More About Rank Tracker

Introduction

In this video, we’ll cover some additional features of the Rank Tracker module, including historical data, domain metrics, and exporting.  

We’ll also discuss some of the frequently-asked questions we get about how Rank Tracker works.

Historical Data

Over time, Rank Tracker stores all the data it gathers about your keywords.

Historical Data

To get a more detailed look at my past ranking and backlink data for any keyword, I can view its historical information using this button on the right side of its row on the screen.

Viewing Historical Ranking Data

As you can see, this window shows a graph of the recent ranking activity for the keyword I chose.  

Select Date Range

I can use these dropdown controls up here to select the date range I want to have on display - just choose the start and end dates, and then click the Update button.  

You can see the ranking results for each selected search engine, each one graphed in a different color.  

Viewing Raw Rank Data Chart

I can also view the raw data in a chart format by clicking the Data button down here.

View Backlinks Data Chart

If I click the Backlinks button (1), the same historical information is available for backlinks to the page or domain for which this keyword is ranking.

To get back to the keyword management screen, I can just click the Hide button down here (2).

Domain Metrics

If I want to track information about my domain, such as how many pages are indexed by the search engines and the overall number of backlinks, I can do this with the Domain Metrics feature.  

Viewing Your Domain Metrics

Just click on the “View Domain Metrics” button to switch to the screen.  

Domains Start as Un-tracked

As you can see, every domain I’ve entered into this Campaign is visible here.  

Initially, each one is set as un-tracked by default.  This is because every domain I track consumes 1 unit of my monthly keyword quota.

Track Domain Metrics

I can just select the domain I want to track, and click “Track Metrics”. In most cases I’ll get my initial results in a few minutes.  

In the future this information will be updated weekly, along with my keyword ranking data.

Retrieve Domain Metrics Data

A few minutes have passed, and I can now view my results - I’ll just click the Refresh button here.

Historical Domain Metric Data

And just as with keyword data, I can click this button on the right (1) to bring up historical graphs of my domain metrics.

To return to the Keyword Rankings page, I just click this button here (2).

Exporting Data

Rank Tracker allows me to export data about any of my keywords to a file on my computer. This file can be used for analysis or graphing purposes by other applications, including spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel.

Export Ranking Data by Keyword

To do this, I just select the keywords I want to export (1) and then come down here and click the “Export” button (2).

Select Filename and Folder

I can select the filename and the folder I want the file to be created in, then click Save.

Data is stored in CSV

The file is stored as a “CSV”, which stands for Comma Separated Values.  Most spreadsheets and database applications can import this format.  

Tracking Domains vs. URLs

Some people ask about the difference between tracking Domains versus URLs in Rank Tracker.  

Tracking Domains vs. URLs

If you track a domain, every page on that site will be matched against the search results for every keyword in the campaign.  If any of the pages are ranking, they will show up in Rank Tracker.

If you track a URL, only that one page will be checked for matches against the results for your keywords.  

Tracking Domains vs. URLs

For most purposes, there’s no need to track URLs separately.  But if you’re tracking the rank of something outside your site, such as a YouTube video, you can enter the URL of that video and only that page will be tracked.

When to Track a Domain

For example, imagine I own a website with several pages set up.  I simply enter my domain name in order to automatically track every page on my site against all the keywords in my campaign.  

When to Track a URL

Now imagine I’ve also created a YouTube video which advertises my product.  I’ll enter the specific link to that video’s page as a URL in my campaign, so that I won’t have to look at the rankings of any other pages on YouTube.com which may rank for my selected keywords.

Domains vs. URLs

And remember, adding URLs and Domains doesn’t consume any additional units of your keyword quota.

Also, remember that since Google considers “site.com” and “www.site.com” to be two different domains, even if they point to the same homepage - so does Rank Tracker.

Click-Thru Results

You may have noticed the little blue arrows next to your rankings.  These allow me to bring up a copy of the original search engine results pages which were retrieved on the date my keywords were updated.  

Only the most recent set of results is available for viewing.

Viewing Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)

All I have to do is click the arrow, and a window opens up allowing me to view a copy of the pages. Clicking on the page numbers up here lets me flip through and see the full set of results.  

Results May Vary

Just remember that this is only a copy of the pages, as seen by the Rank Tracker data gathering systems - it’s not live results, and the links are not clickable.  

Also, the results might not be exactly the same as you would see by searching Google in your own browser.  

This is because Google personalizes the results, based on your location and your search history, while Market Samurai works to filter out the effects of this personalization in order to give you a more neutral, baseline set of results.

Changing Update Day

You can use the dropdown control in the Campaigns screen to change which day of the week your ranking data is updated.

If you decide to change the update day for your campaigns, you may be informed that your next update day is more than a week in the future.

Weekly Updates

Rank Tracker performs weekly updates, and if you change your update day to a day earlier in the week, it can’t update any sooner than usual.  Instead, it will schedule its next update for the following week.

Changing Update Day Example

For example, I have my updates set to occur on Thursdays.  It’s now Monday, and I’ve decided to adjust my update day to Wednesdays.  

When I do this, I see that my next update is now scheduled for 10 days in the future - the Wednesday of the following week.  

But after that, I’ll get subsequent updates every 7 days just as before.

Editing Campaign Settings

As you may know, you can use the Edit button to change the settings for any Campaign.  These include the language and region preferences, as well as which search engines are tracked.

Warnings when Changing Campaign Settings

Some changes you make will trigger a warning that this may affect the display of historical data.  

This is because if you change settings such as the region and language preference, data will be gathered using different settings going forward, and it cannot be compared with the stored data from the past.

Example of Changing Settings

As an example, I’ve been tracking my keywords under the “All Regions” setting, and now I decide to switch to “Australia to get local results from Google.com.au.  

Example of Changing Settings

Rank Tracker now warns me that this will affect the display of my historical data.

Because I’ll be using different settings with Google now, historical graphs including data from both before and after the change would be misleading.

Hidden Data can be Restored

Because of this, if you change some settings Rank Tracker will hide data gathered in the past to avoid confusion.  This can mean that all your past ranking data will appear to vanish.  

However, if you switch back to your original settings, you’ll see your past data become visible again.

Summary

So that's a quick look at some of the additional features available to you in Rank Tracker.  

  • You can study graphs of your past results,

  • export them to a file suitable for use in analytical or reporting software,

  • view the original data which was used to generate your ranking results,

  • and make changes to your campaign settings.  

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