Caphyon Advanced Web Ranking
In: Reviews > Product Reviews
Published on June 19, 2006
As we all know, writing pages using lightweight, semantically correct code, just happens to aid in the visibility of content to search engines. For me, this has been a key selling point to higher-ups in corporate environments as a reason to move to Web standards–based designs using XHTML/CSS. However, trying to show quantitatively that a redesign or reworking of an existing design has increased search engine visibility can be daunting and time-consuming.
Caphyon’s Advanced Web Ranking does a great job of tracking and reporting search engine rankings across Web sites—and quite a bit more. It helps you check your position in the major, regional and specialty search engines.
Select Search Engines
Setting up a new project is quite simple. Just follow the wizard, selecting the search engines you would like to report on. There are over 700 search engines to choose from (see figure below).
One feature I found particularly useful was the ability to select region-specific search engines, a great feature if you are managing international sites or a campaign in a specific region. So, in addition to checking your search engine rankings on Google.com, you can compare keywords and phrases on Google.de, Google.co.jp, etc. You can also check positions for Google AdWords and specific data centers.
The next step is to enter the keywords you want to track. There is built-in integration with various keyword suggestion tools such as Google Suggest, Overture and Wordtracker. You can always add or remove keywords later. You can also import and export keywords to a comma-separated values (CSV) file.
Web Site Selection
The last step is to provide the URLs of the sites you wish to track. If you have a lot of sites to track you can color-code them so it’s easier to view your reports. You can also just list specific pages and provide aliases you wish to scan as well.
The next step is to run the report. This can take a while depending on the number of keywords you have selected, because by /files/includes/default.css the reports will run in “search-engine friendly mode.” In this mode, the application will sleep between requests so as to not bombard search engines with requests, which can make you a prime candidate to have your IP banned. However, this can be disabled by customizing your report preferences, which I did with no adverse effects (but my projects are pretty small).
The “Current Rank” and “Keyword Rank” tabs show you where your specific pages rank for each keyword you are tracking in slightly different ways. Each time you run the report, or schedule a report to be run, the application stores the results so you can compare your results to any other report run in the past. It will also show you the change in position. The “Top Sites” tab allows you select a specific keyword and shows you the top ten sites for that specific keyword. The “Overview” tab allows you to see a snapshot of your current rank. This is very helpful when you are tracking a lot of words, sites and search engines, and can be used as a good measure to see how you are doing overall.
In addition to viewing reports in the software interface, you can also export the data in multiple formats including HTML, PDF, Excel, CSV, plain-text and XML. The software also enables you to customize the reports to include logos and custom headers and footers. If you are familiar with XSL you can take the customization a step further and modify the output as you like either by modifying existing XSL templates or creating your own.
You can schedule reports to run at any interval and even automatically upload reports via FTP, which is attractive feature for small design agencies that want to provide custom-branded SEO reports to their clients.
Advanced Web Ranking comes with quite a few features; however, a few of these I did not find that useful. The graphs that can be generated are nice, but become unreadable after just a few combinations of keywords, URLs and search engines. The output is a bitmap image, but it might be better is the ability to export the graphs into an EPS or SVG file.
The search-engine submission tool is essentially a list of bookmarks to Web pages where you can submit your URL. The information provided about each search engine is helpful but I found the process to submit to search engines a little clunky. I think just providing a description and link to the submission page would be sufficient.
Advanced Web Ranking offers a free, fully functional 30-day trial, available for Windows, OS X and even Linux. The standard version is $59 and the professional edition is $149.