How And Why To Monitor Google Rankings

Why to constantly keep track of your targeted SERPs? When done regularly and properly, this analysis may help you with your most important SEO campaign challenges. By tracking your targeted keyword search engine results, you will:

  • learn new emerging SEO techniques;
  • keep track of your well established competitors;
  • timely spot your new competitors and their tactics;
  • watch blackhat techniques and learn how long their effect lasts;
  • learn how recent SE algorithmical changes influenced your competitors;
  • define who of your competitors to learn from;

How to monitor SERPs?

I’ve been trying multiple (mostly paid) tools and none of them is perfect. I won’t review them here. There is one nice free online tool that can be effectively used to track organic search results for the unlimited number of projects and domains – SerpArchive (the service is no longer available, please refer to these posts instead: How to Track Google SERPs and4 SERP Trackers Reviewed). Developed by Russian programmers, it has a great variety of features that are a real fun to play with. Some of them are broken at times (like Google PR-tracking feature) but the main (and my favorite) one is working fine.

So how to use it? All you need to do is to create a project (I keep one per domain) and add your keywords (all you want to track). And that’s it. Now all you have to do is to check back now and then to see and compare the results. Here is how the results page for each monitored keyword looks like:

Monitor Google Rankings

That’s an exact copy of regular Google results page enhanced by the rankings history of each site (to the right of each result). The ranking history will show you the snapshot of each site rankings over the last five days:

Website Ranking History

In this case the site rankings were changing dramatically: first it was #29, on the next day it lost 7 positions and then got to #8 in a day (after this sudden boost it disappeared from top 100 results at all). Do you feel you should definitely look into this site deeper? – Yeah, you bet! An interesting case, isn’t it? You can also look into a longer period of time – here is what each individual result history page looks like:

Detailed Ranking History

Here you can choose the period of time to analyze (start-end report date) and see the results in a handy format:

  • date;
  • Google rank: black for neutral (if the rank hasn’t changed compared with the previous one), green for positive change and red for negative change;
  • change = number of points lost/gained.

Plenty of data to analyze and learn from!

Some bonus features to make your life even easier:

  • Use sorting feature to view only new results (those that were not in top 100 previously);
  • Bookmark your own sites (or sites that caught your attention) to track only them;
  • Export the results to Excel to play with titles and URLs.

And which (free/paid) tool are you using to keep track of your own or your competitor’s rankings?

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project,
Ann Smarty

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29 thoughts on “How And Why To Monitor Google Rankings

  1. This is so very important. I generally do when traffic lowers down but its all cumbersome process.

    I tried registering there. even though i am using the english version it still gives me russian error message when i try to register. How to figure it

  2. I just tried to register there again, all I got was a note in English:

    “System Message:

    * Your password is sent to registered e-mail!”

    After that I was able to login – so worked fine with me…

    Try checking your email…

  3. Поле “Пароль” может содержать только латинские символы без пробелов и знаков препинания!

    This is what I got and I then thought of trying google transaltion which says

    The “Password” may contain only Latin characters with no spaces or punctuation!

    I finally registered but the error message was again in russian. Thanks for replying back else I would not have tried it anyway

  4. The service looks interesting, but it’s too generic – here in the UK we need to be able to check results – results are only useful for those in the US.

    If they could add something to allow geotargeted search, the service would definitely have a lot more potential in the wider global market.


  5. @Brian Turner: 100% agree; geo search is something they do need to add… The tool is rather new so I guess it will approve over time and (maybe) monetized…

    @Wolfgang: only

  6. What I’d be absolutely happy to pay for is a version I can host myself on my own servers, with my own private client login.

    But would need to be able to pick results to really make it worthwhile – at present, anyone looking to check rankings on already has the digitalpoint tool available to them, though attempts to use the UK results there have been less than accurate.


  7. That’s a great looking tool, Ann, thanks for pointing it out. Looks like it might be better than some of the ones I’ve tried in the past.

  8. @Brian: I would rather pay for developing a custom in-house tool (I tend to find flaws with tools developed by someone else);

    @Adam: thanks for stopping by!

  9. Have been using this for a while and mentioned it in my last post. It can be used for many things (think link: queries for your competitors). One thing that should be kept in mind – their location report seem to be based on 100 results per page setup – even if you chose to present it as 10 results per page. Keep that in mind since the locations may change depending on the number of results displayed.

  10. @Neyne: it never occured to me to use that to monitor link: queries… Thank you! While I don’t use Google for checking backlinks (because it doesnt show all links it actually sees/counts), monitoring their domain name mentions could be a great idea!

  11. This is a great tool and i will share it with my DB of partners as well that are not so technically minded -this makes it really easy to monitor who to watch out for and what to watch out for – thanks for this and the many other great articles .

  12. thank you for such a helpful article
    will try given ideas to improve my websites search performance

    but its funny … google included 70 pages on 2nd day of submission and dropped all in a day ?

    is tht usual ?

    hope to see them back in google.

  13. Great article – thanks. I couldnt agree more with the need to constantly monitor search engine rankings.

    I use – it allows me to setup projects that retest the keyword/url/search engine combinations and graph the results. It also works with exact and similar matches for ad-hoc tests, which is nice.

  14. :0(
    Service temporarily unavailable!

    Sorry, due a technical reasons service temporarily unavailable until approximately April 15.
    We are working hard to restore a service.

    For request more info feel free to contact us via e-mail.

    Sincerely yours, Serp Archive Team.

  15. I’m using this service to monitor my website’s rank – . They provide position and uptime monitoring with alerts, but rank monitoring on free account is enough for me. I recommend this service with free tariff