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Top Search Engine Ranking Software

August 27, 2008
Hi Jill,

I'm about to renew our contract with our search engine ranking optimization software, but thought I'd check out other options before committing. What do you folks use?

I've done a bunch of research and asking around, and besides a few recognized applications, the one we use seems to be the tool to use to see how well we improve search engine rankings for our clients.

Thanks for your input!

Best regards,


++Jill's Response++

Hi Melinda,

We actually haven't checked search engine rankings for clients in years, besides a few manual spot checks. Search engine rankings are simply not a metric that makes sense anymore.

Please see my article "Why Search Engine Ranking Reports Are a Poor Measurement for Success" for more info.

Along these lines, recently Google has made an effort to stop allowing automated queries by many of the search engine ranking optimization software programs.

Rank-checking programs use up a lot of Google's bandwidth, so it's not surprising they don't want people to use them. You used to be able to get a Google API key and use the programs with Google's blessing that way, but for some reason Google is no longer giving out API keys, which is unfortunate. If you have an old key, it will work, however.  If, after reading the article mentioned above, you still want to check your search engine rankings, be sure to do it only via Google's API database.

Hope this helps!


Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Company.

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Post Comment

 Erin Martin said:
Hi Jill,

But now with the google keyword tool you can see how many searches there are on average for each term. So do rankings in SERPs still really not matter?
 Jill said:
Hi Erin,

Yes, please read the search engine land article, which points out exactly why.

 Dr. Bruce Hoag said:
It is still possible to get a Google API key. I got one just the other day. Here's how you do it. Click on this link: In the sentence that says, "Simply sign up . . ." click on the link in the sentence. Read the terms and conditions, and then fill in your web address. Then click "Generate API Key." Google will create a key which will appear on your screen within a few seconds.

It will be a very long alpha-numeric. The way I keep track of these codes is to put them in the body of an e-mail, and then send it to myself. Then I file it in a folder so that I can retrieve later if I need it.

I should mention, too, that there are a lot of different API codes that Google will create for you; however, they don't make the links for them easy to find. This one was embedded in a page of FAQs.

Hope this helps.

 Jill said:
Awesome, Bruce, thanks for the info! I never understood why'd they'd get rid of them.
 Bill Kruse said:
I'd be inclined to say that rankings are the first thing you want as you do need to be visible. Second is to ask are people clicking through, and if not then you need to be looking at how your title and description appear in the SERPS, and if they're clicking through to the site but you aren't getting conversions then you need to be looking at testing, A/B or multivariate. The difference between now and the old days is that then, if the site was highly visible, you'd done your job. Now it's just one step in the process of enriching your client.

 Jill said:
Further note on the api keys. Apparently the one Dr. Hoag above linked to, is for AJAX but not for the regular SOAP database that people need to run ranking reports.

Oh well :(
 Bonny said:
Hi everybody,

I am new comer. working in a seo company as link builder but i want to be a good seo. I have some knowledge in off page optimization but no idea about on page optimization. Please give me the basic knowledge of on page opt. and how to make High rank in google of a site & Article . So give me the url of study materials.
 Jill said:
Hi Bonny, looks like you've already found the best study materials. Simply sign up for the RSS feed, the newsletter and the forum and you'll be all set.