Advanced Web Ranking Professional 4.1
Webmasters whose sites depend on traffic from search engines need to know how easily potential visitors can find them. Before you can take any steps to modify or market your site to get higher rankings (a process known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO), you have to know where it stands and what its competition is. Advanced Web Ranking Professional (AWR) 4.1 delivers that information quickly and efficiently.
AWR can query more than 300 search engines, using keywords to determine where your site appears in the results. It automates the entire process, delivering not merely today’s ranking for each keyword on each search engine, but detailed reports and graphs showing how your site’s ranking changes over time, how your site stacks up against competing sites, and lots more.
You begin by creating a new project and choosing which search engines to use, which keywords to search for, which URLs to track in search results, and how often to perform automated searches. Then you click on the Start Update button and AWR begins collecting data. When it finishes, you can display, sort, and filter the results in a table, or export them as a table, chart or both in several formats – PDF, Excel, HTML, CSV, Text, or XML. If you set up a schedule, AWR can email customised reports to you each time it runs, or upload them to an FTP server. AWR also has helpful tips for submitting your site to search engines that don’t already index it.
AWR works very well for highly focused sites in which most pages pertain to a single topic. But if your site is more diverse, you may have to go through a lengthy setup process to get the data you want. That’s because the URLs in any given project share a set of keywords. For example, if you have a travel site and you want to track the ranking of your Paris page using one set of keywords, and your Venice page using another set, you must create separate projects for each page.
Currently, AWR is the only application of its kind for Mac OS X. If you need frequently updated ranking statistics, it’s a competent tool. But it does have some faults, including small interface glitches that betray its Java core and minor bugs (such as incorrect parsing of relative URLs in pages you import). Also, the interface shows only page URLs, not page titles. The developer plans to address all these issues in a future release.
The Standard version of AWR, which costs $59, has fewer customisation and export options for reports, lacks the Search Engine Submission tool, and can’t send reports out automatically via email or FTP.
If your website is relatively homogeneous and relies heavily on search engine results, Advanced Web Ranking 4.1 is the best and easiest way to compile detailed ranking data. The Standard version is excellent value for those with modest reporting needs; the Professional version is more appropriate for those who spend hours every day optimising their sites for search engines.