1. Advertising
    y u no do it?

    Advertising (learn more)

    Advertise virtually anything here, with CPM banner ads, CPM email ads and CPC contextual links. You can target relevant areas of the site and show ads based on geographical location of the user if you wish.

    Starts at just $1 per CPM or $0.10 per CPC.

Keyword Tracker's Google search results appear to be completely unreliable

Discussion in 'Keyword Tracker' started by erwaxman, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. #1
    I understand that the Google search results that you see depend to some extent on the Google Data Center to which your search query is routed because Google Data Centers are never 100% in synch. I don't understand why Google Data Centers are never 100% in synch. I think that anyone doing a search on a particular keyword anywhere in the same country on the same day should receive the same or very similar results, even when the country is as large as the United States. But that's not the subject of this post.

    I use Digital Point's Keyword Tracker once a month to find where my two Web sites rank on about 40 different keywords. When I compare Google search results from Keyword Tracker with Google search results that I obtain myself, I find tremendous discrepancies on many keywords. Digital Point is located in California, and I am located in Pennsylvania. Based on our Google search results, California and Pennsylvania seem to be located not simply in two different countries but on two different continents, and in a few cases on two different planets.

    To see whether the rankings at different Google Data Centers are really as divergent as Keyword Tracker makes them seem to be, I went to SEOlogs.com and used its Multiple Datacenter Rank Check Tool to find out how my sites ranked on 29 keywords. The Tool reports the highest single position for a site on a given keyword at each of 41 Google Data Centers. There are apparently more than 41 Google Data Centers. I don't know how many more, and SEOlogs.com doesn't say. Nor does SEOlogs.com say why it provides data from only 41 Data Centers. In any event, the results of my research may be found in a table at the following location: http://www.erwaxman.com/private/Google.html
    SEMrush
    All of the searches reported in the table were performed on November 1. The table shows pretty clearly that Keyword Tracker's results in many cases are not supported by the data from the 41 Google Data Centers. Either Keyword Tracker gets its data from another Data Center, or there is something seriously wrong with Keyword Tracker, or both. By my count there are at least 24 separate instances in which Keyword Tracker incorrectly reports that one of my sites does not rank within the top 100 for a particular keyword when, in fact, the site ranks well within the top 50. There are at least 17 instances where the site ranks within the top 10.

    When I find one of my sites ranked 1 for a particular keyword when I do the search myself; when Keyword Tracker reports that the site is not ranked within the top 100; and when the Datacenter Rank Check Tool shows that the site is ranked 1 at all 41 Google Data Centers from which it gathers data, I have to believe that Keyword Tracker's report is incorrect. When this sort of thing happens multiple times on the same date, it causes concern. When it happens all the time, over an extended period of time, which I believe is the case although I don't yet have the data to prove it, I have to wonder what is going on with Keyword Tracker and why. As matters stand, Keyword Tracker appears to be completely unreliable when it reports Google search results.

    I urge readers of this post to perform the same kind of research that I did and to report their results here. I suppose that it's within the realm of the possible for my two sites to be the only ones affected, but I wouldn't bet the farm on that being true.

    Once we get this sorted out, then maybe we can all ask Google how a site can be ranked 10 at 19 Data Centers, 11 at 12 Data Centers and not in the top 100 at 10 Data Centers -- all on the same keyword at the same time. I should point out that I don't find the kinds of discrepancies with MSN and Yahoo that I find with Google.
     
    erwaxman, Nov 2, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. erwaxman

    erwaxman Guest

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #2
    Seeing as nobody has commented yet, I'll add some questions:

    1. When you search, using the same computer each time, do you always get results from the same Google Data Center?

    2. Is there a way to tell which Google Data Center is providing the results?

    3. How many Google Data Centers are there? Does Google add Data Centers from time to time, or has the number been constant for some time?

    4. Why can't Google manage to synchronize the results at all of its Data Centers? Or does it not synchronize them on purpose? If so, what purpose is there in having different Data Centers provide different results?

    5. Do MSN and Yahoo also use multiple Data Centers?

    FYI, I don't have my own server. My sites are on a hosted server. They are tiny sites that combined probably get as much traffic in a year as Amazon.com gets every second.
     
    erwaxman, Nov 4, 2006 IP
  3. erwaxman

    erwaxman Guest

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #3
    Doesn't anyone have anything to say about the situation that I've described? Keyword Tracker is an extremely useful tool, but only if the results that it returns are accurate. If the results are inaccurate, which seems to be the case, then Keyword Tracker is wasting everyone's time.

    I don't understand why at least some of the nearly 100 people who have read my posts haven't checked to see whether the same thing is happening to them. Nor do I understand why Digital Point hasn't replied.

    I'm assuming that Digital Point does not get its results from the same Data Centers that the rest of us do. Because of the volume of its requests, I assume that Google has worked out some special procedure for it, perhaps its own Data Center. There should be no difference between what Digital Point is receiving as results and what anyone who does a search on Google receives, but there is.

    I want to know why there is a difference, or more precisely, I want that difference to be eliminated, so that Digital Point's results are the same as what anyone would else would receive from any of the Data Centers. Keyword Tracker is too valuable a tool to be rendered unreliable. If you agree with me, run your own check and let everyone know what you find.
     
    erwaxman, Nov 7, 2006 IP
  4. LinkBliss

    LinkBliss Peon

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    15
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #4
    I have noticed that it frequently says -9974 or whatever for Google, but when I go back to click on the specific query it shows up normal (in the top 10 or whatever).

    Also, sometimes when I click it says "Unspecified Google Error".

    I think DP's script could be patient and retry failed lookups when Google gives an error? Not sure.

    Eric
     
    LinkBliss, Nov 7, 2006 IP
  5. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

    Messages:
    38,326
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Best Answers:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    710
    Digital Goods:
    29
    #5
    It does retry (5 times):

    if ($fail_count < 5) {
    	$i--;
    	$fail_count++;
    }
    PHP:
     
    digitalpoint, Nov 7, 2006 IP
  6. LinkBliss

    LinkBliss Peon

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    15
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #6
    Maybe it should put a delay in there or skip and come back to it?

    I know I am asking too much, just a suggestion though :eek:

    Eric
     
    LinkBliss, Nov 7, 2006 IP
  7. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

    Messages:
    38,326
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Best Answers:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    710
    Digital Goods:
    29
    #7
    Too many resources required to be holding idle connections open.
     
    digitalpoint, Nov 7, 2006 IP
  8. sc123

    sc123 Peon

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #8
    I have to say I agree with erwaxman's deductions: something is not working. I personally lean towards DP as the cause since clearly Google is consistent. I say that they are consistent because I tested some of my keywords manually and at SEOLogs.com and they appear in EVERY ONE of the databases, but in the Keyword Tracker they are "N/A". I have read in threads on these forums that they may not be available for "new' sites, but mine in 6 months old and so are most of the keywords associated with it, so I don't believe this is the case (all of my keywords say "N/A" except for the test "digitalpoint" keyword associated with the DP.com domain).

    The questions is: what's broken, and can it be fixed? Clearly the Keyword Tracker has great potential, however at this time it serves no purpose since it can't perform its fundamental task: track keywords.

    What is the answer DP?

    -SC
     
    sc123, Nov 7, 2006 IP
  9. erwaxman

    erwaxman Guest

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #9
    Aha, we finally get to hear from Digital Point! But he/she/it didn't address the main issue that I raised: Why are Keyword Tracker's Google results different from those obtained manually or through SEO Logs? I should add that I asked a half dozen of my friends who live in various parts of the U.S. to run searches on my keywords; their results also differed from what Keyword Tracker shows.

    There seems to be no question whatsoever that Keyword Tracker's Google results are odd man out. Why is that so, Digital Point? Is there anything that you can do about it?

    Does Digital Point get its results from the same Data Centers that we peons do or from some other source?

    Would you please answer the questions in this post and in my previous posts! I'm not attacking Digital Point, I simply want to feel confident that Keyword Tracker's Google results are accurate. Assuring that they are is in everyone's best interest.
     
    erwaxman, Nov 7, 2006 IP
  10. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

    Messages:
    38,326
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Best Answers:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    710
    Digital Goods:
    29
    #10
    Results come from Google's API servers. As far as which data center they use, I have no idea... that's up to Google (just like a query on www.google.com is up to Google).
     
    digitalpoint, Nov 7, 2006 IP
  11. sc123

    sc123 Peon

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #11
    DP:
    So what's the issue? Clearly this is a legit problem with your users because so many people have posted about it. What do you say to the evidence presented in this thread that shows that your results are in fact different than that of 41+ Google databases? Please explain!
    -SC
     
    sc123, Nov 8, 2006 IP
  12. mikeg_seo

    mikeg_seo Peon

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #12
    Hi, I have been using the keyword tracker for over a year and I noticed that this morning the "Check All Feature" was lightning fast in comparison to the past years average time it takes to poll the given datacenter. I have no idea how long it too, but it was less than 10 minutes and it has taken me about 30+ minutes for the past year. So I ran it again and it completed 180 keywords for Google only in less than 30 seconds. Surely there must be something worng with that if the past year takes a condisderable amount of time longer to complete. Additionally, i have cross referenced some of my money keywords on a multitude of different data centers and my rankins remain consistent with what they have been, but keyword tracker is 9998 on almost every single keyword (less 4 out of 180). Again, i manually verified that my rankings are still valid across many datacenters that have different data and algos on them.

    If the issue is not DP, is there a chance that the API is having issues polling the said datacenter this morning?
     
    mikeg_seo, Nov 8, 2006 IP
  13. classifieds

    classifieds Sopchoppy Flash

    Messages:
    825
    Likes Received:
    51
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    150
    #13
    sc123,

    That's a question you have to ask Google. Shawn's (DP) Keyword Tool uses the Google API. If Google is returning results via the API that are different than those it returns from a user query then there's nothing that can be done.

    As stated, it could also be related to the fact that your user queries are hitting a different data center than the API.

    Also, there are plenty of tools out there that can query multiple DCs to compare your search term across their network.

    -jay


     
    classifieds, Nov 8, 2006 IP
  14. sc123

    sc123 Peon

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #14
    If the problem lies with Google, then why do all of the other services using the Google API work and report the same results, with Keyword Tracker being the only one that is different?

    Clearly, which datacenter is being hit is unlikely to be the issue since 41/41 datacenters I have tested display the same results. There must be a way DP can find out which datacenter is reporting and display the IP address. At least then we could do a legitimate comparison instead of all of this finger pointing.
    -SC
     
    sc123, Nov 8, 2006 IP
  15. rhwd2003

    rhwd2003 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    1
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    118
    #15
    i am having the same problem all of my google rankings today are 9998
     
    rhwd2003, Nov 8, 2006 IP
  16. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

    Messages:
    38,326
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Best Answers:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    710
    Digital Goods:
    29
    #16
    There are more than 41 data centers (more like 500 or so). If it's returning different results than something else using the Google API, make sure your settings are the same (for example the two restriction settings), and also make sure you run the queries from the same location/IP address (advanced usage script installed on the same machine that you are making Google API queries for something else).

    As far as "so many users complaining"... I've seen 5 or 6 people complaining... which puts it at 1 out of 12,564 users (or 0.007%) of all keyword tracker users.
     
    digitalpoint, Nov 8, 2006 IP
  17. sc123

    sc123 Peon

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #17
    What do you mean by "make sure your settings are the same"? The same as what? I am running the reports from the same workstation with a static IP and I'm not running the advanced script. Of that grand number of people "using" KT, how many of those have been active in the last month?
    -SC
     
    sc123, Nov 8, 2006 IP
  18. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

    Messages:
    38,326
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Best Answers:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    710
    Digital Goods:
    29
    #18
    Google returns different results based on IP address (for everything... web results, API, etc.)... the only way to really compare something would be if the API requests were being made from the same IP address.

    More than half of all users have used it in the last week.
     
    digitalpoint, Nov 8, 2006 IP
  19. sc123

    sc123 Peon

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #19
    You only answered one of my questions...
     
    sc123, Nov 8, 2006 IP
  20. erwaxman

    erwaxman Guest

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #20
    Care to list the addresses of those tools?
     
    erwaxman, Nov 8, 2006 IP