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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, Yahoo! and Bing. So if you need, say, to check rankings in, or — 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.


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#2422 2011-09-18 21:27:25 Jennifer Alston

People can no longer obtain Google API Keys, its free if you dont include them in your query.

#1682 2010-11-17 09:25:04 Sebastiaan Hendriks

The results in rank tracker ar not allways the results given in google. Some of my keywords rank verry well in google but stays out of the top 100 in rank tracker. Cann somebody give me an explanation ?.. I have the same question asked to the support.

#2491 2011-11-15 07:42:08 Dan Richmond

The support people have this article in their knowledgebase, please check:

#1621 2010-10-21 07:12:06 Wouter - Simple SEO Agency Amsterdam

Hi Dan you say that you check your rankings everyday. But I like to check all interesting keywords for a website (about 300) to be able to look for a pattern and see if the se knows what theme my site is about.

Do you only check like 10 keywords per website that you can do it everyday?


#1622 2010-10-21 08:35:51 Dan Richmond

You can definitely check all 300 keywords daily, you can use any rank checking tool for that, for instance Rank Tracker (next chapter).

#1623 2010-10-21 08:43:41 Wouter - Simple SEO Agency Amsterdam

But what if you have to monitor 10 websites then 300 keywords is quite a lot, I'll have to keep my pc running day and night. Maybe there are some tips to do it more efficient?

#1278 2010-05-20 08:46:03 Adeel Akhter

Dan thanks for being kind. Actually i am analysing a website and saw the result so thought to ask you about what are these new things.

The problem is that i was working on a site and the source page showed me some keywords. When i analysed it on

it says the website has total number of 990 keywords but there were not even 50. What is the meaning of this?? The page i am optimizing is

any idea what is the problem?? and what type of an error is this?

#1292 2010-05-28 08:23:22 Dan Richmond

The reason could be that this free online tool gives out wrong data. I have no idea how it differs "words" from "keywords", but I can help you out with' tools :) You might want to contact the "webseo" support and ask them that question.

#1276 2010-05-18 11:08:26 Adeel Akhter

Waiting for my answers.. ! :)

#1277 2010-05-20 07:55:06 Dan Richmond

I do not really see any unanswered questions from you in this thread. Please feel free to ask any extensive questions using these e-mails: dan(at) or register in Link-Assistant.Com support department - the guys there can help you as well:

#1272 2010-05-17 14:29:39 Vijeta Aishwarya

Hello sir,

You have written so many times Google API Key.

Can you brief me about API key and its uses?
How it can help in keyword ranking and SEOs?

#1273 2010-05-18 08:08:37 Dan Richmond

It does not hep you in any way, it's simply a key that Google offers you if you wish to use Google's data obtaining it via external tools (such as out software):

So you can get the key, enter it in our tools and have a certain amount of secure searches per day.

#1263 2010-05-16 03:17:12 Adeel Akhter

i have a problem. I was working on a site and the source page showed me some keywords. When i analysed it on

it says the website has total number of 990 keywords but there were not even 50. What is the meaning of this?? The page i am optimizing is

any idea what is the problem?? and what type of an error is this?

#1274 2010-05-18 08:30:38 Dan Richmond

Could you please specify what "number of keywords" exactly do you mean? I found just the meta keywords tag - it's way too long on your site. Keep in mind that anything could be an error of that online tool as well :)

#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.

#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.

#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?

#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.

#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.

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

Thanks for that, all this information is really helpful.

#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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