I have a question regarding google alerts. I have used them before to follow a topic or to stay informed about other articles regarding my website/blog niche. But can you find out your web ranking with this tool? I have had a look but I can’t get my head round it.
You can’t really track your search rankings using Google Alerts. Such alerts are really only useful for tracking a specific topic or mentions of a brand / company that then get listed in the Google search results. They’re really handy for keeping track of a company’s online reputation.
For example, I have a client for whom I prepare a Social Mentions report every week. These social mentions consist mainly of web sites, blogs and social networking posts (e.g. tweets, Facebook status updates etc.) that mention their brand name. I use a combination of Google Alerts and Raven Tools for this purpose.
Speaking of Raven Tools, they DO offer a way to track your search engine rankings, as well as powerful historical ranking charts that can track your position in the top search engines for a particular keyword/phrase over a time frame set by you.
They have a 30 free trial and then a $19 per month option for tracking up to 3 websites – might be worth a try?
I should note here that I am a BIG fangirl of Raven Tools and a Pro member. I am also an affiliate, so the link above is my affiliate link if you want to use that (I get a small percentage of any sales that result) or you can use the normal link which has no affiliate ties.
The other (more time-consuming) way to check your rankings is manually, conducting a live search at a set time period on each of the main search engines and keeping a record via spreadsheet. Just remember to log out of any Google account before you check Google rankings, or else they might be skewed by Google Personalized Search.
Another very useful tool I’ve been using a lot lately is Google Insights for Search. With this Google tool, (still in Beta), you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties. This type of data can tell you a lot more about your web site performance / niche potential than your search positions can.