Note: This article contains references to Advanced Web Ranking Desktop, a version that is no longer under active development. 

When Advanced Web Ranking was released, about 8 years ago, the application addressed mostly free lancers and small businesses in the industry of SEO. All you needed was one computer and an Internet connection, and you could very well do all the work from home.

In time these small businesses have grown into big SEO companies. The need for more resources grew as well. Fluffy slippers turned into elegant shoes and home desks turned into nice offices downtown. Soon, the need arose for managing search engine results across all the company` s clients and share all the Advanced Web Ranking projects  between users.

That is why we’ve built the Advanced Web Ranking Server,  which allows you to connect multiple AWR clients, installed on different machines, to a centralized database.

Co-workers get to share AWR projects

With the Server edition, co-workers have the ability to share the workload in Advanced Web Ranking and access each other` s projects.

Let me explain how the AWR Server/Client model works:

Clients installed on different computers send requests to the AWR Server, which is responsible for sharing the common database. Any AWR license type, whether Enterprise, Professional or Standard, can be connected to an AWR Server and access the database.

The AWR Server was designed especially for local area networks, using a TCP/IP protocol for establishing the connection between the server and the clients. This provides good speed of the data transfer between the clients and the server, through a secure connection. It does not exclude however the possibility to use AWR Server / Clients over the Internet. While the connection is technically possible, data security and speed may become an issue.

A solution for remote marketers can be the use of a VPN. This means that data transfer security and speed within the virtual network depend entirely on the VPN configuration.

There are two methods that you can use to share SEO tasks within the company:

  • Each user can manage his own clients portfolio. This means that he is responsible for running updates, generating and emailing reports and performing keywords research activities for a certain number of AWR projects, or;
  • Each user handles specific tasks for all customers. In this case, one person can be responsible for gathering rankings and sending reports to all clients, one can handle projects backups and monitor ranking data interactively, while another manages websites, keywords, and search engines across all projects.

Either way, if one of your marketers is away for a week, his  tasks can be easily taken over by the others, without affecting too much the company workflow. If the applications installed on each computer have separate local databases, then your missing marketer` s projects can`t be accessed unless someone else can use his computer.

Besides the advantage of seeing and managing projects with office and remote co-workers, the AWR Server also provides you with :

Increased update speed

As the number of customers grows, so does the number of queries sent to search engines in the rankings gathering process. But random delays between queries should be preserved in order to avoid search engines bans. As a consequence, updating all AWR projects would require more and more time.

This can be overcome by updating projects from multiple AWR clients, installed on computers with different IP addresses, all connected to a Server. AWR emulates a human search, and sends queries to search engines the same way a person runs a manual search in the browser. Therefore, if your queries come from two IP addresses, the search engines will interpret this as two persons searching from two different computers.

Thus, the number of queries is split by the number of IP addresses. Ranking results are gathered faster and you still get to play fair with search engines.

The centralized database further allows you to easily visualize all recent changes in the interactive reports, easily switching between projects you or your co-workers updated.

Projects assigned per user

If you don`t want your marketers to access each other` s projects, but you still need the ability to supervise their work in AWR, you can use a Server  to assign only specific projects to your co-workers.

Let` s say you have AWR installed on three computers: one with the Server edition,  one with Professional and one with the Standard editions. What you can do is create a user for each marketer, from the Enterprise client connected to the server database.  (This is achieved in AWR 8.1 from Settings -> Users and Groups -> Users -> Edit Users.)

Once the users are created, just double click on each profile and select the projects  you want to assign. Then, each of the marketers will log on the AWR clients from their computers with the user profiles created, further connecting with these credentials to the server database.

Bear in mind that they will be able to see and manage only the projects you have assigned them, weather they belong to the AWR Administrator group or not.

Data security with IP access rules

The great advantage that Advanced Web Ranking has over web-based ranking applications is that all data is stored locally, on the machine hosting the database. Also, all ranking reports are run and stored within your own network.  This means your data can be viewed only by the persons who have access to this network.

Security of data with AWR Server further implies the user/password authentication mechanism for all clients requesting a communication session. In addition, you can add rules allowing only certain IP addresses to connect to your server.

Access rules can be managed in the Advanced Web Ranking Server Configuration dialog, which can be opened from the Advanced Web Ranking installation folder.

Reduced hardware costs

There is no need to acquire a dedicated server machine, with a server operating system, in order to install the AWR Server edition. You can use any Windows, Mac or Linux desktop, as long as the hardware and software requirements are met.

Also, since the application is similar for all three operating systems, you can have AWR installed on machines with Windows, Linux and Mac running in the same network. For example, the AWR Server could run on a Linux machine, and two AWR clients could connect to it from Windows and Mac OS desktops.

Additional Enterprise client

When you purchase a new AWR Server license, you also receive one Enterprise client to connect to the server database. This client will give you access to all features and tools available in Advanced Web Ranking.

So, if you currently have one Professional and one Standard licenses, purchasing a new server license will give you the possibility to connect 3 AWR clients to the same database. Note that the Enterprise client you receive with the server does not have to be installed on the same machine where the server is.

If you already have an Enterprise license in your network, and just need the server capability, you can purchase an upgrade to the Server edition and pay only the difference between the two license types.

How to install the AWR Server

So now that you’ve seen all the benefits of the Server license, let’s talk about how you can install it to get all these benefits. The installation process is quick and painless; not very different from installing any AWR client application.

I will try to explain below the installation steps for the Windows operating system.

When installing the Server, you can be in one of these two situations:

  1. This is the first time you install AWR on your computer
    This is the simplest case, and you can follow the server installation instructions from our website.
  2. You already have an AWR client installed on the machine where you wish to install the Server. In this case, there are a few additional steps to be taken in order to keep your current data and projects.

a) Install the Server on the computer where your current AWR client is already installed. When you launch the installer, you need to select the Modify option in the Setup screen and tell the installer that you wish to install also the Server package:

  • Note: By default, the data folder used by the server will be C:AWR User Data (which is different from the data folder of the client already installed).

b) After the server is installed, launch the AWR client and backup all your projects via the Data -> Backup menu. Make sure you set the “Save to folder” to the location where the server will be able to restore them from:

C:AWR User Databackup

You may need to create the “backup” folder if it does not exist.

c) Connect the AWR client to the server:

Go to Setting -> Application -> Data Base Location and select the “Remote computer” option. Leave the host and connection port values intact and press Connect. (The default host is “localhost” and you only need to change it if you installed the server on a different machine.)

d) Restore the projects you backed up in the first step using the Data -> Restore menu.

Now you can connect the additional AWR clients you have installed on other machines in your network. Run the application on each computer and go to Setting -> Application -> Data Base Location. Here select the “Remote computer” option and replace the value “localhost” with the IP address of the machine hosting the AWR server, and press Connect.

That` s it! With the server installed and clients connected, you can log on your user account and get a quick overview of all your company projects . Easy, right? 🙂

Now think of the great benefits that AWR Server has to offer! Home and office users can share their SEO tasks and manage the company` s clients in a centralized database, within a secure, multi-platform environment. To test these benefits yourself, you can take advantage of a free 30 days trial and see what AWR Server can do for you.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Don`t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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