Professional Tools to Check your Rankings

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There are many online software tools that will allow you to check your current rankings across major search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Most people in SEO will have their own ways to obtain ranking data for a selection of keywords to be monitored over the duration of an SEO campaign.  Mostly I use three different methods to collect keyword ranking positions, which I check on a daily basis.

Rank Checker

This free plug-in for Firefox (from SEO Book) offers quick and easy access to ranking data. It is particularly useful if you are pushed for time or just want to gauge roughly where certain keywords are currently positioned, for a given website. You can also export the results to a CSV file for further analysis in MS Excel. The screenshot below shows how you can select the search engines you want to obtain rankings for (1). You then add the keywords you want to track for a particular domain (2). You can now start the program running and it will return the results fairly quickly (depending on how long you set the delay between queries) (3):

Rank checker

SRWare Iron


This is my ideal web browser, which is based on the framework of Google’s Chrome browser (Chromium-source code).  The main advantage of its sleek design is that you get the benefits of extremely fast rendering websites, with the same innovative features as Chrome, minus the notable privacy and user tracking issues that surround Google’s version. SRWare Iron, also has the option to run ‘incognito’ mode, which strips out many of the personalisation and privacy issues found in Chrome.  This is perfect for manually checking the ‘absolute’ rank positions, when you want to be certain of exactly where a website is positioned for a specific keyword.

I have been a loyal Firefox user for many years, but have to say that I have almost fully migrated across to SRWare Iron, after seeing how fast and easy it is. One of the main reasons I chose Firefox in the first place, was to use a variety of the add-ons and plug-ins that other browsers did not offer. I would often find the browser window would get cluttered quickly, which affected the speed and performance of web browsing. Thankfully, there are plenty of free plug-ins and themes available to customise your SRWare Iron browser and there is a much better way of selecting an add-on; as and when you require it. The screenshot below shows how these can be toggled on and off by clicking the icon; in this case StumbleUpon:


Advanced Web Rankings (often referred to as AWR)

A previous post on the 28th March 2008 (How to Quickly Check Your Rankings) had a comment from Jaan Kanellis.  He was surprised that AWR was not included on a previous list for rank checking software. I have to admit that I shared this same point of view – which inspired me to contribute to the discussion with some information on this excellent piece of software. In fact, I would personally rank AWR at #1 for SEO Software.

AWR offers SEO users an easy way to track, analyse and record ranking results on a ‘per-project’ basis. It incorporates the three key reasons why we track ranking positions in the first place:

  1. Keyword Discovery: monitoring target key phrases within a campaign, identifying new opportunities and tracking the improvement or decline (change) of a website search engine rankings.
  2. Competitor Analysis: data is collected on all ranking websites for the search terms within a project, which provides great insights for those websites that rank highly for certain keywords on specific search engines.
  3. Reporting: there are many different preset reports that can easily generate useful data to present in a variety of formats from CSV files to PDF versions. All of them can be fully customised and tailored to fit your needs. There are also many built in visual aids (as shown in the graph below) that allow you to clearly see the progress made over time:

Advanced Web Rankings

If you are new to the program, then your timing could not be better, as version 8 has only just been released on the 18th April 2011. The interface has been updated and looks completely different to the previous version (for those who are already familiar with the software).

What tools do you prefer to use? Please share your ideas 🙂

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  •  What can i say a very old topic a very new perspective…

    Nice post!

  • It’s important that site owners and webmasters don’t start fixating on where they rank and ignore any other form of SEO measurement. Ranking is no longer the end-all-be-all benchmark of success. If all you want is rank, you could end up missing the forest for the trees. 

    • Was ranking ever the end-all-be-all of success? Surely conversions always mattered more?

      • Nick

        Tell that to Jill Whalen. 

      • Anonymous

        Yes, it was THE key performance indicator for many organizations.

        Over the past few years, most companies are finally paying attention to, and understanding the overall picture.  ROI, conversions, revenues from SE’s, lifetime value of an acquisition, leads, etc…  

        Thanks, in large part, to improved analytics- IMO.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, it was THE key performance indicator for many organizations.

        Over the past few years, most companies are finally paying attention to, and understanding the overall picture.  ROI, conversions, revenues from SE’s, lifetime value of an acquisition, leads, etc…  

        Thanks, in large part, to improved analytics- IMO.

  •  Wow, I really like the AWR interface.  I try to ween my clients off of being so concerned about absolute rankings, but it’s still something worth measuring for your money keywords.  I’ve tinkered with a few different solutions, but this might be worth checking out.  I’ve been very disappointed with RankChecker’s accuracy of late.

    • Glad you like the AWR interface Adam; it has changeda fair bit since the previous versions. I also have to agree with the accuracy (or lack thereof) with RankChecker. Sometimes it can be way out. I only really use it to get an idea of where a keyphrase places a website i.e. is it on the first few pages of the SERPs.

  •  I used Web CEO at my old agency, which runs fairly well.  One nice aspect of it versus Caphyon’s software is that it’s all integrated: the link finder and rank checker are within a single program, while with Caphyon they’re separate programs.  

    Having said that, at my new position as an in-house SEO, I opted for Caphyon for its ability to get local rankings as well as overall rankings.  It also pulls in PR and mozRank scores for backlinks, which is *very* handy.

  •  yeah very informative post

  • I am using Rank checker but not satisfy 100% because it don’t show the rank correctly and when i check rank in Google manually then i find difference both results.

  • very informative post, given me food for thought being new to SEO!

  • Ferdous Haider

    Its bit surprising the best tool the SEO industry is using is not on the list. I am talking about “Rank Tracker” by link assistant. The best and most accurate tool by far.

  • As for checking ranking – I adore CuteRank 🙂 Thank you for this article – I’m testing Advanced Web Ranking tool right now.