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Why are my rankings inaccurate? Can you fix it?
Why are my rankings inaccurate? Can you fix it?
Maja Nagelj avatar
Written by Maja Nagelj
Updated over a week ago

We take accuracy very seriously in our company. If you notice any data discrepancy in your app, please reach out to our Customer Success Team at [email protected], and they will make sure to help you out with any questions you might have.

It is practically impossible to simulate a precise location search on your local computer, which Nightwatch does provide. This requires you to fake the geographical location to a specific area supported by Google, affecting search results. There is no easy way to configure this on your local computer - the only way you could do it is if you were located in the area (which is detected the same as the precise location configured in Nightwatch), but it is just a half of the deal.

Still, if you want to check your rankings manually, here is what you should follow for more accurate results:

- Use browser in privacy (Incognito) mode,
- Use a proxy or VPN with the exact location as the tracked location of your keyword,
- In Google, configure the same language as your tracked keyword,
- Experiment with “10 results per page” and “100 results per page.”

You could also use the Search Simulator Chrome extension from Nightwatch to simulate unbiased search requests on Google directly from your browser for any country in the world. No proxy, VPN, or Incognito mode is needed. The extension simulates 100 per page result requests at the moment, so you might be seeing slightly different but more accurate results in your Nightwatch account (as it uses 10 results per page).

Still, it is highly possible that you won’t be seeing the same rankings as in the tracker, and it’s ok. You can experiment with adding the same keyword tracked on different locations - this approach is explained in our ultimate guide to tracking local rankings. It is not as easy to simulate unbiased search queries from your computer, and if you manually search for your keywords from time to time, you should know you can’t rely on the results completely.

Why Aren't Your Rankings Accurate?

This can happen for any of the following reasons:

- The location determined by Google based on your local IP is not the same as the one you're using in Nightwatch,
- The settings which you use to access results are not the same as the ones in Nightwatch (language, mobile/desktop setting, and location / IP),
- The website does not have a stable authority on the keywords (also called Google Dance).

When you observe that situation, it is sometimes helpful to add the same keyword to Nightwatch multiple times (with different precise location settings) - this helps you get a better idea of how it affects your rankings.

Remember: Our system determines the optimal time for updating the rankings, and all rankings are refreshed on a regular daily basis, in a 24h interval.

For more information, we recommend reading our blog post: Why Are Your Search Engine Rankings Inaccurate?

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