How do I Tell Where My Website Ranks in Google?

SEO Question: So here is my question. I have followed a good deal of your advice and am thankful for it as I see myself sitting pretty for some of my keyword phrases. However, my friend in Idaho sees different results and my friend in Saudi sees different results - and I wanna know - does Google index differently according to geographical locations?

Assuming that you mean where you rank in the SERPs (also known as the search results page) and not PageRank - which is a rough estimate of global link popularity, there are a number of factors which may show you different search results than what your friends see when they search Google. The 3 major factors are:

  • data center

  • location
  • personalization

Google's Data Centers:

Google has a boatload of data centers around the world. In fact some of them even be running in shipping crates. They usually route search queries to the data center that is nearest you. In a recent interview Google's Matt Cutts said:

In fact, even at different data centers we have different binaries, different algorithms, different types of data always being tested.

If they roll new filters or make large changes to their algorithms you might notice different results as you hit one data center or another.


A friend of mine owns a site in a hyper competitive market that used to be owned by a person from Australia. While the site does not yet rank as well as my friend would like on it ranks for amazingly competitive single word queries in Google Australia ( due to having many links from websites that are located in Australia.

Within Google's local search they allow people to search for all websites or just local ones. You can appear in local databases by hosting your site there, using a domain with a local extension, or having many links from sites that are deemed local in nature.

If you are in Canada even if you search on those search results will be biased toward Canadian websites. If you are located in another country but want to see what Google's search results look like in the US you can search Google from a proxy.

Search Personalization:

If you are logged into a Google Account they will bias your search results based on websites you have visited, especially those you have clicked through to from search results.

If you visit a site or page frequently they will improve the positioning of that page in your personalized search results. If you visit a page occasionally just rank checking, and then sometimes clicking onto your result then clicking back nearly immediately Google will demote those pages in the SERPs.

You can turn off Google personalized results by clicking a link on the results that says something like Turn Off Personalized Results

Free Google Keyword Rank Checking Tools to Use:

There are a number of free tools that make it easy to track where you rank.

I like tracking some core keywords using Rank Checker. It is free and stores historical results, offering data refreshed however often you would like it refreshed. And since it sits on your desktop you don't have to worry about others spying on and aggregating your data to compete against you.

If you just want to check where you rank in Google I have a few rank checkers in the tool section on my website as well.

Keep in mind that many of the rank checkers will set the number of results per page to be a different number than the default 10, and that will cause a slight ranking skew. Also if you wanted to check your rankings on different data centers McDar has a free tool which makes it easy to check your rankings across a number of data centers all at once.

You could also manually go to any of the data centers directly and do a search query from their IP address, like or

Paid Rank Checkers

If you need to track rankings in some search engines outside of the core global search engines (Google, Microsoft Bing, & Yahoo! Search) say like Baidu or Yandex then you might want to give Advanced Web Ranking a look. In addition to storing your rank data they store the entire top 50, and allow you to create graphs with it and provide many different useful reports that give you various looks at ranking trends amongst competing sites.

Server Logs & Tracking:

It is easy to get hung up on where you rank for a specific term, but it is far more important to try to rank for a diverse set of terms. See what terms are driving searchers to your site and track which of those terms are converting. From that data you can create more content around what converts or spruce up the top performing pages by adding a few modifiers or making the content more compelling to human visitors, and thus further increasing conversions.

Published: May 25, 2006 by Aaron Wall in Q & A


June 24, 2007 - 12:36am


by Steven Stiles At
Among these passengers was a little N.Y. girl named Des who was going with her uncle parker to St.Louis to visit some relatives they had never seen before.And a long the way she meets a couple of new friends in St.Louis who help her stop the president of St.Louis of his evil ways.Steven Stiles is a student of the human condition, wielding the written craft to enrapture the mind much like an artist wields a brush. The pages are a blank canvas on which to draw from a talent heralded by many and matched only by an imagination that rises to the task. Des Meets The President is the first in a series of recent pursuits, with work progressing quickly on the follow-up. Shelly Santos and the kids, Betty Knight, Toby Stiles, Parker Stiles, Lorelei Stiles, Destini Barton

Aamir Hasan
March 1, 2007 - 8:01am

i was showing someone Google Local one box results for a specific search, and they asked me why Google was showing distances in those results, and where the search engine got the distances from. my answer was that it was from the centerpoint of a defined geographic region that Google assigned to the businesses listed. And no, I couldn’t tell themwhere that point was located at.My answer was based upon a patent application from Google that was published earlier this summer

June 1, 2006 - 1:57am

Yes that makes sence. As you mentioned in your seo ebook, certainly it would be nice to have site that ranks for say "seo" however whats important is to go for the more "niche" keywords such as "personal seo consultant"

In addtion it makes to do the same with an adwords campaign as you will be paying less for these "niche" keywords while targeting the right customers that you want.

September 19, 2007 - 11:46am

I have a site ... when you type call center outbound in it will show you on #4 however that makes no good for me as my relevant traffic is from I have tried reading the post all over the internet but i never got any answer. How do i get my site on instead of .

I have already changed my domain registration to USA address which was india address previously.

October 22, 2009 - 8:04pm

I tried Digital Point's checker and after going through all the effort it doesn't even look like it communicates with Google anymore (I tried typing my website name in which appears #1 in Google and it showed "N/A").

I found a better free site though:

Just my 2 cents.

October 23, 2009 - 9:03am

Thanks for the reminder kirkhilles. I will update this post to reference our new(ish) rank checker real quick.

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.