitter | Google+

| Modified: 2018-03-21 | Author:


rp2323 2 years ago

Yeah, one thing I've noticed is that our rank tracker returns the same results for plurals & for local and national even after you specify a locality. I'm not sure they're so quality but my boss has committed to this service because it's enterprise level, all-in-one, and shiny and nice for clients to see. I kind of hate it.

seomacroscope 2 years ago

Think about it. If you were to do this process manually, how would you do it? The rank trackers are doing exactly that, albeit their code simply encapsulates what a human being is doing, and does it automatically. It's actually pretty simple. The hardest part is that the search engines don't really offer proper APIs for this anymore. That means that the rank trackers must impersonate regular users, and distribute their queries both in time, and across machines. If you remove the personalization aspects for all sites concerned, then you will be left with a level playing field for all. Disregard the personalization aspect, as the rank trackers cannot code for that in any meaningful way. Effectively, the rank trackers are running their queries in what amount to a private window each time.

steffanlv 2 years ago

I built my own rank tracker a few years back. If you Google it you might be able to find a few code based rank tracking solutions. Rank Tracking refers to querying Google.com for a specified keyword phrase and then recording where in the SERPs (result pages) your targeted site comes up. This is done over time, some services like Moz.com gives you a mostly weekly tracking. Some suites like RankTracker can give you tracking on a daily or even hourly basis (not really needed, honestly). A good rank tracker will let you enter multiple keyword phrases and keyword phrase variation (like plurals, etc) and report placement in Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. A good tracker will also return competitor rankings, the URL that is returned for each tracked keyword phrase and local vs national (agnostic) rankings. There's nothing that a rank tracking service or software does that you can't do yourself.

SEOPub 2 years ago

Rank trackers will use search operators to spoof the location if you are searching for rankings in a specific town. They also use search operators to ignore previous search history.

TopPrimary 2 years ago

"Google searches reflect a user's past search history and location" It doesn't take this in account. You use rank trackers to compare against past rankings so you can measure performance. Most rank trackers also allow you to track keyword per location. You track those ranks as well when required. Hope it makes sense.

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