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Why Google’s latest change has made manual rank checking now obsolete

Through all our ranking software reports over the past 8 years in business, we have discovered that manual rank checking is actually becoming less reliable and less accurate than using a good SERP tracker. Google's recent update in the late month of November 2017 further solidifies the ineffectiveness and unreliability of manual rank checking as each search result is based on your location and I.P address, thus rendering manual search checking obsolete. But why? you may ask.. We take you back to the 27th of October, 2017 -Google announced it was “making search results more local and relevant.” What this implies is that personalised rankings received more or less a geo-targeting boost. Before this update, to ascertain the rankings from your clients in a particular country or location, you would have to navigate over to the Google page associated with that particular country. For example, if you were in Fiji, and wanted to know the search result from Australia for "promotional products", you would go to and search for that keyword from Google Australia to see what Australian businesses were ranking well for that particular keyword. Today however, you will be presented with a unique SERP of whichever country you are physically in at the moment, regardless of what Google ccTLD you decide to use.   To conduct a manual check, the process is now proving to be more unreliable. For example, if you are still checking for promotional products to see how you rank in Australia you might need to do the following:
  1. You can catch a flight and travel to Australia to see the same set of search results that Australians are seeing. Though this isn't exactly realistic nor reliable either. And it's not the best way to spend those dollars too.
  2. At the bottom left of Google's search results page, you can view the location Google is detecting your search, and you can manually change that through Google's search settings.
  3. You can buy yourself a VPN and connect it to an Australian proxy server which may give you the full set of the Australian search results.
Google has indicated that approximately 1 in 5 searches is a locally targeted search, so this update was logical in the eyes of Google. The SERPs had to be relevant for a large percentage of its users, so that it will connect the average audience to the website based on their search query. By doing so however, makes manual rank checking a lot more unreliable and inconvenient for website owners and SEO companies as they will need to source out a clean, reliable ranking software for accurate search rankings. The truth of the matter these days is, Google has been tailoring search results to a person's location for quite a while now. The mobile SERP is now fully localised.. don't believe us? Do a quick search on your smartphone now. Regular organic search results have also been influenced based on the person's I.P and we envision Google to stay with these updates.   The only solution to this problem is to source out a reliable ranking software. Reliable SERP trackers should be able to display accurate search results without the need for you to travel to a location, buying a proxy server, or changing any of your Google search settings.    


Arthur Choi

Arthur Choi

SEO Strategist

70% technical SEO, 30% offsite optimisation. Loves to strategise and build organic SEO campaigns for plumbers, excavators and e-commerce clients.

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