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Automated Rank Checking Penalty?
Posted 18 February 2004 - 04:40 PM
Posted 18 February 2004 - 04:44 PM
It is against Googles user policy to query their engine with automated ranking checkers. That being said if one does not abuse them, then most likely there will not be anything to worry about. At the very worst, a search engine may block a user's IP address from reaching their site but I have never seen them penalize a site over ranking checkers. If they did, what would stop your competitor from rank checking your site to death?
Posted 18 February 2004 - 05:43 PM
Posted 18 February 2004 - 07:41 PM
Reasoning -> a properly written ranking tool simply mimics a manual search by entering the phrase and retrieving the search page. The ranking software then analyses the retrieved page for the site in domain you specified the name for. Additionally in most cases the web host is at a different machine and therefore IP address from the machine running the ranking tool.
Therefore there is no way for a search engine to connect a ranking check with a particular site.
This has actually been confirmed by the developers in the case of Web Position Gold 2.
The reason they don't like automated search tools are:
I) they clog up the system and reduce performance for real searchers
II) if there is no delay in the searches it could provoke a denial of service.
As a result of the latter it is possible to get your IP banned from Google or another search engine by using an automated ranking tool because they think you are trying to run a denial of service attack.
As long as you have a sensible delay between queries and don't set the number of concurrent queries to be too high this won't be a problem. I have never actually heard a case where somebody has been banned from Google. (Think how many end users are behind a gateway / proxy and all their searches will appear to come from one machine.)
Posted 18 February 2004 - 07:55 PM
Since he has 1000's of sites, obviously it was probably a bit extreme. Remember that AOL uses Google for results and doesn't have a policy (that I'm aware of) on rank checkers, so if you are going to check, I'd check your Google results there at the moment.
Posted 19 February 2004 - 08:09 AM
Posted 19 February 2004 - 06:46 PM
For checking your rank on Google specifically there is a ranking checker made by digital point which uses the google api and is totally google friendly.
Posted 19 February 2004 - 07:42 PM
Posted 19 February 2004 - 07:55 PM
I spoke with one of the G reps at a Search Engine Strategies Conference a few years ago when they first initiated the rank checker policy. He told me that there were numerous violators that were using WPG and other rank checkers and literally running them continually or every hour, which was causing their databases to choke. Once again, a few morons tend to spoil it for everyone else. He indicated that G was not targeting every rank checker user, just the abusers. Occasional use and a once-a-month run would probably be okay. Granted, that was one person's opinion and these rules do change without notice, so if you use a rank checker other than Digital Point's, do it wisely and don't abuse it.
By the way, WPG 2 does have a feature that can be turned on to space out the queries so that you do not overload the search engine databases. If you use that software, turn the feature on.
Posted 19 February 2004 - 08:18 PM
Posted 20 February 2004 - 09:17 AM
If they allowed a trend to develop where there were thousands of rank check users running these tools almost continuously, it would require quite a bit more processing power and bandwidth to keep up with the demand. The threat from G's policy worked, because most people are cautious about using these tools due to the threat. There was no caution prior to the threat.
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