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All Keyword tracking results fell to N/A yesterday.

Discussion in 'Keyword Tracker' started by Merlin-Sweden, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. #1
    Hi Shaun,
    I'm having a rather major problem with keyword tracker today :(
    SEMrush
    1) Our ranking is usually in the top 3 places for hundreds of our important (Data Recovery) keywords. Yesterday all the scores fell to zero (N/A) Could you take a look at our set up when you have a few moments over. Could somebody have hacked (copied) our API and misused it ?

    2) There are a few strange bugs in the list of different keyword groups. You will see that we have arranged groups of similar keywords into related groups. Several of these groups appear to have cloned themselves and cannot be deleted. there are also gaps in the listing with --- (three hyphens) that also cannot be deleted.

    3) Your product is truly a valuable tool for indicating our SEO successes, and it works perfectly, even with our Swedish letters ÅÖÄ åäö BUT people in Sweden usually use google.se and the results we see are probably from google.com. How can we change the default Google domain to google.se

    kind regards from Sweden,
    Merlin
     
    Merlin-Sweden, Mar 4, 2011 IP
    SEMrush
  2. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #2
    The first thing I would check is make sure your advanced usage script URL didn't get moved/edited/changed/deleted, etc. Without it, the rank checking is more or less blind and everything would come back as N/A.

    If the script is in place as normal, the other thing I would think about is it is possible Google throttled or blocked your IP from making so many API calls (if you have a ton of keywords). You can pretty easily check that by trying a Yahoo or Bing result and see if it gives anything. If one search engine doesn't work, but the others do, the script is working, but something specific to that search engine (ie. throttling from them) is happening.

    If you have a different web server available to you (with a different IP), you might try tossing the script on that to test. Also, if you have a lot of keywords, it wouldn't be a bad idea to split up API calls by group since you can specify a unique keyword tracker script for each keyword group.

    As far as being able to do searches against google.se with the API, Google used to allow it, and we used to support it when it did. Unfortunately when they switched from the old SOAP API to the JSON API, they didn't include that old functionality they had. If they ever allow it again, it will be something we can add back in.

    BTW - did you mean to post this poll on this thread?
     
    digitalpoint, Mar 4, 2011 IP
  3. Merlin-Sweden

    Merlin-Sweden Well-Known Member

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    #3
    Hi Shawn, thanks for the rapid response.

    Bing is reporting "as usual"; you are almost certainly correct in your assumption that Google has placed us in a sandbox again, ( we have limited our searches from 50 to only the top 20) We have 20 or so "clusters" of keywords, and your application is often used buy 3-4 users so maybe Google get upset about 1600 API calls per day ? (20 * 20 * 4)

    Your wise suggestion about assigning a separate script to each cluster of keywords is a perfect solution. Tell me Shawn, should we use a clone of the original script in a different location, or must the script be unique in some way.

    concerning the poll: I was just curious, we made a tiny test but then found no way to remove it after testing. Pls remove :)

    I will try installing and running the API from another of our servers, another good idea. :)
    If it is of any interest; we learned, quite by chance, some year ago that a simple way to test for Google getting upset is to look at the Google cache for any [search result] web page on our own domain. Google will respond that "unusual non-human traffic" was detected from the users IP address. Just as you predicted.

    thanks, as always
    /tony
     
    Merlin-Sweden, Mar 4, 2011 IP
  4. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #4
    The script is identical, so you can clone it just fine.

    Also, your calculations for API calls would be a little inaccurate though. You get 10 results per Google API query, so searching 50 deep could require up to 5 API calls (it stops after it finds a match, so it could only take 1 if it finds it in the first try).

    I've never personally had any issues making Google API calls, but I also never check my keywords more than once a day and I don't really have that many keywords I'm tracking... so ultimately not really making many API calls.

    Google says they have no hard limit, but they do leave the option to simple throttle or block an IP that they feel is making too many (but they never define what is too many). The throttles/blocks can be temporary or permanent depending on how Google feels that day I suppose.
     
    digitalpoint, Mar 4, 2011 IP
  5. Merlin-Sweden

    Merlin-Sweden Well-Known Member

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    #5
    Same thing happened again, all Google rankings indicate N/A
    I followed your advice 6 months ago and spread out the PHP script over 3 or 4 quite unrelated servers, very light trafic (2 updates per day MAX)

    Did you change your script recently ?
     
    Merlin-Sweden, Jul 8, 2011 IP
  6. Merlin-Sweden

    Merlin-Sweden Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Maybe this will help a little ?

    Checking rankings: 0 links & 71 keywords remaining. [refresh]Check All RankingsSetup / Settings
    Help

    "Error returned from search engine: Bad Request"

    /thanks
     
    Merlin-Sweden, Jul 8, 2011 IP
  7. Acer

    Acer Well-Known Member

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    #7
    Mine all zeroed out in the tool today, too, in all of my six domains. Worked fine last week (my last check). I'm thinking it's a server-side issue.
     
    Acer, Jul 8, 2011 IP
  8. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #8
    Are you guys using the newest PHP script (the one that uses the Google API key)?
     
    digitalpoint, Jul 8, 2011 IP
  9. Merlin-Sweden

    Merlin-Sweden Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Hi Shawn . . . i still cant understand how you have time to help so many people with such short response time . . . thanks.

    I am probably not using the latest PHP script since I had no reason to guess that there was a new script.
    Existence if a new script is wonderful news; but only if the script was changed within the last 72 hours ( or the older script become invalid after a grace period ending a few days ago :)

    Should i apply for a new API too, when trying to install my "old" API your script returns "ERROR code 2"

    I guess your script should be flagged as executable with "755" but I have learned that its better to ask whenever in doubt. ?

    sorry for taking up your time, i really appreciate your assistance.

    /Tony
     
    Merlin-Sweden, Jul 9, 2011 IP
  10. Acer

    Acer Well-Known Member

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    #10
    The keyword tracker set-up page was returning a "2" error. I got a fresh API key, and saved the current version of the tracker script to my server. The keyword tracker set-up page no longer returns an error, but I still get no results. My host is running php 5.2.17.
     
    Acer, Jul 9, 2011 IP
  11. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #11
    You can tell what version you have if you look towards the beginning of the script... if it has an "echo '3';" line a few lines down, it's the latest version.

    It's possible that Google accelerated their deprecation of the previous API (the one the previous PHP script was using).

    If you confirmed you have the latest script and a valid Google API key in your settings, let me know and I'll see if I can dig around a big more. Overall the new API seems to be working fine (I just tested it under my account).

    The only added server requirement for the new script over the old one is your PHP needs to have the curl extensions compiled in/enabled (most installs do), since the new Google API is HTTPS only.
     
    digitalpoint, Jul 9, 2011 IP
  12. Acer

    Acer Well-Known Member

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    #12
    Info dump incoming...

    I enabled "Custom Search API" and generated the latest API today, using the Google API console. It's in my preferences now. The script does have echo 3 in it. phpinfo for my hosting server returns "cURL support enabled
    cURL Information libcurl/7.21.4 OpenSSL/0.9.8b zlib/1.2.3 libidn/0.6.5."

    For me, at least, it worked last week, on July 1 or so. FWIW, when I check the Google API console report, it shows no hits on the API key, despite at least a half-dozen DP tracker attempts since getting the new key today. I don't know if it normally shows there, never checked before.

    I have also noticed that when the tool was working, a window refresh would catch it in the middle of new results. Today, even if I hit refresh right away, it's done, with no changes. I just noticed that Bing is not returning results, either, but Yahoo is.
     
    Acer, Jul 9, 2011 IP
  13. ESAD

    ESAD Active Member

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    #13
    Well mine also quit working and I had to download the latest script, generate a new API key as my old one wasn't even shown on the site, and now Google limits the daily searches to 100. (unless you pay them.) LOLz. . .
     
    ESAD, Jul 9, 2011 IP
  14. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #14
    Do you by chance have access to a different server for your PHP script just in case it's something specific to your server somehow?

    Yep... But Google lets you create an infinite number of projects (multiple keys). And the keyword tracker will accept multiple keys if you separate them with a pipe "|".
     
    digitalpoint, Jul 9, 2011 IP
  15. Merlin-Sweden

    Merlin-Sweden Well-Known Member

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    #15
    FWIW
    It would seem that I am blocked after 100 searches (or maybe i should say 100 API calls ?) :
    the following message is with latest PHP script (echo '3') and new API key generated today.

    "Error returned from search engine: Daily Limit Exceeded"

    Placing your script on several unrelated servers, that solved previous problems, dos not appear to resolve this recent problem.

    Symptoms would suggest that Google may be aware of the I/P of the initiator (me) rather that the hosting server - just conjecture, I no nothing about APIs or how Google handles ranking searches.

    I'm not sure if I understand your previous advice to ACER and ESAD but do you suggest generating multiple projects; project-1, project-2 .. project-10 etc and then adding the 10 generated API keys with a pipe delimiter. That looks like a good workaround.

    ACER and ESAD: have anyone had time to try this yet ?

    /Thanks all
     
    Merlin-Sweden, Jul 10, 2011 IP
  16. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #16
    Yes... you can have the system use multiple keys by separating them with a pipe like so:

    apikey1|apikey2|apikey3|apikey4, etc...
     
    digitalpoint, Jul 10, 2011 IP
  17. Acer

    Acer Well-Known Member

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    #17
    It's partially working. I changed permissions to 755 on the script. It's returning Google (and Yahoo) page position, but Bing is still all n/a. It is NOT finding google backlinks, however...keeps saying latest check was yesterday (and yesterday was showing zero backlinks for all domains), no matter how many times I try it today. I don't have access to another server to hold the script.
     
    Acer, Jul 10, 2011 IP
  18. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #18
    Bing has some issues currently that I'm working on (they changed how you retrieve results).

    Do you get an error if you check your Google backlinks manually (by clicking on it)?
     
    digitalpoint, Jul 10, 2011 IP
  19. Acer

    Acer Well-Known Member

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    #19
    I get no error message but also no results when I click individually. Tried with Safari and Firefox (OS X).

    (Historical data shows date with actual backlink results was apparently Thursday July 7th.)
     
    Acer, Jul 10, 2011 IP
  20. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #20
    Well the date isn't necessarily going to be the current date for the backlink data since the search engines don't update it that often. The date will only change when the numbers change.
     
    digitalpoint, Jul 11, 2011 IP