How To Track Rankings For International Clients With Google Location

With so many ways to communicate in the age of Globalization, more and more SEO experts provide their services to customers overseas.

If, let` s say, you are based in San Francisco and you just found a potential customer with a local business in France, le Champs-Élysées will have to wait. All it takes is a few emails and some phone calls, and the new search engine marketing campaign is ready to start.

Sounds easy? Sure it does, but there`s a catch!

Search engines usually show different results for the same keyword, based on different locations.

For example, the Google results you will see from your San Francisco office will not be similar to those your customer will see from Paris. So, when she receives your first ranking report, it may not make much sense to her:

Luckily, there are two solutions to this problem:

  1. Change your location in browser using Google Location
  2. Create a customized Google Location search engine in Advanced Web Ranking

Update on August 2, 2013:

Now you can track localized search engine results also with the AWR Cloud, our online rankings service. This is a refreshing alternative to desktop rank tracking and other web-based rankings services.

Check it out! :)

Change your location in browser using Google Location

Google personalizes results based on location awareness, establishing this way the relevance of the results it returns to the searchers.

So, when someone with an IP address in Paris searches for “XML editor”, Google will automatically show a list of results in, with the location set to Paris.

To see the same rankings from a San Francisco IP address, you need to make some adjustments in your search criteria:

  • Perform the search in the specific Google domain

Google’s automatic IP address detection will always send searchers to their respective country and local search by default.

For example, when you go to and run a search from your USA IP address, you are presented with a set of results from, relevant for your location.

But, when our French friend here goes to, she is automatically redirected to

To see the same results she does, you need to type in your browser.

  • Narrow location to city level

Selecting the relevant Google local domain gets only half the job done. The other half is to narrow the location from country to city level.

A simple search on from IP addresses located in different cities will reveal different results returned by the search engine.

To track your customer`s rankings correctly, you need to further narrow the locations down to a city. Just change the location from the left side of the results list in browser, and new results will be automatically displayed.

Easy as pie… if you only have one French customer :)

But, if you are an establish SEO agency, with tens or hundreds of customers from all over the world, managing Google location manually for each of them may not be very efficient.

Create a customized Google Location search engine in Advanced Web Ranking

Here’s where our SEO software comes to rescue. There are three easy steps you need to take to manage multiple Google locations within Advanced Web Ranking:

  • Define the Google location

To define your Google Location in AWR, go to Project – Search engines – Add Search Engines and select the Add Google Location Search Engine option from the drop down list. Here, choose the Google domain, the location and the language you are interested in.

And since everything started in Paris… :)

  • Add the new Google location to your AWR project

Once you`ve chosen the domain, location and language, click on the Next button and select the new AWR search engine created. Then click on Finish to add it to your project.

You can define as many Google location search engines as you need within the same project. This is helpful when you have customers who target different countries and cities in the same search engine marketing campaign.

  • Run a new project update

To see rankings for the newly added search engines, you need to run a new update. Just click on the green arrow icon on the left side of the application window, and your work is done. AWR will gather the fresh ranking data for you, while you can sit back and enjoy le Champs-Élysées on a nice travel blog :)

When the update process is completed, you should see your customers` websites on the same positions as searchers querying Google from Paris do.

And the best part about this is that you only have to do this once as opposed to changing the Google location manually in browser every time you search. Further project updates will retrieve the rankings for all Google location search engines you have already defined in the application.

All there`s left to do now is to send your customers some awesome SEO ranking reports and impress them with your skills.


Approaching customers globally has a great impact on businesses in online markets. Your office address should no longer be a criterion for customers choosing you as their SEO service provider.

Yet, to give them reports with accurate search engines results they can rely on, you need to emulate their clients browsing behavior and address their specific locations.

This is exactly what you can accomplish by using Google Location – the easiest way to look through your customers` eyes and share their searching experiences.

I`m sure each of you have your own techniques to manage locations, maybe also using other Google services like Places or Maps. So scroll down the page just a little bit and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

About Aura Dozescu

Aura Dozescu is the Dir. of Business Development for the AWR Cloud. Passionate about Internet Marketing and SEO technologies, she is working closely with seo software developers to implement the feedback received from customers. Connect with her on Google+

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  • Gus @ Blue Web Marketing

    How accurate would this be compared to using a Proxy server? I’m interested in getting rankings from Singapore, however I’d not like to invest in proxy servers in that location. Would this definition in AWR be enough for reasonably accurate rankings?


    • Aura Dozescu

      Hi Gus, thank you for your comment.

      Google Location Search Engine in AWR handles the Custom Location feature that Google offers, so the results displayed by the application are similar to those you see in browser, when using this Google feature.

      For example, if you are based in Spain, you can search on for your keyword, in browser, and customize your location by entering Singapore in the panel on the left side of the results list. The results Google returns in browser will be relevant for the location you entered.

      When querying the search engine with the same location defined, AWR will gather similar results.

      Currently, the domain is not available for location definitions in AWR, but we will add it in one of our next search engine definition updates.

      Proxy servers are an alternative for location based results, but their relevance is determined only by the specific place where the proxy server IP address is located.

      On the other hand, proxies have another advantage: that of decreasing the time needed to update large projects. You can read more about this in our forum post, here:

  • SB

    Would it be possible to at to this as well?  That search engine supports local searches as well.

  • auradozescu


    This depends on where you are based, because AWR sends requests to the search engine from the IP where it is installed (it’s similar to how requests are sent manually in browser).

    1. If you are based in France, let’s say in Cannes, the search engines in AWR will work as:

    a) – retrieves rankings relevant for Cannes, because the search is made from your IP (results are similar to those your see in browser on and no location entered)

    b) with location Paris – retrieves rankings relevant for Paris (similar to what you see in browser with location set to Paris)

    c) with location France – retrieves rankings from the closest data center relevant for your IP (similar to what you see in browser with location set to France)

    2. If you are based outside France, let’s say London UK,the search engines in AWR will work as:

    a) – retrieves rankings from, but relevant for a search made from London, because the search is made from your IP (results are similar to those your see in your browser on and no location entered)

    b) with location Paris – rankings relevant for Paris (similar to what you see in in browser with location set to Paris)

    c) with location France – rankings from the closest data center relevant for your IP (similar to what you see in browser with location set to France)

    So, if you are outside France, and you are interested in a general overview on rankings for, you can use definitely use the country level location: (loc: France) in AWR.

    Although your audience in France will see results relevant at city level, generally the differences should not be very significant.

    I hope this helps :)

    • theNetStuff

      Thanks, this helps a lot. Scenario 2 would be applicable to me where I am located outside the target country. In fact what I am thinking of doing is just using the “add search engine” (instead of “add google location search engine”) option and select Exclude Places. I presume the results would the the same as 2 c) in your example above?

      By the way, thanks for the very informative post!