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RankTracker: SEO Ranking Software Review

April 4, 2011 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: SEO 

We live and breathe, SEO. We run reports daily, sometimes twice a day and when Google makes changes like so many times last year, we run them three or four times daily. We compare and contrast what we find in the rankings and then hypothesize as to the “why” the Google algo handled our client’s sites and in what manner we can learn from same. SEO is our life, and for that we of course, like to use the absolutely top-notch BEST tools out there.

So for serp ranking reports, one must somehow find them all, test them all and then decide which “works” for your business best….which is exactly what we did 6 months ago. We were using at that time WebPositionGold4…which we’d tested and had been using for over 5 years. We liked WP4 and it’s methodology of handling all of the variables that such serp ranking software finds issues with and we were very very sad to learn that the owners of same, decided to deprecate the stand-alone desktop version in favour of an online version. We hate online apps, and that’s even more prevalent IMHO when it comes to ranking a clients SEO Campaign. WP4 worked perfectly for us on the desktop – we ran reports, dozens of same weekly on over two dozen client campaingns and only once or twice in the 5 years we used that software, were there ever any issues with that process….and the WP4 support team provided updates for those items within days.

But as I said, the WP4 folks stopped the app from being updated and all of us desktop users were out of luck. I would offer that I did attempt to buy the app from them…oh, it would’a stretched our cash-flow out dramatically I’m sure, but they were not interested in selling same. So, as of last fall, I was “out” of SEO ranking software. And the search began in earnest to find a replacement.

Google searches of course, led me to a short list of what seemed to be the major serp software, desktop versions only mind you, that were out there, and I worked my way through my short list carefully…and what I was interested in was ONLY ranking software desktop apps….I didn’t want to at that point, even think about as suite of SEO apps, just the one that would show me and my clients how their sites were ranking. This also shortened the list down to the following top three contenders…

As you can see, from what must be thousands of these apps out there, I knew enough to check with other SEO peers, and had lots of anecdotal evidence and forums and boards to go and learn what others thought of same to be able to get to the highest rated serp ranking apps out there.

And I tested, after downloading and installing their trial versions, I did what anyone else might do, I used three of my own sites to test for the full serp ranking functionality of each of these three apps. And I was surprised….almost at once…at the speed that only one offered right outta the box. RankTracker kicked ass!

I ran over 300 keywords for one site and the report was done and I was looking at it – i.e. it completed then used those serps to create the report in under 4 minutes. Done. I was looking at thoses rankings in less time than what my older software used to “initialize…” and that was a real eye opener, eh! My older WP4 software took 21 minutes to run that same set….so I was a happy canuck camper for that simple speed increase! The other contenders were still warming up when RankTracker was done. Score 1 for RankTracker, eh!

Okay, so it was much much quicker than the other two apps….but were the rankings true…after all, that’s why you buy an SEO serp ranking app, eh?

Did it report what a simple Bing or Google search would show – with all the various filters and screenings turned off…ie to give complete default rankings? And answer is – yes! Well, a caution here….things don’t “always” work that way anymore, in that what I might find to be a ranking in my hometown might differ from what someone in Las Vegas or Boston or Seattle might find…that’s a fact we’ve learned. But here locally, I can say that after testing I believe almost 100 keywords one by one by one by one….sigh….RankTracker had one variation only, by 3 positions on the second page….it showed the keyword phrase to be #14 and a manual search showed it to be #11….so I’m more than happy with that level of reliable true rankings. I also of course, tested the other two apps, and found that both were about the same, they both reported only 3 or 4 errors against what I’d manually tested….so while they were also very good, score 2 for RankTracker.

So, speed? Check! True rankings? Check…but what else did that app offer, you might wonder?

Things I’d not much ever thought about reared up quickly. I could simply use HTML to change the look/feel of the reports I wanted to generate. Scheduling reports? Yes, RankTracker allowed me to setup complete scheduling for various clients and their ranking reports to be done. Competitor tracking? Yes, RankTracker allows me to track a client against their top 10 competitors. KEI for keywords and phrases? Yes, RankTracker features that too. Human emulation for search engine timing issues? Yup, once again RankTracker offered up this workaround to solve CAPTCHA issues with the search engines too. FTP of reports/files/folders up to client sites for their review? Yup, RankTracker does that too…and that made the overall score in favour of RankTracker, eh!

Is it any wonder then that I chose this app?

 The other two on my list did some/most of those items that I needed but not all, only RankTracker fitted our needs. So I did what any other SEO practitioner would do, I bought the Enterprise version of same, and it’s been running here daily ever since.

You just can’t beat quality, eh….and RankTracker is just that. A quality SEO ranking desktop based software application!

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8 Responses to “RankTracker: SEO Ranking Software Review”
  1. Doc Sheldon says:

    Good to hear, Jim. I try not to depend on tools too much, doing as much as I can manually. But then, my operation is nowhere near the scale of yours. I used Market Samurai, and thought I was happy with it, for the most part, until I decided to try Rank Tracker.
    I agree… it leaves Market Samurai in the dust!

  2. Jim says:

    @Doc….you are spot-on re: the comparison of RankTracker and Market Samurai….but I have noted that the second place finisher on our own comparison testing does still have it’s devotees out there…..

    For us – speed and accuracy were – are – the only two criteria that we measured by initially, but the added features/benefits were muchly appreciated too!

    :-)

    Jim

  3. Jim, how do you get around the Google TOS that states that they do not condone the use of automated software to access their databases?

    They even name WPG in their guidelines as one of the programs not to use.
    “Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.”

    best,
    Reg
    nbs-seo.com

  4. Jim says:

    @Reg…the google TOS as you correctly quoted does NOT like automated serp apps, and while that’s true….RankTracker has a “human-emulation” functionality that does away with same. As well, there is also (tho I don’t use same) a full proxy functionality too…and as you will know, both do away with those automated serp queries….

    That said, yes, it still “is” using an app to check with google et al….but I know of no other way to do so, unless I were to hire offshore priced help to do manuals every day of the year…..again, that’s using the same serp requests, but done by a person not an app….

    Oh, WebPositiion did exactly the same, ie the desktop one…I suspect that the online one does the same thing…

    And if you think about it, it’s a real accomplishment to be able to code an app to get around that TOS and the thousands of engineers at google too, eh….

    So kudos to all who do this!

    :-)

    Jim

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