Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Timothy Quin on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Tuesday, October 8, 2013).

What is the best way to find out exactly what your Google SERP position is for a given keyword?

Hi Guys, glad to be part of your community.

I`m an SEO in training and still a bit wet behind the ears and I wondered if I could ask you guys a question.

1. What is the best way to find out exactly what your Google SERP position is for a given keyword? I am optimising a site for my first client and I have searched for the keywords in three different browsers (Firefox, Chrome and Safari) and I have different SERP positions depending on the browser. Surely browser shouldn`t make a difference?

I know there are sites that check your SERP but I`m not sure how reliable these are either.

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Collin Davis: + ; Unfortunately no technique is fool proof and gives you 100% accurate results.

    However here are some techniques that will remove most of the personalization.
    1. Go into the incognito mode on Google Chrome. It removes most personalizations - ;
    2. Append &pws=0 after your search query URL in Google search results. ;
    3. One other technique which I have found useful is to use the Google Ad Preview - ;

    Hope that helps :)
  • W.E. Jonk: Quite some time ago one of our moderators ask a similar question [1]. ;

    However there is only one way to get ranking position because scraping the SERP's [2] is against the terms and conditions of Google, which is in Google's Webmaster Tools under "search traffic" --> "search queries". In the table you find the "avarage position" for a particular keyword [3].

    [1] ;
    [2] ;
    [3] ;
  • Frank Rodr�guez: + as Mr jonk suggests , webmasters tool
  • William Gomes: Hi + ;I've created a video for you on how I do this. ;

    Thanks to + ;& + ;for your inputs too!
  • W.E. Jonk: + ;great video reply! Indeed the way to do those things is through proxy server (you don't need a VPN). You probably also need a captcha solver. Or how do you deal with the captcha?

    However I am pretty sure G called these actions black-hat and that is why I directed to GWT, which isn't that great (I know).
  • William Gomes: Oh I make the searches very very slooow... So no captchas ever appear and as it changes its location every 4 minutes it would be very very hard to track my individual activity.
  • William Gomes: Here are the settings I use:

    Also I think VPN's are more reliable than proxies as I can select the exact location I want. For example I am not in London but some of my clients are and so are their customers so I can reliably select a VPN there which I think is good. ;
  • W.E. Jonk: + ;VPN's can act like a proxy server but they don't have to (if you are using OpenVPN it depends on the settings, not sure about other implementations). VPN's are used to act like a local machine (in a nutshell). Proxy servers aren't VPN's they only route your traffic through another IP (in a nutshell). In this case you only need a proxy server and you can achieve that with VPN solutions like OpenVPN.

    So using a VPN by itself doesn't make it "more reliable", it is just an option within a VPN solution. Makes sense? ;
  • William Gomes: But with OpenVPN you can't choose the locations you want can you? Or at least its limited? I've tried it before without good results that was years ago though.
  • Stephen Watts: Ultimately you need to invest in a software or saas solution for rank tracking to handle hundreds of keywords for multiple clients. Moz is a good start but won't scale. I'd suggest Advanced Web Rankings with Trusted Proxies to handle really unlimited keywords its just a matter of buying enough proxies to fit your needs
  • Dave Elliott: I use moz but disagree with its ranks constantly. You can do it manually but that takes ages.  ;+ ;is right in what he says but use mozbar(chrome or firefox) and it has a "serp overlay" which with a bit of configuring will let you do a fully non personalised search, or a non-personalised with a location fairly quickly. If you are measuring lots of key phrases though then it is still ridiculously time consuming.
  • Klaus Bandisch: To get a TRUE and CORRECT result you only have to go here: ; ;-)
  • Tim Quin: Thanks so much for your comments guys you've been really helpful.
  • Ranu Jain: Rank Checker is also worth trying. Of course, you won't get the accurate results but can try. Simply clear the cache, set "&gl=us" in the search and then run the tool. ;

    I have tried it and cross checked with my people sitting in US. It is worth a shot.
  • W.E. Jonk: From the expert panel in this weeks SEO Questions hangout on air on 01:40:11 into the YouTube video: 

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Tuesday, October 8, 2013).

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