I want to publicly thank Google for helping me show my corporate clients that they should not be running or trying to run automated rank checking tools.
Just about every client asks for a tool to automatically check position in Google. and most big companies insist on it. So that page at Google.com that clearly states “automated rank checking is illegal“, is a great resource. It helps me help Google eliminate the automated queries.
Also that part about how running automated rank checking software carries negative consequences,like penalization or even banning in some cases, is awesomely helpful.
It’s really important that Google help us help them like this. The need for standardized reporting of the success of SEO efforts is very real. As an SEO and competitive webmaster consultant, I give my clients the best advice I can give, and I back it up with real world facts and reasonable explanations. I have been at this SEO Game for many, many years. I have experience.
I as one of the early webmasters punished by Google back in the late 1990’s for running WebPosition, one of the first useful reporting tools. I think it was version 2. I used it from the corporate network, and the corporate network got banned from using Google.com. That’s right… all 1000+ employees got dead air when they tried to go to Google.com. It was a very good thing that not many corporate users knew about young Google at that time, or they would have been more upset than they were.
The email response I got from Google back then was brief, rude, and direct: you’re banned because you used “one of those automated tools”. He wouldn’t name the product, but he was happy to tell me there was little I could do to fix the problem unless I begged for forgiveness and promised not to ever do it again.
Lucky for me at that time I had a large enough IP block and I knew all about proxies. The boss was adamant about reporting on position. In fact, my career advancement depended on my being able to show a rather large group of busy scientists that we were achieving exposure for their work in search engines. If I didn’t show that, they would not collaborate.
Anyway, about that page at Google.com where I can send my corporate clients when they ask for a rank reporting tool… I seem to have misplaced the URL. Anyone have it handy?
I know about this one that meekly asserts you shouldn’t use checking tools:
Google’s Terms of Service do not allow the sending of automated queries of any sort to our system without express permission in advance from Google. Sending automated queries absorbs resources and includes using any software (such as WebPosition Gold™) to send automated queries to Google to determine how a website or webpage ranks in Google search results for various queries.
but the last time I sent a client to that page she sent me back a quote from the same guidelines:
Google prefers developing scalable and automated solutions to problems
Ha ha no, the irony was not lost on me. I didn’t enjoy that conversation so much.
Anyway, I seem to have misplaced the URL to the page that says “DON’T RUN AUTOMATED RANK CHECKERS OR WE’LL BAN YOUR ASS“, which is the tone I remember from that email I got from the Google engineer backin ‘99 or whatever.
We have to remember, when a client asks for reporting or rank positions, they are seeking accountability. The only answer they will accept is something that impacts the bottom line, which in this case, is Google rank. Without risk, why not go for the reward?