There’s a good chance that you’ve used Google today. You might have used it to look at the news, or to conduct some market research for your content marketing. You might have even used it to “Google” yourself.
No matter what you used it for, you can probably agree that Google plays a big part in your day to day life. I used to be the same way. I’d get up in the morning, open up my web browser to Google and get to work. What I didn’t realize at the time was that Google’s results were skewed. They weren’t providing me with an accurate representation of my rankings, or my competitors’ rankings. Basically, this caused me to run around in circles trying to create a marketing plan.
UPDATE: Scroogle has closed its doors, see Scroogle Alternatives here: http://www.carolamato.com/4-scroogle-alternatives/
Google – Under the Hood
This might come as a shock to some of you, but Google’s search results are based on your behaviors. Google stores your cookies and remembers the sites you’ve visited. Then, it provides search results based on those behaviors.
That’s fine for standard users. If you’re just looking up news or entertainment, it doesn’t really matter that Google’s results are based on your behaviors. In fact, it might actually be welcomed, since your favorite sites will be near the top of the search results. However, it’s a real problem for Internet marketers. Marketers cannot possibly know where they (or their competition) rank when they use Google.
I was at a loss on what to do about this, and even thought I might have to hire an outside company to find my true site ranking. Like most of you, I didn’t really want to pony up the money to pay a marketing agency, so I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place.
Then, after a little bit of research, I found out I didn’t have to pay a marketing agency. I just needed to start using Scroogle.
Scroogle – Google on Steroids
Scroogle is an open source scraper. Basically, it scrapes Google and brings back unbiased search results. These results aren’t based on search patterns, cookies or ads. They aren’t based on anything but the search term you type into the scraper.
That means you’ll get the real search results. These unbiased results are the same results that would show up for anyone else. Thus, you can use the scraper to find out how your site ranks for specific search terms. That means you can determine your true site ranking with Scroogle.
Using Scroogle to Find Your Site’s True Ranking
Using Scroogle to find your site’s true ranking is really simple. First, you need to access the Scroogle scraper. Just go to Scroogle.org and install a plug-in, or click on the “Scroogle Scraper” so you can start searching immediately.
Next, you need to search for keywords that you hope to rank for. If you don’t have a list of keywords that you’re trying to rank for, I really encourage you to build one. Keywords play a large role in Internet marketing. They’re a great way to get free traffic, and they will help you get customers. If you’re not sure how to get a keyword list, check out my post titled A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research. It will provide you with the information you need to build a great keyword list.
Once you type the keywords into Scroogle, you nee to dig through the results and look for your site. If your site is near the top of the results, you’re doing great. You’re ranking for your keywords, so you’ll be able to get lots of organic traffic.
If your site is buried in the back of the results, you have some work to do. You’ll need to tighten up your site’s SEO so you can get more organic traffic. While there are several ways to do this, the easiest (and most effective) way is to analyze your competition.
Analyzing the Competition
Before you can analyze your competition, you need to get your competitors’ URLs. Then, you need to go to the AdWords Keyword Tool at http://goo.gl/WL3DS. Once there, type the first URL into the section that says “Website.” Then, type in the CAPTCHA and click “Search.”
Now, you’re going to get a list of keywords that are used on or related to your competitor’s website. This will give you a good foundation for tweaking your keyword list. You can find keywords that you can incorporate into your site so you can go head to head with the competition.
It’s important that you don’t just select keywords and start adding them in, though. Be sure to follow the research tips I provided in A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research and related posts so you can build a powerful list.
As you can see, Scroogle can really give you a leg up on your competition. Let me know if you plan on using Scroogle, and how this resource will change your Internet marketing strategy.