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1.3 Making Your First Ranking Report

I know you already have a massive list of great keywords, and it′s good enough to start with. Still, there′s yet another thing to take care of now. I mean, there must be a way to see how well your site is doing. How are you going to check your progress?

Some will ask, why check it at all? But how can you know for sure that you′re doing the right thing, if you don′t have good evidence?

Any check is an impulse to the subconscious that forces you to do better. A real–life example comes from sports: after sportsmen start evaluating their results regularly, their achievements jump 20% up — and this is just because of measuring success, all else is done the same way!

In SEO, the traditional solution is to make keyword ranking reports at least once a week. (I do it daily, though. With the software I use, it′s a minute′s business.)

Now look at your watch. It looks like it′s high time for your first ranking check :–)

Option 1: Measure keyword rankings with your own hands

Here′s a way to do it manually: type in a keyword in the Search Engine where you wish to check the ranking, then find your site in its result pages and check what place it′s on. In our case, the website is on the 21–st position.

Checking Google rankings manually Checking Google rankings manually

Pretty boring, I know. But you can automate part of the work — here′s a quick list of free resources to use for evaluation of your keyword rankings:

What′s good about them? They′re simply free and good enough!

What′s bad, then?

First of all, they only check positions in Google.com, Yahoo! and Bing. So if you need, say, to check rankings in Google.de, or Ask.com — then do all the job manually, or use the Rank Tracker tool I describe further.

And another thing. Well, they just won′t remember you. If you come after a month to make another check, you′ll have nothing to compare with. You can only keep your previous results yourself, if you invent a way to do so.

Also, most of these free resources require Yahoo! and Google API keys. This makes the work inconvenient, because API keys put certain limitations on the number of queries you can perform.

Search Engines do not want multiple or automated queries (and SEO work is impossible without them), so they require API keys — it′s like an allowance to query Search Engines.

Still there′s a non–free Rank Tracker tool, which not only checks your rankings instantly, but also shows your progress and doesn′t necessarily need a Google API key — so it′s great to evaluate your work.

58 comments

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#1156 2010-04-13 15:06:19 Thomas Kampling

To use Google API and / or others may be a big mistake, once you use them often and many times a day. Once google sees your IP running automated requests over and over again , it will at a certain point even bann your whole Network or PC from Google searches. Some people say it might even have negative consequences to your Websites ranking.

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#1180 2010-04-20 10:48:02 Dan Richmond

I don't want to say you're wrong, but I have never had such a problem myself, and none of SEO PowerSuite users had as far as I know.

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#1624 2010-10-22 14:13:56 GARY BRYANT

I am confused by the previous comment. I am a newbie that just created my first website and love this SEO material that Dan has provided, but I obviously don't want to hurt my site's Google rankings (right now it's not even indexed by Google). I want to stay far clear of Google's wrath. I was using Rank Tracker to find profitable keywords, but now I am concerned by the comment and don't know if I should not use the software? Confused? Which is it, safe or not?

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#1181 2010-04-20 12:31:13 Thomas Kampling

Dear Dan, I see, but LA tool also can provide these results. Specially when jou are talking about some 5 to 25K results per query. I think it might also be helpful not to check for too many ranking factors per URL.

It am not talking only about SEO PowerSuite, but I sometimes get an "Error Page" of Google, while using mostly LA, because I just prefer to use it for my purposes.
If I run LA queries, plus run Google manual searches parallel, they mention, that my Network / PC seems to run automated requests, and to protect their users, they are not willing to allow access for the manual query, sometimes showing up several Capchas in a roll, sometimes just declining the use.

I also use an additional other SEO Tool.
The easiest way might be to use Proxies, and/ or to configure "human emulation" to most sensitive settings in LA, and to set the option "show Catchas if provided by SE" active, to make SE`s believe you are human.

In the beginning of my SEO practices I ran Ranking queries quite daily
(using LA and another tool, the later experiences made me reduce the use of them to a minimum),
Now I only use it just after significant onpage changes, to see the effect after 2-3 days.

Having such a powerful tool, it was seductive for me, to use it as a "Toy" for any little success notifications as often as possible.
The next problem of heavy Keyword querying is, that it reduces the "Clickthrough rate" massively, for the used Keyphrases in the Software queries.
(which also is a little ranking factor for SE`s)
I could se that in "Google Webmastertools" when I still ran Ranking reports daily, just for self affirmation purposes.

From that I`ve learnt, just to use them as little as needed, and if it is not for a customer who needs reports, not to run them at all just for self affirmation purposes, such as I did.

Any manual querie gives you an even more detailed overview, and the highest ranking Competitors site URL`s , to harvest their Linkpartners from.

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#1182 2010-04-21 06:11:18 Dan Richmond

Well, what you are talking about is the regular temporary IP block - and it can be avoided by use of the search safety features included into the software.

The clickthrough rate reduction comes from the fact that the keyword is being searched but the software does not visit your site from the SERP - but at the same time it does not visit any other site. This might have a very slight effect on your personalized search - but in way it will influence the general rankings.

Another thing though, is that the API key alters the results for some (Google's internal I guess) reason, so to get the correct results querying without an API is preferable.

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#892 2009-12-30 03:28:10 Paul Watchorn

Dan.
Thanks for that, all this information is really helpful.

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#889 2009-12-29 08:20:48 Dan Richmond

@Paul Watchorn

Rank Tracker will work easily without an API key. It has a number of other search safety features that let you use the software without any need for API keys: Human Emulation, rotation of User Agents and Proxy Rotation.

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#881 2009-12-28 07:54:54 Paul Watchorn

I decided to have a quick look at the http://www.googlerankings.com tool.

Big mistake! So what is all that about then? After half a dozen dead end links, it seems that I need an API key to use the tool, but I can’t have one?

So I am a little concerned about Rank tracker. Does it work without the API? It’s just that the book says ‘doesn't necessarily need a Google API key’ Not ‘doesn’t require one’

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#1183 2010-04-21 06:12:27 Dan Richmond

It works perfectly without an API, just enable the search safety settings to avoid having your IP temporarily blocked.

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#796 2009-12-07 04:02:05 Ken Taylor

"after sportsmen start evaluating their results regularly, their achievements jump up 20% — and this is just because of measuring success, all else is done the same way!" quote from lesson.

Very true. To me this fits the "Ready! Fire! Aim!" Nothing is a better educator than experience from "doing it-Fire" and then stepping back and see what happened so you can "Aim" better next time.

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#528 2009-10-16 08:06:33 Dan Richmond

<b>@Vikash Garg</b>

Seems like I'm not getting what you mean... Please could you explain it better?

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#191 2009-02-03 19:01:04 Laus Sorensen

I agree!

Tracking my rank has - if nothing else - mad me work harder. Sort of a competition with myself :-)

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#1490 2010-09-05 10:32:27 Ivo Ignatov

I like the way you guys think!

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#25 2008-08-01 13:27:10 Wade Weston

I think this is absolutely on the money! Tracking success i.e. focusing on success breads success, it is the "Law of Attraction" or what some call "The Secret." And Rank Tracker, I think, is the cream of the crop. I use it everyday to to check my ranking and keep me focused on what I need to do.

Great book btw...

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#3268 2012-06-29 15:36:09 Martin Spasskellner

I spend a lot time on comparing as well, I use http://www.web-information-services.de and i would never miss it.

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