The Internet is constantly evolving, Google keeps changing its rules, and search engine optimization has to keep adapting. When we first looked at SEO PowerSuite two years ago, it looked like a pretty powerful software suite that would help to get your site to the top of the search engines. Last year, they updated the reports and added some new features.
More recently, Link-Assistant has added a new feature to Rank Tracker, which is one of the four main programs included in SEO PowerSuite. Not only has the software been redesigned, but it also comes with the new ability to check personalized search results. Let’s get down to today’s review and have a look at how it all works.
Revisiting Rank Tracker
If you’ve read my previous reviews of SEO PowerSuite, then you are likely already familiar with Rank Tracker. Even so, I think it’s worthwhile to offer a quick refresher.
The idea with this tool is that you can track the ranking of your website for your list of chosen keywords or keyword phrases. This way, you’re not hunting for your website through dozens of search result pages. What’s more, you’re able to track your ranking across multiple search engines and see the kind of progress that you are making over time. It works with Google, as well as Bing, Yahoo, Dogpile, Excite and more.
Setting Up Your Ranking Projects
Now, let’s have a look at the software itself. I’m reviewing the version for Windows PCs, but I imagine the user interface and overall experience will be very similar with the Mac and Linux versions too.
After installing the Rank Tracker software and entering your registration key, you are then treated to a blank slate. Creating a project consists of a few quick steps. First, you enter the domain that you would like to track; I used MichaelKwan.com in my example. Next, you select the search engines that you would like to use. These can be changed after a project is created too. And then, you enter the keywords that you would like to monitor. You can enter multiple keywords (one on each line) and Rank Tracker will track them all.
Rank Tracker will then go through and see how your website (domain) ranks for the different keywords in each of the search engines that you selected. The results are presented in a simple table form with a separate column for each search engine. Naturally, you can manage multiple projects (one for each domain) and track your ranking progress with the graph at the bottom half of the software.
Now Personalized Search Results Too
The new feature recently added to Rank Tracker is the ability to track personalized Google results. Why does this matter? The thing is that your search engine ranking is not universal. It also has to factor in location, language, search history and a user’s custom settings.
You might rank first for your keyword when someone searches using Google in New York in an English language browser, but you could be buried on the 10th page of results if someone searches using Bing in Hong Kong with a Chinese language browser. These differences matter and Rank Tracker lets you track how your site ranks on Google for real users.
These “advanced settings” are easily accessed from within the software, under the Preferences menu. If you go to Preferred Search Engines and hover your mouse over Google, a green “plus” symbol appears. Clicking on that brings up the advanced settings shown above.
Using this hypothetical example, let’s say that the user is currently in Australia, but their browser is set for results from Canada with French language settings (perhaps he or she is from Quebec). This is pretty specific, but you can get even more precise by naming a city and adjusting the SafeSearch filter level.
How Much Does It Cost?
As mentioned earlier, search engine optimization is constantly changing and your tactics oftentimes have to change with them. It’s good to see that Link Assistant is keeping up with its updates and the inclusion of personalized search results in Rank Tracker is a definite plus.
Rank Tracker Professional, which is “perfect for website owners and webmasters,” sells for $99.75 and includes free lifetime updates and free professional support. The Enterprise license “for professional optimizers and SEO companies” is $249.75. Alternatively, either version can be purchased as part of the more comprehensive SEO PowerSuite bundle.