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The Best SEO Tools to Spot an SEO Scam And See Why Your Rank Tracker Results Are Different from Google

11 August 2018 Philip Volna Leave a comment ALL-HANDS SEO

SEO agencies are often referred to as “Nah, this is some kind of pyramid”, “They are all frauds”, “They only seek to pump out all of your money”. The reason why SEO agencies have got such an unpleasantly sounding record is that people are still afraid of the Internet or they might as well had some negative experience in the past.

While the majority of business owners in different fields may be quite familiar with the internet and even have a website, some would still prefer traditional marketing rather than internet marketing and SEO services. According to GoDaddy’s research, 22% of small business owners have no online presence at all.

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter

You can’t help but agree with the Mark Twain quote about age. This issue can be seen a lot of aspects of our lives and the Internet is not an exception.

According to Experian, the average age of a small-business owner is 50.3 years old.


No way we are here to promote ageism, for sure. As you get older, you are simply being more risk-averse and are weighing the potential wins and losses, according to NCBI. The problem is that some business owners think that they can’t afford a website (20%), it’s too difficult to manage it (21%), or they didn’t think it’s going to help their business (24%).

When business owners create a website they usually pursue several goals, such as

  • Establishing a brand identity;
  • Generating more conversions;
  • Expanding the market and sphere of influence;
  • Diversifying the income streams, etc.

Sometimes, they truly believe that any website will work. And by any I mean something like this.


So, often as an SEO expert, you may face old, SEO-unfriendly, creepy-looking websites which you’ve been assigned to deal with.

If you’re an SEO or digital marketing expert, it’s up to you to create a safe and trustful environment for your client. It appears that clients will usually come to you having strong prejudices about your services, business and reputation even if those are good.

Just like the fights between the religious and non-religious, vegetarians and meat-eaters, SEOs and clients are not very much different.

Digital marketing and SEO agencies provide services and more exactly internet services that cannot be touched, smelled or tasted. The biggest problem is that a client can see the results of the provided services only weeks or months later. Usually, when it comes to our money, we are the most impatient creatures on the planet, and we want to see the results right now.

When clients do not see the expected results, they may very quickly claim SEO agencies frauds, scammers and other “pleasant-to-hear” words. While there is a really high rate of fraudulent activities on the web in digital marketing with 35% programmatically bought desktop ad impressions, according to Pixalate, not every digital marketing agency is a scammer.


Unfortunately, the fraudulent digital marketing and SEO agencies are killing the reputation of other really trustworthy and honest agencies which may find it difficult to cooperate with clients who usually come with strong negative biases.

The first time an SEO expert may confront an outraging client is when the client finds different results in SERPs and in the reports that an SEO expert provides, especially for rankings.

How to quickly check an SEO agency’s report data using our SEO software

If you’re a website owner and you’ve signed a contract with an SEO or digital marketing agency, and you want to see yourself how your website is performing you can find our tools really helpful.

So, how do you know where you’re ranking? For this purpose, Rank Tracker will help you a lot.

In order to start tracking the keywords you need to add them to Rank Tracker first, and then you’ll see how well they are performing. You can add keywords in Keyword Finder -> Related Keywords every week to keep up with the updates of your website and track rankings.


Then if you want to make sure that you’re really ranking number one, number two, three or one billion you can click on the URL checker and find out.


This is only a small part of what our platform is capable of. You can check the optimal plan here and find if it works for you. If you’re unhappy with the price, you can always try a 14 days trial and see if it’s worth it. Needless to say that with our platform you can never be scammed (99%) by any SEO agency because you can always check the results yourself.

Rank Tracker vs Google Why Do Results Differ?

When you’re checking your positions with Rank Tracker, you may find that the rankings for a particular keyword in SERPs are different from what you see using a tool.


For this example, we will be using supporthunt.com website to check their positions for one keyword to see if the results are different or not. In the picture above you can see that for “live chat operator service” keyword the website is ranking #8 as for today.

So, let’s go and google this query to either confirm or bust a myth about different rankings.

You can see in this pdf file from SERPs that the position is #9 and our Rank Tracker shows #8.


“Aha, I told ya, scam again!”, your first guess may be. Well, no. There is no scam. We have used a VPN to google that and so our location appeared to be Kentucky as you can see it highlighted in the picture.

And what our Rank Tracker shows are the so-called general results which are bound to a country, not a state. You can check it yourself by opening an incognito window in Google and typing in “live chat operator service”. You can check this incognito pdf file to see the exact SERPs yourself.

The main difference is that our search results are connected to a country by default when you create a new project and do not take into account a state or city if you do not specify them manually. In the picture below you can see that the position of supporthunt.com is #8 as shown in our Rank Tracker.


Why do we choose to provide customizable search results? Because it eliminates the confusion. The results that we show avoid google’s personalization and present a clearer and more stable picture.

Is Google personalized content causing the confusion?

Yes. On June 28, 2005, Google search became personalized. So, how does the personalized search work?

For logged-in users, Google is collecting all the browsing history of a user which you can easily see at Google My Activity. Google literally knows every single query you have typed in the search, every video you’ve watched, and it can probably estimate when you wake up and when you go to bed because most people start their day with reaching for a smartphone and end the day with putting the smartphone away.

You can find the full list of what Google knows about you at Google More Activities. To summarize the main points here is what Google has learned about you:

  • Your complete browsing history;
  • Your location history;
  • News preferences;
  • Calls history;
  • Data that you’ve downloaded, uploaded, exchanged;
  • Your interests and subscriptions, etc.

Speaking, about non-logged-in users Google collects cookies and also uses them to improve the search experience. All these cookies, browser histories, preferences, cross-session behavior, etc., can be united into one phrase – Google tracks your internet behavior and knows your digital trace very well.

A simple trap that business-owners may fall into

Answering the question why your rank tracker results different from Google we can say that is because of Google personalization. Your search results may be different from your neighbor’s and this is completely fine because you already know why.

Sometimes the content that is served is individual for each person and is based on many factors and behaviors, such as previous searches, preferences, geolocation, etc.

What confuses clients the most when they sign a contract with an SEO agency is that they constantly click on their website to see the rankings. They know what keywords they want to be ranking for and they google these keywords non-stop.
Google remembers their search queries and moves the site up for the client because Google thinks that this content fits the client best. Meanwhile, a client may think that their positions have grown up when they actually haven’t.

For example, an SEO agency presents the report, and the client sees their position for a particular keyword is 20. Client says “Ok. Fine”. After checking this keyword and manually smashing it in search before seeing the report they have already personalized this query for themselves. So, when they look at the report, a couple of hours later they google this keyword themselves again and see that they are shown at the 5th position.

A client will definitely fly into a rage because they think that the SEO agency continuously steals their money and fakes the reports or something.

Another case is that a client may receive a report from an SEO agency where they see that they are ranking #8 in Google. A client from UK, London, may want to assure themselves and check if the position is true. A client asks a friend from UK, Sheffield, to check the position. What happens next?

They will, of course, see different positions for the same keyword. And a client will claim that it is again a fake report or a fake position or anything else. You can definitely expect some intriguing reviews from such a customer. And you should avoid the negative reviews from clients that may totally destroy your SEO business.


The world of SEO and digital marketing is a shaky, vague island of high expectations and harsh realities. It’s not easy to get a website ranked number one or, at least, establish a good online presence.

It’s even more difficult to explain to your client that they are not being scammed or tricked out of their money. However, it requires some certain skills from your team or you directly to find the balance between a client’s expectations and your company’s capabilities and also be an informative consultant during the long ranking process.

If you are interested in trying tools from the article yourself, you can check our Pricing Page or Sign Up for a free trial.

Stay awesome!

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