SERP position on Google : how does myposeo count ?

Hi fellow SEOs,

We had some users asking us why they found some discrepancies in the SERP position between myposeo and manual checks or results from other tools. Most of these differences  are in fact due toour parser (the part of our tool that goes on Google to check your rankings) and its advanced features. The main one is the Universal Search support where any result is independent.

In this article we’ll sum up how myposeo counts the SERP positions on Google.

How our rank checker checks Google positions :

At myposeo, we made the choice since the genesis of the tool to calculate the results in the most neutral environment, as any random user would see it, in a “first search” situation.
Here are some features about our parser :

  • No browser history
  • Generated cookie at each call
  • No cache
  • Google Chrome browser
  • Logged-off mode
  • very, very large IP addresses pool
  • We always query the local requested Google.TLD, and not a specific datacenter using its own IP address (because our goal is to mimic a random user) and request a french datacenter shows little interest for a US query.

Geolocation:

On any local query, the user’s IP address is an important factor that deeply influence the Google’s SERP ranking, especially the Universal Search.
Our worldwide infrastructure is near its completion and is based on the following rule : If a proxy is available in the targeted country then it is used, else a proxy in the area (Europe / America / Asia / Africa / Australia) is selected.

For any keyword targeted on google.co.uk, myposeo systematically selects an english located proxy. If it’s not available for the targeted .TLD, then we use a proxy in the area and the gl parameter (geolocation of the final user). We also force the geolocation on the country level, in order to avoid a too precise geolocation (city or state level).
For example, selecting FRANCE (country) instead of Montreuil (city) shows different results :

myposeo sets the geoloc at the country level, not city.

myposeo sets the geoloc at the country level, not city.

Be careful when using your own computer to double-check your myposeo results, because all the conditions aren’t always OK to get the same results.

Universal Search:

myposeo is the only rank checker where universal search is really supported. Enabled by default, you can modify the setting by clicking on “URL preferences” (the gear icon). Depending on yourbusiness objectives and your reporting, you can enable or disable the parameters of Universal Search by type:

Nowadays, SEO isn’t limited to organic results, and any visibility channel on Google is supported by our rank checker. If a Universal Search appears with 7 Maps results, these 7 websites have first page visibility on Google and you can’t ignore them. As a matter of fact, a Maps link, as well as an Images or Shopping link, can and will generate clicks instead of your organic result. myposeo is aware of these links and rank them as well.
For example, check the Universal Search impact on the “hotel paris” query, for the following URL: www.accorhotels.com

Ranking differences before and after Universal search activation in myposeo.

Ranking differences before and after Universal search activation in myposeo.

For control purpose, here’s the SERP on Google.fr:

Google SERP for the query "Hotel Paris" from France

Google SERP for the query “Hotel Paris” from France

In the same way, several results from Google News or Google Images are displayed in a unique block. But they’re still different results and myposeo rank them with a unique position. Here’s a second case study for the query “jeux olympiques 2012″ (olympic games) in France, let’s check the francetv.fr ranking:

Google.fr SERP for the keyword "Jeux olympiques 2012"

Google.fr SERP for the keyword “Jeux olympiques 2012”, can you calculate the francetv.fr rank ?

How does our parser analyse this SERP?

SERP structure as analysed by the myposeo parser

SERP structure as analysed by the myposeo parser

Now, let’s calculate the ranking of francetv.fr using different myposeo Universal Search settings:

  • All Universal Search settings enabled : rank 20
  • News and Images enabled, Video disabled : rank 17
  • News enabled, Images and Video disabled : rank 12
  • News and Video disabled, Images enabled : rank 14
  • All Universal Search settings disabled : rank 9
  • etc. Any case is possible and customizable in myposeo

In a way, many tools or rank tracking software offer wrong results as they consider Images or News results as one result (and attribute it one position) – or worse, don’t support it. But in the previous screenshot, Le Monde and Le Nouvel Obs don’t have the same position nor the same visibility, thanks to the caption.

Google’s Rich Snippets:

Many Rich Snippets results are supported by myposeo, including user reviews:

Google user review snippet is supported by myposeo

Google user review snippet is supported by myposeo

And expanded organic sitelinks. In this case myposeo also displays the sitelinks count in parenthesis:

myposeo shows if a sitelink is detected and how many links are present

myposeo shows if a sitelink is detected and how many links are present

In the previous example, we can observe that the URL lost 2 sitelinks between two rank checks so the URL lost some visibility that you can track. You can also control what sitelinks are displayed by clicking on the ranking, it’ll show the result as it appeared on Google during the check.

OUT positions and “+100″:

OUT positions or +100 (when your URL is not found in the first 10 pages of the SERP) detected during the daily rank check are recalculated five times by our tool between 8 am and 10 am with different IP addresses, in order to check that the rank decrease is real and not because of a parser error.
If you still think that the returned result is inaccurate,  you can also manually require a new rank check from a OUT result, by cliking on the refresh icon when you roll-over your cursor on the keyword:

myposeo recalculate five times the OUT position, you can also manually recheck

myposeo recalculate five times the OUT position, you can also manually recheck

Date and time of the rank check:

In order to have consistent results day after day, we always check our users rankings between midnight and 8 am (GMT+1).
Transparent with our users, we display the ETA of our rank check, at the bottom right of the screen. It gives you an idea of the freshness of the rank-check.

Just so you know, a keyword check can last up to 10 seconds.
For our packs, it means that we need :

  • POS 1 (50 keywords), about 8 min.
  • POS 2 (150 keywords), about 25 min.
  • POS 3 (300 keywords), about 50 min.
  • POS 4 (500 keywords), about 1h20 min.
  • POS 5 (1000 keywords), about 2h40 min.
  • Note : the delay for our larger packs is vastly superior than reality because actually weparallelize tasks.

As you know, we put every efforts to assure our users accurate positions on this period. However, your rankings are always moving on Google (with more than 200 ranking factors), and a position checked at 3 AM may have moved few hours later.
Images, Video and News results are sometimes updated every 30 minutes on the search engine and deeply affect the rankings.

Conclusion:

I hope that this article succeeded in explaining you how your Google rankings are calculated and whysometimes it’s possible that you encounter different results during your manual or tool-based keyword rank check.

Being in an evolving market, we also can’t 100% exclude any error on our part during a keyword rank check.
If you observe any anomaly in your rank tracking, feel free to ask our Help Desk using the eponym tab on your interface, giving us the impacted URL, keywords and your checking method. Our support team will be more than happy to help.

You read the whole article ? >> Shares and comments are welcomed

Alexandre Sigoigne

CEO and co-founder of myposeo, I am passionate about data, marketing, analytics and innovation.

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