By Chris Wilson
Jul 20, 2010
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Advanced Web Ranking is a piece of software that automates the ranking process. It uses automated queries to pull data from search engines to provide you with a “moment-in-time” glance of the location of your website (or your competitor’s site). The software itself is fairly straightforward to use at the basic level. Essentially you add a set of keywords along with the websites you want to determine ranks for. From there you select the search engines you want to test on.
The beauty of the software comes with the reporting capabilities. There are all sorts of reports you can run based on the data; Competition, Current Rank and Visibility reports to name a few. Of course, if you don’t like the default reports then you can make your own. This is the first step to streamlining the process. Data is of no use unless you can analyze and apply it. So when setting up the report, remove the useless data and add in the fields that are of utmost importance to your rank diagnosis.
After setting up the report, now we can get down and dirty with some of the advanced tools and services built-in to the software. We will start with the easiest.
In my opinion, this is the most important feature. Scheduling is the core of any technology process in a company. Given a limited amount of bandwidth and working hours, you need the system to run at peak performance when you’re working. Thus you schedule actions to run over night so the next morning you wake up and everything is ready to go. This is one reason why outsourcing has become so popular – you can fit twice as much work into one day. Scheduling does the same thing. Advanced Web Ranking allows you to set any schedule you like. It creates a scheduled task on your operating system so just remember to leave the computer/server on.
Scheduling can output to a CSV or XML file. Both of these options allow for some easy data processing. However, if you want to be alerted once a ranking report has finished or you want the results sent to you so you can see changes since the last report then Advanced Web Ranking has a fairly simplistic email option. You’ll have to add a little bit of information (outgoing email server info, etc) but after that, you’ll get an email on whatever schedule you set up. It’s really nice when you need the data sent out to multiple people quickly – just let Advanced Web Ranking do the work.
FTP (transferring files)
So now you have the rankings scheduled and emails being sent. The next question is how do you get the information to another computer, server, database, etc? Well, FTP is your answer. FTP is a standard for transferring any type of file to another location. Advanced Web Ranking has a built-in FTP option. When creating a report, just select the FTP location you’d like to send it to and after the report finishes it’ll send the CSV/XML file over. Once the file is there, it’s up to you what you do with it. In our case, the goal is to input the information to a database so we use a programming script that is executed once any file is added to the FTP location.
A proxy (in the real world) is simply a person authorized to act for another. Fortunately, that’s exactly the same in the computer world. Typically a computer sends a request to another server for information but when using a proxy your computer sends a request to the proxy who then requests the information to the other server. So it acts as an intermediary. You can buy proxy servers at several sites online. Advanced Web Ranking allows the use of proxies to improve the speed of obtaining ranking results. The software can make approximately 5,000 queries in 24 hours. 5,000 queries would be equal to 2 search engines looking for 250 keywords with a search depth of 10 pages (2 X 250 X 10 = 5,000). For each proxy you add, you can obtain another 5,000 queries in a 24 hour period. This is especially helpful when tracking several keywords and/or many competitors.
In conclusion, Advanced Web Ranking is an extremely powerful to have in your toolbox. It’s fairly easy to implement and incorporate into your current system. It can produce some impressive results with very little work on the human-end.