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    Unhappy Is it just me or is Digitalpoint keyword and BL tracker not accurate?


    Guess that should teach me not to trust any tools too much... I've been using Digitalpoint's online tool for keyword and BL tracking to track my site's progress in G but decided to recheck the results manually today... Well, don't know if it's API problem or the tool itself or different G servers supplying the data for the tool and myself, but the few keywords that I rechecked had close but not exact results... Moreover, there's a new page that's been added recently, and I've seen in the logs that it has been spidered, was waiting for it to appear indexed in G and the tool kept showing 0 pages in the URL for that page! Now, the manual site: search in G shows it has been indexed a couple days ago.

    Anybody had similar problems with it? What does everybody use to check SERPs and how reliable your tools are?
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    irish,

    i've been using the DP keyword tracker for almost a year now and i've always wondered about that. sometimes you see different results (but usually that is because of different datacenters w/google) ... the MSN results i've seen in the last couple months are plus or minus a couple and Yahoo as well.

    it seems like yahoo has a couple different datacenters that results come from, so seeing weird yahoo results in DP tracker is not surprising to me.

    all in all i think it's fairly accurate though.
    It's been fun everyone... Time to leave for good. See this for more details.
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    I've noticed this as well... In fact, when the tracker said I had 0 pages, their own coop network gave me credit for about 30 pages, so something weird with the tool.
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    Agree... worse on some domains than on others. Can't see many of my topSERPs listings and instead reports a second page at position #20 or so.
    * "It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Mark Twain
    * "Free advice isn't worth much. Cheap advice is worth even less." EGOL
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    Originally Posted by EGOL
    Agree... worse on some domains than on others. Can't see many of my topSERPs listings and instead reports a second page at position #20 or so.
    Do you ever do the manual recheck. For instance suppose some data centers show my keyword in positioins 1 and 12. The way tracker works it starts from last known position, I believe. Therefore if it knows about position 12 and checks there and finds it, it stopps looking. Many times by clicking link to check atain, the better one will show up.

    McDar's tool is helpful as well to see position on all datacenters.

    Shannon

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : Thanks! I do manual checks and that is how I knew my real ranks... but since you mention this I checked my settings and have found improvement. Thanks!
    • 4Comparison agrees : Don't even bother with check all anymore
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    Originally Posted by toddieg
    the MSN results i've seen in the last couple months are plus or minus a couple and Yahoo as well.

    it seems like yahoo has a couple different datacenters that results come from, so seeing weird yahoo results in DP tracker is not surprising to me.
    Toddie,

    How do you manage to get results for Yahoo and MSN with DP??? Is it some paid version or something? No matter what I did it never seems to work for anything other than Google... :-(
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    it's a new feature they introduced about a month back or so.

    you have to create a php file with the code the give you , and then add it into the 'edit preferences page' ... it will then track for Y! and MSN.

    here's the file you need to create... you can call it anything you want as long as it's .php

    <?php
    error_reporting(E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE);
    if (!isset($_SERVER)) $_SERVER = $HTTP_SERVER_VARS;

    if ($_REQUEST['v']) {
    echo '1';
    exit;
    }

    function get_page($host, $url) {
    global $i, $fail_count;
    $handle = fsockopen($host, 80, $errno, $errstr, 30);
    if (!$handle) {
    if ($fail_count < 5) {
    $i--;
    $fail_count++;
    }
    } else {
    fwrite ($handle, "GET $url HTTP/1.1\r\nHost: $host\r\nConnection: Close\r\n\r\n");
    while (!feof ($handle)) {
    $string = fgetc ($handle);
    if ($string == '<') break;
    }
    while (!feof($handle)) {
    $string .= fread($handle, 40960);
    }
    fclose($handle);
    return $string;
    }
    }

    function get_google($start) {
    global $i, $fail_count;
    $handle = fsockopen('api.google.com', 80, $errno, $errstr, 30);
    if (!$handle) {
    if ($fail_count < 5) {
    $i--;
    $fail_count++;
    }
    } else {
    $body = "<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>\n\n" .
    "<SOAP-ENV:Envelope xmlns:SOAP-ENV=\"http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/\" xmlnssi=\"http://www.w3.org/1999/XMLSchema-instance\" xmlnssd=\"http://www.w3.org/1999/XMLSchema\">\n" .
    "<SOAP-ENV:Body>\n" .
    "<ns1:doGoogleSearch xmlns:ns1=\"urn:GoogleSearch\" \n" .
    "SOAP-ENV:encodingStyle=\"http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/\">\n" .
    "<key xsi:type=\"xsd:string\">" . $_REQUEST['key'] . "</key>\n" .
    "<q xsi:type=\"xsd:string\">" . str_replace ("&", "&", $_REQUEST['q']) . "</q>\n" .
    "<start xsi:type=\"xsd:int\">" . ($start - 1) . "</start>\n" .
    "<maxResults xsi:type=\"xsd:int\">10</maxResults>\n" .
    "<filter xsi:type=\"xsd:boolean\">true</filter>\n" .
    "<restrict xsi:type=\"xsd:string\">" . $_REQUEST['country'] . "</restrict>\n" .
    "<safeSearch xsi:type=\"xsd:boolean\">false</safeSearch>\n" .
    "<lr xsi:type=\"xsd:string\">" . $_REQUEST['language'] . "</lr>\n" .
    "<ie xsi:type=\"xsd:string\"></ie>\n" .
    "<oe xsi:type=\"xsd:string\"></oe>\n" .
    "</ns1:doGoogleSearch>\n" .
    "</SOAP-ENV:Body>\n" .
    "</SOAP-ENV:Envelope>\n\n";

    fwrite ($handle, "POST /search/beta2 HTTP/1.0\n");
    fwrite ($handle, "Host: api.google.com\n");
    fwrite ($handle, "Content-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8\n");
    fwrite ($handle, "SOAPAction: \"urn:GoogleSearchAction\"\n");
    fwrite ($handle, "Content-length: " . strlen($body) . "\n\n");
    fwrite ($handle, $body);

    while (!feof ($handle)) {
    $string = fgetc ($handle);
    if ($string == '<') break;
    }
    while (!feof($handle)) {
    $string .= fread($handle, 40960);
    }
    fclose($handle);
    return $string;
    }
    }

    if ($_REQUEST['t']) {
    $query_order = array(1);
    } else {
    $num = 10;
    if ($_REQUEST['se'] == 'y') $num = 50;

    for ($i = 1; $i <= $_REQUEST['d']; $i += $num) {
    $query_order[] = $i;
    }

    if ($_REQUEST['l'] > 0 && $_REQUEST['l'] < 1001) {
    $x = $_REQUEST['l'] - 1;
    $y = $x - ($x % $num) + 1;
    $query_order[$y / $num] = 1;
    $query_order[0] = $y;
    $slice = array_slice($query_order, 1, max (0, ($y / $num) - 1));
    rsort ($slice);
    foreach ($slice as $array_key => $value) {
    $query_order[$array_key + 1] = $value;
    }
    }
    }

    if ($_REQUEST['se'] == 'g') {
    $error = '';
    $fail_count = 0;
    for ($i = 0; $i < count($query_order); $i++) {
    $start = $query_order[$i];

    $data = get_google ($start);

    $parser = xml_parser_create('UTF-8');
    xml_parser_set_option($parser, XML_OPTION_SKIP_WHITE, 1);
    xml_parse_into_struct($parser, $data, $vals, $index);
    xml_parser_free($parser);


    if ($index['FAULTSTRING'][0]) {
    $error = $vals[$index['FAULTSTRING'][0]]['value'];
    } elseif (!isset ($vals[$index['ESTIMATEDTOTALRESULTSCOUNT'][0]]['value'])) {
    $error = 'Unknown Google server error';
    } elseif (isset ($vals[$index['ENDINDEX'][0]]['value']) && $vals[$index['ENDINDEX'][0]]['value'] == 0 && !$_REQUEST['t']) {
    $error = 'Google gave no results';
    } else {
    if ($_REQUEST['u']) {
    unset ($results_detail);
    $position = $start;
    foreach ($index['URL'] as $array_key => $url_key) {
    if (substr_count ($vals[$url_key]['value'], $_REQUEST['u'])) $results[] = $position;

    if ($_REQUEST['s']) {
    $results_detail[$position]['title'] = $vals[$index['TITLE'][$array_key]]['value'];
    $results_detail[$position]['url'] = $vals[$index['URL'][$array_key]]['value'];
    }
    $position++;
    }
    }
    }
    $results_total = $vals[$index['ESTIMATEDTOTALRESULTSCOUNT'][0]]['value'];
    if ($error && $fail_count < 5) {
    $i--;
    $fail_count++;
    }
    if ($results) break;
    }

    } elseif ($_REQUEST['se'] == 'y') {
    $error = '';
    $fail_count = 0;
    for ($i = 0; $i < count($query_order); $i++) {
    $start = $query_order[$i];

    $data = get_page ('api.search.yahoo.com', '/WebSearchService/V1/webSearch?appid=keywordtracker&query=' . urlencode ($_REQUEST['q']) . '&start=' . $start . '&results=50');

    $parser = xml_parser_create('UTF-8');
    xml_parser_set_option($parser, XML_OPTION_SKIP_WHITE, 1);
    xml_parse_into_struct($parser, $data, $vals, $index);
    xml_parser_free($parser);

    if ($index['ERROR']) {
    $error = $vals[$index['MESSAGE'][0]]['value'];
    } elseif ($_REQUEST['u']) {
    unset ($results_detail);
    $position = $start;
    foreach ($index['URL'] as $url_key) {
    if ($vals[$url_key]['level'] == 3) {
    if (substr_count ($vals[$url_key]['value'], $_REQUEST['u'])) $results[] = $position;

    if ($_REQUEST['s']) {
    $results_detail[$position]['title'] = $vals[$url_key - 2]['value'];
    $results_detail[$position]['summary'] = $vals[$url_key - 1]['value'];
    $results_detail[$position]['url'] = $vals[$url_key]['value'];
    }
    $position++;
    }
    }
    }
    $results_total = $vals[$index['RESULTSET'][0]]['attributes']['TOTALRESULTSAVAILABLE'];
    if ($error && $fail_count < 5) {
    $i--;
    $fail_count++;
    }
    if ($results || $i == (count($query_order) - 1)) {
    if ($_REQUEST['s'] && count ($results_detail)) {
    $position_key = max(0, min ($results[0] - 3 - $start, count ($results_detail) - 10));
    if (!$results) $position_key = count ($results_detail) - 10;
    $results_detail = array_slice ($results_detail, $position_key, 10);
    foreach ($results_detail as $result) {
    $position_key++;
    $results_new[$position_key + $start - 1] = $result;
    }
    $results_detail = $results_new;
    }
    break;
    }
    }

    } elseif ($_REQUEST['se'] == 'm') {
    $error = '';
    $fail_count = 0;
    for ($i = 0; $i < count($query_order); $i++) {
    $start = $query_order[$i];

    $data = get_page ('search.msn.com', '/results.aspx?q=' . urlencode ($_REQUEST['q']) . '&first=' . $start . '&count=10&format=rss');

    $parser = xml_parser_create('UTF-8');
    xml_parser_set_option($parser, XML_OPTION_SKIP_WHITE, 1);
    xml_parse_into_struct($parser, $data, $vals, $index);
    xml_parser_free($parser);

    unset ($results_detail);
    $position = $start;
    foreach ($index['LINK'] as $url_key) {
    if ($vals[$url_key]['level'] == 4) {

    if (substr_count ($vals[$url_key]['value'], $_REQUEST['u'])) $results[] = $position;

    if ($_REQUEST['s']) {
    $results_detail[$position]['title'] = $vals[$url_key - 1]['value'];
    $results_detail[$position]['summary'] = $vals[$url_key + 1]['value'];
    $results_detail[$position]['url'] = $vals[$url_key]['value'];
    }
    $position++;
    }
    }
    if ($results) break;
    if ($error && $fail_count < 5) {
    $i--;
    $fail_count++;
    }
    }
    }
    if (!$results) $results[] = 9999;
    $output['results'] = implode ('|', $results);

    if ($error) $output['error'] = $error;

    if ($_REQUEST['t']) {
    $output['total'] = $results_total;
    echo serialize($output);
    } elseif ($_REQUEST['s']) {
    $output['total'] = $results_total;
    $output['detail'] = $results_detail;
    echo serialize ($output);
    } else {
    echo serialize ($output);
    }

    ?>
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    Thanks so much, it's been really very helpful, I got it to work now!

    BTW, I looked through their FAQ and seems like I found an answer to that problem with inaccuracy:
    I had a lower position, but now it's higher. Why does it still report the lower position?
    The system attempts to make as efficient use of your Google API key as possible by searching at your last known position. Because of this, if your old position remains in its current place, but a new page in your domain ranks higher, it will stop searching for your rank after it locates the first one (which will be your last known position). To get around this, you can trigger the "Check All" function to run and search from the beginning of the results by clicking here.

    I'm getting a rank, but it's different than what I see in Google myself.
    The keyword tracker uses the Google API, so Google decides which data center for it to use (just as if a user goes to www.google.com). Google has a lot of things that determines what data center to use, but a big part of it is physical location as determined by IP address (Google wants to send traffic to the closest physical data center). Our servers are in Southern California, so Google routes to a data center based on the request coming from Southern California. What that means, is the keyword tracker is reporting the correct results, but from a different data center than you are being routed to (Google data centers are never 100% in synch), so some users *are* seeing the rankings being reported. It just depends on the data center Google is routing them to. For international users, the difference is bigger. Google does geo-targeting based on the IP address of the end user, so users from one country will always see results that are different than another country (if you are in France for example, Google will give a higher weight to sites in French and websties physically located in France). If you use the advanced script, you can make the actual queries from any IP address in the world.
    It pays sometimes to read the FAQ :-)
    Last edited by IrishWonder; May 6th, 2005 at 01:43 PM.
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    Toddie, so there's no way to get it to check MSN backlinks, even wiht that advanced script? Or am I missing something out again?
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    to be honest i haven't checked to see if it can track MSN backlinks or not... i don't really use that feature.

    i know you can just go to msn and type link:http://www.yoursite.com though.
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    To revisit the accuracy of the keyword trackerl, what is accurate to you? To see where you rank at each of the knowwn datacenters use http://www.mcdar.net/dance/index.php. Most of the time even when things are relatively quiet at google, I will find differences between datacenters. I believe the datacenters I usually hit using the tool bar are affected by my geographic location.

    Happy SERP watching,
    Shannon
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    Originally Posted by Shannon Smyrl
    To revisit the accuracy of the keyword trackerl, what is accurate to you? To see where you rank at each of the knowwn datacenters use http://www.mcdar.net/dance/index.php. Most of the time even when things are relatively quiet at google, I will find differences between datacenters. I believe the datacenters I usually hit using the tool bar are affected by my geographic location.

    Happy SERP watching,
    Shannon
    Thanks, that's been helpful.

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