Occasionally we get users who are concerned about the accuracy of Serpfox. Discrepancies between what you see at your home or your office and what Serpfox reports are entirely due to the settings for each keyword. With the correct settings, Serpfox is capable of reproducing any result you see at home.
For every result that Serpfox records, a real search is executed by a real computer (just as you would on your personal computer), but it is important to realise that one keyword has many different "correct" rankings.
This guide will outline the important settings for keywords.
Different search engines report different results, e.g. www.google.co.nz will report different results to www.google.com for the same search term. Be aware that if you are outside of the United States you may be redirected to a search engine in your specific country. You can usually override this, for example on Google you will need to click the "Use Google.com" option in the lower right.
Search engines are very good at detecting where you are (based on your internet address, and other techniques such as browser geolocation APIs). If you want the results in Serpfox to match the results you see at home you must set the location for the keyword correctly.
Search results are always adjusted so that results more relevant to your location appear higher in the ranks. This is particular important for websites for brick and mortar or service oriented businesses, but it is less important for keywords where the location does not matter. E.g.
- The search results for "restaurants" or "plumber" would be heavily adjusted for the searchers location.
- The search results for "what is cardboard" would be unlikely to be adjusted at all for the searchers location.
If you execute a Google search and scroll to the bottom of the page you may see something like this:
This indicates that Google thinks you are in Mexico City, and is adjusting the search results accordingly. Therefore to achieve the same results in Serpfox, when adding a keyword you must set the location to Mexico City:
What if I just want the search results for the country? E.g. "United States"
Although it is technically possible to generate such a result, it doesn't occur in practice. Every search executed from within the United States is geolocated to a specific City or Area whether you like it or not. It would be nice if you could have one "correct" ranking result for a whole country, but the reality is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of correct results.
We recommend you test this with a few of the major cities in the United States. If they are significantly different, you may want to continue tracking cities separately. If there is not a major difference, you may only want to track the city where the business or service is based.
Search results are also impacted by any language settings. Typically you don't need to set a language because Serpfox will use the default for the search engine, e.g. www.google.co.jp will use Japanese, and www.google.com will use English.
However, you can override this. For example, you may want Serpfox to report results as though an English speaking user with an English browser executed a search on www.google.co.jp. In this case, it is important to set the language to English.
Serpfox results are typically updated once daily. As such, the rankings reported by Serpfox are just a snapshot of the search results at that time. If you are manually checking the results reported by Serpfox, you may be checking results that are up to 24 hours old. It is important to wait until results are "fresh" as they can vary significantly over a 24 hour period.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact us!