Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Timothy Qui on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, 10/08/2013).

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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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions Facebook & G+ community.

  • Collin Davis: +Tim Quin ; 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 - ;https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95464?hl=en
    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 - ;https://adwords.google.com/d/AdPreview/?__u=1000000000&__c=1000000000

    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] ;https://plus.google.com/103707711719795571011/posts/Abwrbnbsa4Y
    [2] ;http://raventools.com/blog/scraped-rankings-versus-average-rankings/
    [3] ;https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35252?hl=en#data
  • Frank Rodríguez: +Tim Quin as Mr jonk suggests , webmasters tool
  • William Gomes: Hi +Tim Quin ;I've created a video for you on how I do this. ;How to Accurately Track Search Engine Rankings

    Thanks to +Collin Davis ;& +W.E. Jonk ;for your inputs too!
  • W.E. Jonk: +William Gomes ;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: http://img802.imageshack.us/img802/8506/twm2.png

    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: +William Gomes ;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.  ;+Collin Davis ;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: ;http://search.aol.com/aol/webhome ;-)
  • 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: https://dumbseoquestions.com/q/what_is_the_best_way_to_find_out_exactly_what_your_google_serp_position_is_for_a_given_keyword

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, 10/08/2013).

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