From my own experience, I can tell you for definite that the one and only tool that really works with accuracy, is the manual checking.
Of course, the rank checking tools whether the free or the paid ones are easier and faster to use, but they are not really accurate especially if you’re in charge of monitoring different websites search engine rankings and reporting placements to the clients.
The rank checking tools are helping though to give you an idea about where to look, especially if the keyword you are searching for is behind first page or not available on the search engine. But, not all the times this is accurate either or even can give a clue where to look. Because I’ve seen this many times that a keyword was ranking on the first page, while on the rank tool records it was not available.
The rank checking tools are useful for keeping track of your records. In addition, it gives you an automated update for the possible ranking page to every keyword you are tracking.
The manual checking is hard and it takes a long time and steps, but at the end you know that what you are seeing on the search results is exactly what the client is going to see too from his side at the same time you are reporting to him.
I’ve learned a lot from this manual checking that I would like to share with those who might be interested.
First case, if you have clients in the same country where you are located
- If you have clients in the same country where you live, then you don’t have any problem in searching manually for the keywords you are tracking, All you need to do is just to type the keyword and there you go.
- When you do the search manually, you search for the keyword within the first 10 pages only, because It is no use to search after the first 10 pages anyway.
Second case, if you have clients from different countries other than the one you are located or you are working remotely from
- If you have clients from different countries other than the one you are working remotely from, you can’t just start the manual checking by changing the google version. If you do this, you won’t get an accurate search results.
- Subscribe to a VPN because you are going to need to change your location every time you switch to a different google version to check different keywords manually. I do recommend private internet access as their service is stable, simple and easy to use and there prices are very reasonable whether per month or per year.
- Disconnect from all your accounts with Google, or with any other search engines, by only clearing history and deleting cookies. You do this before you do the manual search on Google or on any other search engine.
- Connect to the VPN by choosing the country according to the google version you are going to use. For instance, if your client is in UK, then you can choose UK London or any other city from the VPN menu.
- If your search engine is Google for example, type google.co.uk, then type the keyword and then look for it manually in the first 10 pages and there you go.
- Every time you are going to switch to a different google version, you need first to change your VPN location, then click on clearing history and delete cookies and then type google.fr for example if your next client is in France, and so on…
- If you are going to do a manual search for many keywords, make sure not to type fast in the search engine box, and not to click fast on the search results pages. If you do this process fast, the search engine will interrupt you every few seconds, in order to verify whether you are a human or a machine.
I know that it seems a little bit complicated what I have stated above to search manually, but from my experience as I deal with different clients from different countries and I do work remotely from my location, this is the only way I can get accurate results.
Despite that it is very exhausting, especially when you deal with many keywords and different markets, but it is worth the time and the efforts, because we deliver accurate results and this is the most important part here.
If anyone has a similar case and managed to reach an easier faster and accurate alternative solution, other than the manual checking, please share it so we can gain from your knowledge and experience.