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What’s the best free Search Engine Rank tracker?

December 26, 2011 · 2 comments

in SEO

Finding out how your website is ranking for certain keywords used to be a laborious process a couple of years ago. Now, all that has changed and there are a bunch of well-built search engine ranking position (SERP) trackers out there, many of which have a free trial option. These free trials commonly offer most of the tools’ functionality with tracking for 10-15 keywords. This is an excellent number to target when your site is in its infancy (like mine). In this post we take a look at 3 of the best (free plan) search engine ranking trackers.

SEscout’s Free plan (track 10 keywords)

Free search engine rank tracker SEscout

SEscout – The positives

  • Reports are downloadable as either PDFs or CSV
  • Prices range across most budgets, from $15-100 per month.
  • The Dashboard – gives you a clear overview of your rankings in a slick, uncluttered way.
  • Updates on the free plan occur 1-3 times a day, which is just about infrequent enough to stop you obsessively checking them!

SEscout – the negatives

  • The actual SERPs themselves are often out by 1-20%. This doesn’t matter if you rank number 100 or something but it makes a difference when you get up near page 1. This is important to SEOs so I’m not sure if professionals will trust the tool because of this.
  • Sometimes the tracking misses a day or two and this can be seen in the graphs produced by the software.  
  • The SEscout interface would benefit from more mouse-overs and other simple design features to explain better what the various buttons and options are.

SEOandGo Free plan (once again – track 10 keywords for free)

Free search engine rank tracker Seo&Go SEO&Go – the positives

  • Unlike the other tools, SEO & Go will actually analyze your keywords and give you ‘Action items’ that you can address in order to improve that keyword’s rankings.
  • Support will actually help you with your requests, almost like your own part-time consultant. I have to admit I’ve not yet tried this out but it sounds like a real winner. SEO consultancy ain’t cheap, as I’m sure you know.
  • SEO & Go’s tool offers the ability to track competitor’s keywords too.

SEO&Go – the negatives

  • SEO & Go only tracks keywords that make it into the top 10 pages of a search engine. “Its Page 1 or dead”, you might think, so why should I care about past Page 10?? Well, everyone likes to see that they are making progress right? Several times in recent months I’ve enjoyed seeing my keyword ranking claw its way up to Page 1 (using SEscout), after initially ‘entering the charts’ way down in the 400’s.
  • You cannot download SERPs in PDF format.
  • At the risk of sounding like a spoiled-child, there’s almost too many features in this software and this could deter many internet marketers who just want a good, wholesome SERP trackers (like me).

 SerpFox’s Free plan (track 10 keywords)

SerpFox – The positives

  • The interface is clean, with intuitive menus, just like SEscout. In fact, it’s all a little too like SEscout, did one of them copy the other?!
  • Reports are downloadable as either PDFs or CSV
  • Although I didn’t test it, the Groups function sounds very useful if you’re on the paid plan, with more keywords. Serpfox explains it best: “Create groups to generate reports for a specific client, or to create notifications for a specific keyword or url.”
  • Prices range from a very affordable $10 a month for 50 keywords up to $99 a month for 1200 keywords, again very similar to Sescout!

 SerpFox – The negatives

  • At times Serpfox struggles to find keywords’ rankings even if they are in the top 100 already. This is obviously a big problem.
  • There’s no ‘remember my password’, this is just a minor thing, but it’s annoying!

Conclusion

For simplicity, speed and doing exactly what it promises, SEScout wins this battle. For those of you looking for a bit more than just SERP tracking, but can’t offer something like SEOMoz’s $99 a month or RavenTool’s (also) $99 a month subscription fees, SEO&Go, might be the one to check out.

image credit: danardvincente

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Bruce Murtagh is co-founder of Vetter, a system that gets you suggestion box ideas such as cost-savings ideas, and also helps navigate the Fuzzy front end.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob December 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Surprised you didn’t include Microsite Masters on this comparison. Would be interesting to see how you compare it to the others.
Rob recently posted..The Link Builders Welcome Melissa RubinMy Profile

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Michael February 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Great tools, i didn’t knew them! Personally i would recommend ColibriTool. Great SERP tracker with many other features like Google Analytics integration.

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