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How to Check Your Ranking on Google Accurately?

Gino Carpio
By Gino Carpio on June 2nd, 2010

SEO Specialist, clickTRUE. Responsible for optimizing websites to achieve better search ranking results. Has more than 6 years of SEO experience. Keen to meet more fellow SEO, SEM Specialists to exchange ideas!

in Search Engine Optimisation | 9 Comments

Google’s personalised search was launched on December 4, 2009. The reason behind launching this feature was to help people get better search results. Before this, personalized search was only offered to signed-in users, and only when they have web history enabled on the Google Accounts.  Some of the features that make up a personalised search include: Starred Results, Social Search, Real Time Search, Location, search or web history, cookies, and cache. Quite a few SEO practitioners can be confused over how personalised searches are affecting keyword rankings on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

A little background of how it works: If you search “basketball shoes” and you often click on www.shoes.com from the SERP, Google will rank www.shoes.com higher on the SERP the next time you search for “basketball shoes“.

For marketers and SEO practitioners who check their rankings everyday and sometimes click on their listing, the accuracy of their rankings could be compromised with personalised search. It will be quite important to get the “standard” SERP to understand how their website is performing when a normal user searches on Google.

Here are some ways to get accurate search engine results for Google:

1. Clean up you search history, cache, cookies on your browser.

2. Search from your cellphones or mobile phones.

3. You can use a “proxy site” [like vtunnel.com] on checking your ranking.

4. Sign out from your Google Account

5. Let someone do the checking, be sure your friend is in another country

6. Adding &pws=0 on the Google SERP URL [but some SEO's told me that the &pws=0 parameter is no longer working, just try]
Example:

Instead of using:  http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=shoes&aq=f&aqi=g9g-z1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
Do it this way:  http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=shoes&aq=f&aqi=g9g-z1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&pws=0

7.Using Google’s Ad Preview Tool

AdPreview Tool | Personalized Search

8. Download and Install: Rank Checker

Rank  Checker | Personalised Search

Hope the above helps.


9 Responses to “How to Check Your Ranking on Google Accurately?”

  1. Larry Lim says:

    Actually there’ll be a “View Customizations” link in the search results that you can use to turn-off personalized search.

    Using a proxy site does not always apply because Google serves different results by location and IP.

  2. Hi Larry, Yep, Google did roll out the “View Customizations” feature in Dec 2009 –

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/personalized-search-for-everyone.html

    However, the new link may not appear for certain users. I personally have not seen it although I know for a fact that I am getting my search customised for me.

  3. Nice tips. I agree that results vary across countries.

    I use a USA-based proxy site to check the search results of my American clients. In that way, I can see what the results look like from their side.

  4. Ryan Kelly says:

    Hi Gino,

    I’ve recently discovered that Rank Checker was inaccurate for Google rankings. I think this has been in the last few weeks. We use it to check the validity of our SEO software, even though we get the rankings straight from the Google API from a server in Dallas. Sometimes I think Google just wants to throw you off :)

  5. Gino Carpio says:

    Hi Ryan Kelly,

    Please check if you have the updated version of Rank Checker. It needs to be updated regularly.

    Gino

  6. Haroldous says:

    There is an alternative.. just “clear your cache”… Different countries has different results due to the data centers they’re using. :)

  7. Last time when I used Rank Checker on Firefox, it wasn’t able to let me select the search engine for like google.com.sg

  8. Samuel says:

    Stumbled upon this post while browsing through the site with the interest in career.

    You can actually use a site called Scroogle for non-biased ranking check, since Google personalized search can be skewed towards your geographical location and your own browsing habits.

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