Why my rankings are incorrect?
Rank Tracker is highly rated in the SEO community for the accuracy of the data it provides. When we say that the results are accurate, we mean that they meet 3 main requirements:
- Consistency with real-time data: unlike many other tools serving cached ranking positions, Rank Tracker fetches all data for your projects in real-time.
- Precision: Rank Tracker lets you track local rankings with precision up to the neighborhood level. You get the results exactly as they are seen from a certain target location.
- Neutrality: Rank Tracker doesn't interfere with browsers installed on your computer as it runs all the checks as from a 'clean' browser with its own set of user agents. This lets you get unbiased search results as a first-time searcher from your target area would see.
If you've come across a discrepancy between some of the data in your project and what you see opening a SERP manually, it most likely means that the results have been obtained differently. Here's how to get things in line:
Make sure you're looking at the same data
- Same keyword spelling: if you enter "gift cards" to your browser search menu and use "giftcards" in Rank Tracker, the results will most likely differ
- Same search engine: if you're using a regional search engine in Rank Tracker (for instance, Google.es and not global Google.com) - make sure you're running a manual check in the exact same search engine version (you may get redirected automatically based on your IP address)
- Same check date: make sure you've updated the rankings in Rank Tracker on the same date before comparing project data to the current results in a browser
- Same rank checking mode: check whether you've set Rank Tracker to auto-correct words (and check the corresponding SERP) and to track SERP Features (depending on that, it will either count or skip Local Packs, Image/Video blocks, etc):
Remove customizations and search history from your browser
The results of the searches you run get personalized by search engines: this can give you a misleading picture of where your site's pages appear to others. Here's how to avoid this:
- Use default search preferences: number of results per page, region and language settings, etc. If they have been modified, please go to Google Preferences to return to the default
- Clear your browsing history, cache, and cookies rather than using Incognito mode: the URLs of pages you often visit may show up closer to the top of search listings, the results may be tailored based on your previous searches or interests pulled from the social accounts you're logged into
As a rule of thumb, you will need to clear browsing data stored in your browser to get pure and accurate rankings before each ranking check.
Make sure you're checking the results for the same location
A couple of years ago, Google has started to tailor the results more and more sophisticatedly based on the location (IP) the query comes from.
If you're using the default Rank Tracker's Safe Query Mode, ranking checks run through our private dedicated servers that rotate proxies from various countries. For that reason, if you're checking rankings in a default Google with no custom localization, you may get inconsistent results: Google will still tailor the SERPs to a random IP the query comes from, even though the version of Google will correspond to your project settings (.com, .es, .nl or any other).
To get accurate and consistent local rankings, you should customize the search engine in your project and define the Preferred Location: this way the app will fetch the rankings exactly as seen from that precise location:
Otherwise, the results may slightly vary from check to check, and may naturally differ from what you see in a browser.