Updated September 21, 2018
Ever wonder why your rank checker fails, gives erratic results or is totally un-trustworthy? Google rank checking can be a pain, since 99% of the time Google is doing what it can to stop rank checkers from working – after all they’re scraping results and not buying data from Google directly!
Top of page 1 search rankings are crucial in the digital marketing world, and their significance cannot be underrated. Research has shown that more than 70% of internet users never go to the second page of their searches. Also, more than 90% of the total clicks for most search engines go to the first four ranking results. Consequently, every website is always striving to have their site appear on the first page of most search engines.
Getting to this level of SEO takes a great deal of effort and patience, and it rarely happens overnight. The only way to know whether you have made it to this prestigious league is through rank tracking. Nonetheless, rank checkers can sometimes fail to generate ranking reports from search engines.
Reasons Why Your Rank Checker Fails
High Tracking Frequency
Some rank checking tools track your website’s rank every day – or even multiple times per day (such as SERPRobot – formerly known as SERPLabs). It’s key to check regularly, which is how you establish patterns over time, monitor issues with site performance, or know who to congratulate when SEO efforts pan out and produce great results. However, for multi-location brands, this daily tracking often results in the generation of noise that can become difficult to sort through. Daily tracking across multiple locations causes clogging that your rank checker may find challenging and even impossible to sort out and analyze. It may also trigger Google to the fact that you’re running a rank checker that it will summarily throttle, or block.
When things go wrong it will report errors or won’t check your rank at all. The possible remedy for this kind of rank checking error is the use of different browsers and machines to get better results. You can also check your rankings less often, say biweekly or even once a week. This will help your browser and computer to process the large data chunks faster and more efficiently. The main downside of this approach of improving the efficiency and reliability of the rank checker is that you might not have a clear picture of the ranking throughout the week. This is because your checker might omit instrumental movements that occurred during the downtime.
Most rank checkers and trackers have an inbuilt feature commonly referred to as human emulation. This feature enables the tracker to display and generate safer ranking checks across all search engines. If you check the ‘enable human emulation’ feature on your rank checker/tracker, your tracker’s activity will appear as if it is human driven to the search engine. In most cases, the feature functions through the imposition of some delays in between the queries. Search engines can detect the use of the rank tracker quickly and hinder its functionality by blocking proxies associated with your website and rank checker. Ensure that you set moderate delays to avoid having your proxies blocked.
This does assume that you’re using proxies – so that you don’t get your own local machine IP blocked. Many rank checkers nowadays operate in the cloud, so they take it upon themselves to check, never revealing your machine IP to Google or other search engines.
Most of the desktop rank checkers in use today connect to the internet through the default internet connection, which uses any proxies you have in place. In case your proxies get blocked, it will be harder or even impossible to access the internet and see your rank report. If you want to avoid this error, it is essential to change the proxy settings so that the tracker connects to the internet through a proxy server. Also, remember to specify the exact address of your server and the port you would like to use as well. In case the server requires authentication, you must provide a username and password that is valid for it to be successfully saved and used. If you configure the tracker this way, it can connect directly to the internet in the event any or all of your proxies get blocked.
As you can see, there’s more than one way to get a rank checker failure. The most common is simply getting blocked by Google for hammering too many requests in too short a period of time. Throttling speeds, using multiple, or rotating proxies, and emulating human behavior are the most common ways of avoiding those failures.
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