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ADVANCED WEB RANKING TOOL
This is an SEO tool that I used to use, but no longer feel it’s that highly relevant to me, because I think I can get great ranking data from GSC anyway. It’s made by Caphyon and is available on annual subscription. You download the software to use it on your computer, but the license is checked on launch so you need to pay for a key to operate it. I think it has a free trial version you can try out for 30 days. Check with AWR on the current licence and trial criteria.
This SEO tool is designed to perform searches for a set of keyword phrases in any given search engine and return rank position results for a pre-determined domain name. The main reason you might use this tool is for automation of rank checking, and it provides some graphical representations of how rank for the keywords are tracking over time. It’s a cool tool if you are fixated on measuring ranking – but I think you’re better off measuring conversions, not rank, as your yardstick for success. Admittedly, success does ride on improved rank – but you should see rank measurement more as a holistic tool for search engine optimisation, not the end goal. Optimising your site is not really your goal. Building a successful website is. At least I hope that’s true for you.
‘Out-of-the-box’, AWR has a fundamental flaw that you need to be aware of – as would any software of this type, but it makes up for it by having a great solution at hand. The problem is that any search performed by this software will be identified by Google (or other search engines) as being performed from your Internet Protocol (IP) location. An IP location is the digital address of your connection to the internet, and these are allocated geographically by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This address data is used by Google to customise search results, especially in genres that are about local product or service providers – like a plumber for example, who would probably not take work outside of his or her town, so search engines serve results based on plumbers who are closest to your location, or to the location you searched about. This means that in many genres the AWR ranking tool will give geographically biased results. Move your location (like using the software from home instead of at the office) and the rank results are probably different. To overcome this issue, it’s necessary to use an IP address that is less likely to influence localised search results and give a more even and unbiased view. AWR offers IP addresses that allow you to simulate this less biased situation, called Proxies. You can buy proxy IPs from many vendors, not just AWR. Proxy IPs are used widely by internet hackers to hide their true location and identity, so be wary of where you are getting the proxy IP from and whether you think this seems all a little too ‘sneaky’.
Another problem you might encounter if using AWR is that it is performing automated searches on your behalf, and may be behaving like a program or robot – which it is of course. Repeatedly polling Google search pages using software or automated action may be against the Terms of Service from Google and Bing or any other search engine you are doing searches with. If the search pattern from AWR is detected as seeming like it is automated, Google has the right to deny you access to the search engine entirely. AWR tries to overcome robotic patterning by building in random delay periods to try to act more ‘human’, but depending on settings, it doesn’t always work. You can extending this feature by using multiple proxies so that sequential searches appear to be from different users in different locations, but again, this isn’t guaranteed fool proof.
My advice around this tool: Check it out on the free trial if you can get one. See what data you can get that you find helpful, but at the end of the day, be aware that rank isn’t everything. As I noted earlier, I gave up using this as an SEO tool because I prefer the data from GSC, and while gains in rank are the goal of SEO, it isn’t the goal of your business – which I assume is more about successful conversion and profitability.