The 6 Biggest Outdated Rank Tracking Industry Standards

The 6 Biggest Outdated Rank Tracker Industry Standards

There is a problem with industry standards in general. This can be seen in any field, not just SEO and SERP tracking Google and other search engines.


Industry standards are a connecting thread. They’re a baseline of minimal required quality. You might be above a certain industry standard, or you might fall in line with it. Whichever the case may be, you need to at least be aware of how standards measure up to the reality of their respective field.


But here’s the main trouble – very often, industry standards are not flexible to the paradigm shifts that happen in their respective fields. Many times, the field advances but the standards are catching up to reality too slowly.


This is especially troublesome in a tech field that develops at a near-exponential pace. Industry standards that develop at their “old” pace will always fall behind.


We’ll focus here on industry standards of tracking search engines, since this is our main expertise. You’ll learn about the REAL standards required to track Google correctly and why the common thread you’ll find with the majority of rank tracking tools is that they’re simply not up to date for 2019 and beyond.


Why industry standards will never catch up to reality

The race between standards and the development of an industry is very common and has happened throughout history. It’s a very natural process.


The standard for treating extreme mental conditions, for example, used to be a lobotomy, and eventually that changed because knowledge in the field of psychiatry had advanced. But during a transitional period in the 1950s, it was a process of changing the standards to adapt to modern reality, namely what we had come to know about the brain and how it relates to mental disorders.


The music and movie industry learned the hard way about how their fields had changed with the introduction of streaming, crowdfunding, indie publishing and online pirating. Blockbuster kept clinging to the outdated standards of video rentals, while Netflix saw above the standards and had a clear vision for where the industry was headed. Netflix is worth billions today, while Blockbuster is a store in Alaska – a decaying fossil of industry standards.


Speaking of fossils, another example is our reliance on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels were once a great catalyst of growth and technological advancement, but our understanding of the energy and environmental fields has evolved since then. A transitional period of weaning off fossil fuels started somewhere in the ’70s when the first real awareness of global warming began. This one is a classic case where standards are dangerously slow to catch up to reality.


We are in a transitional period in SERP tracking right now. The standards, which the majority of ranking and keyword research tools rely on, are outdated and do not coincide with Google’s reality.


Everybody follows them since they’re the most common denominator. But this time, what’s considered as “standard” is simply not good enough anymore – and certainly not for 2019 and beyond.


We are at a tipping point, and what you’re about to read next will more than likely become the new gold standard of rank tracking. Especially now that Google SERP features and other updates that affect organic traffic are present, it’s time to know how to keep up with the trend and evolve.


Why you unknowingly settle for incorrect rank tracking

Let’s be clear right from the start – no one is deliberately lying to you (at least we don’t believe so). But by not knowing any better, you end up settling for an outdated technology.


Because you aren’t familiar with the true picture of how Google determines ranks, you accept inaccurate results and pay your hard-earned money to see a false picture. Of course, who wouldn’t be enticed with a powerful tool that promises the world, right?


Here are the 6 biggest issues that absolutely must be addressed, even if you don’t plan to dive deeply into this subject.


1. Mobile and desktop Google ranks standard

Rank tracking Google is more than desktop vs. mobile ranks!


This one is mentioned very often on our blog, and for a very good reason.


If you take SEO seriously, and if you’re a first-time reader of our blog and not familiar with us yet, then this might be one of the most important articles you’ll see.


Everyone knows by now that Google ranks pages for mobile users differently than for desktop users. In 2019, anyone who searches from a mobile device will see different Google search results than if they search from a desktop device. So far so good.


The problem is that this standard was good for 2014, two years before Google officially announced their mobile-first approach. When they officially announced it, what they were really saying was that the protocol had become so well-adjusted, it had become an actual baseline for Google algorithms. And as Google never sits still, they were thinking way into the future when they announced that.


The 2019 ranking trends and methods go far deeper than just mobile vs. desktop.


Here’s how they REALLY rank pages plus the additional factors which determine a rank:


By a user’s UI language – For example, a user’s default UI language on Google is French, and their wife has English as her default language. They might both search for the same term but end up seeing different search results (some ranks will be identical, but the overall SERP will be populated differently). Here is an example of that:
Results for 'sleeveless quilted jacket' as displayed in the PRT platform.


By the user’s mobile OS type – A person searching from an iPhone for a certain term will see a different SERP than a person searching for the same term on Android:

Results for 'sleeveless quilted jacket' as displayed in the PRT platform.


By the user’s mobile screen type – A person will see their Google search results tailored to their screen size – tablet or phone:

A bunch of executives counting their grey money after having an unsuspecting customer fall into their tool’s auto-renewal trap

A bunch of executives counting their grey money after having an unsuspecting customer fall into their tool’s auto-renewal trap


2. The geo-targeting standard

Almost everyone knows by now that Google adjusts search results to a person’s location. That way, a person searching from France will see results that suit their location, and a person searching for the exact same thing from London will have tailored results to their locale. But just like with the mobile vs. desktop issue, the result on the site explorer goes deeper than that.


Google’s SERP is so geo-targeted, people from two adjacent neighborhoods might see different search results simply by being a few miles apart.


You need to be able to track ranks on country, state, city, neighborhood and airport levels. Keyword performance varies per area when you consider other factors like businesses in the vicinity and distance.


To know a CORRECT rank, you need to know the main demographic that you target and track the specific ranks that they will see. This is more than what your ordinary, free keyword explorer tool can do.


For example if you promote a website that teaches English to French people living in New York, then this is a possible relevant rank combination for that case:

  • {Location: New York | UI language: French | Platform: desktop}
  • {Location: New York | UI language: French | Platform: mobile | OS/screen type: iPhone}
  • {Location: New York | UI language: French | Platform: mobile | OS/screen type: iPad}
  • {Location: New York | UI language: French | Platform: mobile | OS/screen type: Android phone}
  • {Location: New York | UI language: French | Platform: mobile | OS/screen type: Android tablet}


Here’s the reality – and again, you can double check us on that – Most SERP trackers on the market will NOT be able to track on this level. Because of that, the rank they’ll show you will be irrelevant 99.9% of the time, and therefore INCORRECT by 2019 requirements. You won’t get valuable traffic data that you can utilize in your ranking strategies. 


Most will tell apart desktop from mobile, perhaps with some geo-targeting filtering to a country or state level. But what about the other layers? What about a relevant location?

They’re giving you data which might not even fit your case.

3. The ambiguous accuracy standard

This topic is rarely discussed, and many simply don’t address it directly because their accuracy rates are very low.


Since we pride ourselves on the ability to give you your ACCURATE ranks however, we approached this subject with more depth and exposed why most SERP trackers are inaccurate. We even explain our methods and why our rank tracker works while others don’t:

The truth revealed! Why are some SERP trackers more precise than others?


In a nutshell, Google is not a static entity; it shifts and morphs and evolves. There are small changes in the algorithm or in the markup of the SERP that go unannounced. These changes happen virtually all the time, and they throw a wrench into the way SERP trackers get their ranks.


You can adjust to their changes constantly like we do, or you can do it only once in a while.


If, let’s say, a certain SEO and keyword tool updated their rank tracker once every few weeks to Google (because it’s an expensive process), they would only be able to read Google correctly for a short time because Google would change again very quickly.


Another factor that comes into play here is the previous two points – even if they can read the SERP correctly, which types of ranks are they really showing you?


4. The update frequency standard

If you get to be highly ranked and you publish new content often, Google will crawl your website frequently. In some high-end cases, once every few seconds. But in most positive common cases, once or maybe twice a day is perfectly normal.


Their crawlers are getting more and more efficient, therefore it’s reasonable to assume even websites that are not ranked top10 will be frequently crawled, simply because it just doesn’t take as much resources as it used to.


Because of that, you need your ranking data updated at least once a day. We do it once a day by default for all users, and our paid users get an additional reserved update on demand for the freshest ranking and keyword data they can get. These are usually popular blogs, news outlets and e-commerce websites with frequently changing products.


5. The grey fees economy

This is a common phenomenon throughout the entire internet tech industry and not just in SEO tools. Just because something is common practice, that doesn’t make it good.


You’ve all been there: you get a free trial only to have it auto-renewed and you pay  more than what’s stated on the website.


While we understand why this is such common practice, we also believe this is unnecessary and will very likely change in the upcoming years as people become more sensible consumers.


Simply put, you can try Pro Rank Tracker for absolutely free today for 7 days with all features unlocked!


Your trial will simply turn into our rank tracking plan that has no time limit, but is also limited on features and the term quota you get.


If you decide to upgrade your ranker tool plan, it will be the best decision you made as far as tracking your search engine ranks is concerned, and it’ll because you made the decision – not because you forgot to cancel on time.


There is money in scalping on auto-renewal plans. This is simple market economy and a well-known fact – companies want to be profitable, and that is 100% legit and understandable.


We decided on a slightly different approach early on – invest first and foremost in our technology and in customer service, never resort to grey fees, and the referrals will come on their own.


This was a risky move, but it worked – we might not be the biggest or richest players in the field, but we are PROFITABLE while not sacrificing our company’s vision, and as a result we currently provide the highest quality rank tracking you will find anywhere on the market.

A bunch of executives counting their grey money after having an unsuspecting customer fall into their tool’s auto-renewal trap

A bunch of executives counting their grey money after having an unsuspecting customer fall into their tool’s auto-renewal trap

6. A lack of fair entry-level monthly plans

Currently, there are almost no small and affordable rank-tracking plans.


Usually the entry-level plans on the market go for $50-$70 range for low quotas.


Anyone who checks the 5 most popular tools will think this is just the reality and there are no alternatives.


Many small professionals and beginners in SEO don’t need huge quotas to track their campaigns, and certainly there is no reason for them to be paying $600 a year to use a rank tracker.


Also, no one addresses the pound for pound value behind those plans. How many actual ranks do you get to track for that amount? If it’s $50 a month and you only get a quota of 300 search terms then that is very expensive – $0.16 per tracked term.


We have real entry-level plans for beginners that start as low as $17 per month for 300 terms. That’s $0.056 per tracked term and almost 3 times the value.


Now before this seems like an overly self-glorifying article that disregards our competitors entirely, we want you to know that’s far from the case here.


In fact, they might excel at other aspects of providing high value to SEOs, such as having amazing blogs full of helpful tips and data and other needed tools for SEO. We are not talking about any of that – this is strictly about tracking Google ranks the right way that fits the reality in 2019 and probably beyond. Nothing more, nothing less.


Now that you’re reading these lines there are no excuses about not knowing any better, because now you know better. We don’t want to blindfold you with fancy marketing rhetoric. On the contrary, we want you to be a reasonable consumer, and we want to open your eyes so you will have a clearer view of the search engine rank and the SERP tracker market as a whole.


So, what can you do?

Well for starters, educate yourself. Read our blog for our coverage of Google’s ranking principles. Here are a few good places to start:

The ultimate SERP tracking guide: How to track ranks according to the type of website and business in 2018/2019
SERP tracking in a post-privacy world: How Google knows your location virtually at all times

Google airport ranks and the new levels of local SEO rank tracking in 2018


Next, get your hands on some proper SERP tracking equipment that features more than competitor analysis or keyword explorer. It can be us or it can be anyone else’s ranker tool you find that’s up to our standards. Set yourself up with our 7-day free trial and see your REAL ranks.


Finally, please understand, this is NOT an attempt to condemn the industry we work in. This is just an observation on the current state of SERP tracking. Eventually, we believe all the tools will catch up. But until that happens, we hope that even if you’re not our user, you will at least stay aware and educated on the matter.


About Pro Rank Tracker – A SERP tracker that rises above the industry standards

Using Pro Rank Tracker is the most reliable and accurate ranker tool on the market to monitor your organic search engine progress.


Not only that but you get 6 rank trackers in a single tool!
Other than Google’s regular organic ranks, we also track:

  • Google’s specific SERP elements – Snack Pack, top100 local map listings, and the video carousel
  • Bing and Yahoo! with all their local versions
  • All Amazon sites
  • YouTube
  • and .ru


And this is just the main course that we offer. Wait until you see the side dishes which include 100% white label coverage and the search volumes of all target keywords revealed (not just for Google!).


Try us out to see all that in action for yourself.


Help others find PRT!

We believe everyone deserves high-quality rank tracking.


Another industry standard that we strive to excel at – we offer one of the best Affiliate Programs you will find in our niche.


Any account you refer to us gets you a 20% recurring monthly commission for the ENTIRE duration of that account.


Now let’s see them beat that.

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