Enumerating Google results

It took me a long time to find an ideal solution for a simple feature: I wanted the results on Google’s SERP (search engine results page) numbered. That would give me an easy answer on how a client’s site at for a certain keyword ranks. (I will make another post later on how to depersonalize a search, to make the number more universal.) I spent over an hour finding the right thing. I hope that reading this post will save you time if you are looking fror th same thing.

SEOBook’s RankChecker is supposedly doing it. However at my company we have to use an old version of FireFox, because one of our vendor’s site only works with that. RankChecker, however, doesn’t work with such an old Firefox. And I can’t run two different version of Firefox on a Mac. So that’s out.

I think SEMToolBar has the feature I am looking for. At least that’s how I read this convoluted explanation: “This is the Keyword (or phrase) being followed. The user wants to know what position or index tracked pages have in the search results when this Keyword is used as a search query. The user also wants to follow the tracked pages’ position in the search results over time.” However this feature is only for paying members and I was looking for a free option. Membership prices http://www.seotoolset.com/ range between $30 and $1500.

The other two better known SEO toolbars are SEOQuake and SEOMoz. The former doesn’t have this feature at all. The latter, might have it but only for members and membership starts at $99/month .

As I am on a Mac I even looked into Safari’s extension. There I didn’t even find anything close to what I wanted, plus I couldn’t search the pool of extensions.

Next I checked out Chrome extensions and found Google Enumerator by Blue Fountain.  I watched their video, installed it and waited for the red numbers. They never showed up.

The most promising FireFox Extension was ResultRank. It only has 1 review and 390 users so I don’t have high hopes that its creator will update the tool to the latest version of Google. I suspect it worked at one point, but Google keeps changing how its SERP is structured and the add-on broke somewhere along the way.

I won’t bore you with all the other extensions I tested for Chrome and Firefox. I even looked into >GoogleParser. It fetches the results from a Google search and returns a clean list of URLs. The list is not numbered, but at least it is easier to enumerate them manually. The method they are using (scraping Google) is on the edge of being against Google’s TOS. Google doesn’t allow automatic scraping. They are using a captchaa to prevent overuse by bots. But that solution doesn’t address the issue, that they store (even if only for a short time) Google SERPs on their server. So this is not a sustainable, long term solution, although the tool is cool.

Eventually I stumbled upon OptimizeGoogle. I finally found what I was looking for. This Firefox only add-on works, has loads of other features. It also has 122 reviews and over 50,000 users. Its version is still only 0.79.1, but the developer is active in fixing bug, adding features and answering user comments. Well done and will bewail used.

Below is a screenshot of a SERP with the numbers. (and at #4 is this site for some weird reason.)

Screenshot of enumerated Google SERP

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