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

What’s the best way to get accurate search engine rankings worldwide, regardless of your location?

World Rank Map

Let’s suppose that you are running a business which offers search engine optimization services and have customers all over the world. Your customers expect from you outstanding reports with their website rankings and they rely on your professional services. A great report sent to your customer with inaccurate rankings is like serving someone poisoned food. That’s not good!

Sending them accurate reports that can match the results they see in the browser can be almost impossible sometimes, because Google displays different results for different geo locations.

Advanced Web Ranking features from version 6.7 a new tool called Google Preview Tool which can help you analyze your customers website rankings without moving from your desk or using proxy servers.

Check your website rankings in different geographic locations

The Google Preview Tool checks your website or your customers website rankings in different regions worldwide. To be more specific, let’s say that you are running a business in US, but you have customers/websites in UK and all over Europe to check their rankings every week. Using the Google Preview Tool you can create a search engine that will gather in Advanced Web Ranking the exact results as your customers see in their browsers in UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain or any other region.

Google Preview Tool

First, you need to select a predefined location or create a new one with your own parameters. When you finish, this search engine will be added to the Search Engines list in [Project Settings] and will be named using the the parameters you set (e.g. Google Preview UK ( – Web)).

Google Preview Tool Search Engines

You will then be able to select the [Web] search engine, to check organic results, or the [AdWords] search engine, to check paid results. When saving the settings, the search engines selected will be available in the search engines list from the left panel.

Google Preview Tool Search Engines List

Analyze your competitors rankings

If you are thinking to enter in a new targeted market with an ad campaign or improve your organic results, Google Preview Tool will help you check how many competitors you have for specific keywords and see their search engine rankings. Google Preview Tool will also help you preview how many advertisers are bidding on the keywords you want to use. You will be able to see and analyze their ads, compare their rankings and better understand their businesses. This will help you conduct a better market research.

Preview your ads and check their positioning

You probably know by now that while conducting a search to preview your ads, they will create impressions. Every time you do not click on the ad (and you won’t click on it, because you will pay for it), you will decrease the click through rate (CTR). If the click through rate is affected, then your Quality Score is affected and your ad position will be affected too. As a consequence it will cost you more to maintain your current position of the ad.

With the Google Preview Tool you will be able to preview and check your ads position without affecting their Quality Score, trying to maintain in this way their current position without additional cost.

Preview your ads in different geographic locations

If you are looking to build a new campaign and target a different geo location, Google Preview Tool will help you preview your ads as they are seen by someone from that region.

Concluding, here are the main benefits of using the Google Preview Tool:

  • Check your website rankings in different geographic locations
  • Analyze your competitors rankings
  • Preview your AdWords ads and check their positioning
  • Preview your AdWords ads in different geographic locations

Update, September 9, 2009: The first step in creating the actual search engine is select a predefined geo location. By selecting the country, Google Preview Tool will automatically fill the Host, Country, and Country code fields. If desired, to narrow even more your results, you can select the Region, Region code and City. A list with the region codes can be found on the World Region Codes page from Google AdWords API website.

Google Preview Tool Parameters
  1. Dudes- How about some instruction on how to create our own location? Defaults are great but I’m in local search and need to know how to add Houston, Nashville, London, Brisbaine…etc.

    City is a no brainer but is that all I need to fill out? What about region & region code – I can add 07 & 048 for West South & Texas respectively, but do I need to? Can I simply add “Houston”??

    Will the results come from the most granular level I enter?

    Show love love,

  2. One more comment…Google has it’s own Metropolitan Region Codes that I can use for Adwords…I need to know if these are the codes we should be using versus the government published international region codes…

    Oh, I am sooo needy and confused…

  3. Hmm, I need some love…can you list the sample settings for Los Angeles using the Google example above. I don’t fashion myself a moron, but I’ve tried to replicate your “California, Sunnyvale” settings and while I can create that setting, I cannot see it in the search engines list.

    I have created and tried to test the following:
    – USA (, CA, LA)
    – USA (, California, Los Angeles)
    – USA (, Los Angelese CA)

    Of these, the second most closely matches your Sunnyvale example. However, this is the item that refuses to show in my list of search engines.


    1. Steve,

      I just updated the article to add more details on how to create the search engines. First, select the country (USA) and Google Preview Tool will automatically fill the Host, Country, and Country code fields. Then enter the Region “California”, Region code “US-CA” and City “Sunnyvale”.


  4. I am having issues seeing your webpage. It displays all weird with pictures displaying incorrectly. You might like to look at this.

    1. Leta, we have done some tests and everything looks fine from here. Please let us know what exactly is not displayed properly.

      Thank you.

  5. So, what is the difference between the Google Preview Tool and setting up a local search engine?

    Let’s say I have a client in Louisville who sells pizza. I am in Cincinnati, so if I sit at my desk and search for pizza, I will not see Louisville locations. So, I want to emulate the search results of a person sitting in Louisville who searches for “pizza”. Would I setup a Google Preview or a Local Search Engine?

    1. Google Preview Tool is only for the Google search engine and it returns organic and sponsored results, from the location you select. It works like you would be located in that place and would search manually on Google. This tool replace the use of a proxy server, if you need results only from Google and from a client which is located in a different region or country.

      The local search engines return the results from or, which are not organic results.

      So, for your example, you will need to use Local Search Engine.

  6. So as I read this, you use Google preview tool for organic and sponsored and local search engine to get results for Google Maps?

    1. Greg,

      Google Preview Tool is different than getting results from Google Maps. If you are looking to check your local rankings, then you will need to use a customized local search engine. But if you are looking to check organic rankings in different regions, then Google Preview Tool will help you.

  7. My customer face the same problem of Google ranking difference according geo location. Now finally, I got the solution and would like to know more about the Geo Location wise ranking factors of Google. Thank you for sharing this information post and keep it up!

  8. Which region can I choose to check my keyword position, internationally? I always used to take the, But I saw there are Region Settings in and, I found the different results based on the Current or Specific Regions. But unfortunately, while I’m selected the region like the United States, It is going to show me the “Unknown” and, suggest me “Use precise location”. So, which is the best procedure to identify the keyword position in (not or anything else.)

    1. Thanks for posting your question, Biju. With the current AWR Cloud update, you should be able to enter a location for without any problems.

      Please contact support for this. They can do a close check-up on your account and give you the best instructions on how to obtain what you need 🙂

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