Understandably a lot of people have been asking for what I use for tracking rankings. I had trouble finding a low cost solution because I’ve been using market samurai myself because I bought it a long time ago back when I started and was using it for keyword research (I stopped using it many months ago for that purpose). However, it’s $100-150 and that’s very expensive for a rank tracking tool. I know a lot of people like to promote it in the SEO world but the truth is while you feel “powerful” using it because it can do so much… I find it just slows me down switching between all the tabs/waiting 1+ minute per keyword search etc. The free google keyword tool does a search in 10 seconds and it takes 5 seconds to download that .csv file and eventually you upload them all to TKA’s niche refinery and sort them by competition. Market samurais competition research in the keyword tool does not take into account the top 3 or 5 (which is all I care about) but rather the number of competing pages with your keyword in their title/url etc. It’s really near useless information as far as I’m concerned, I have to put the limit very high because you can miss a lot of good keywords which can simply be targeted by a lot of super low quality sites.
SeoMoz for quick keyword searches from anywhere
Previously, as a free keyword rank checker when I did not have access to MS or when I wanted a quick rank checking update I would use seomoz’s tool. However, this is not an ideal solution if you want to use it for all your keywords on a weekly/daily basis because you are limited to 5 keywords per day. You need to pay $100/month for the PRO version which would allow you more keywords.
SeoBook’s Keyword Rank Checker
So, I finally found a good FREE keyword rank checker tool that seems to work really well as a plugin for firefox. It’s from Seobook and here’s a link to the tool. Great blog to read by the way for general SEO news, though things are often a big negative these days over there :P. You do have to register a free account first to be able to download any of their stuff but it’s no big deal. I don’t think I even ever get any emails from them about lame product promotions or whatever if you’re worried about that.
Anyway, it’s very easy to set up and it works with firefox 4 (which I love but I still use alongside chrome). To see the toolbar make sure to go to view — > toolbars –> Add-on bar and you should see the rank checker icon at the bottom right. Or if you do not want to see it in your toolbar alongside your other addons just do tools — > rank checker –> run.
It’s very simple to use, just make sure to “save” your keywords by groups. For example, all my niche 1 website keywords are saved together as “niche name”. Then you can just re-open that group of keywords at any time to re-run it to track ranking changes. I personally only track my rankings on Google most of the time. I track hundreds of keywords so enabling yahoo or Bing would just make it even slower. I do check Bing from time to time as a curiosity since they do have 30% of the US market share apparently nowadays.
If you are getting banned from Google because you are tracking too many keywords make sure to increase the delay from the default “2” (which I assume is 2 seconds). Since one of my website has 150-200 keywords to track I usually have to increase the delay ;).
Let me know how this works for you guys, from my limited testing it looks like a great free solution and I haven’t found any problems.