Preview Live Search Engine Results Pages With The LiveSerp Toolbar

Every search practitioner, either paid and organic, has at some point received the same questioning phone call or email from their client or boss:  “I’m was searching on Google for our natural listing (or paid ad) and I don’t see it.”

Most of the time, this is due to the search engines personalizing their results for each user. We also know that things such as time of day, browser settings, previous searches, and even social network connections can influence the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to individual users—more so when logged in to the engine account but also when a user isn’t logged in at all.

Geolocation, however, is one of the major influencers to customized SERPs that affects both the logged in and anonymous user.  We have keyword scraping tools such as AdGooroo, The Search Monitor, and Adthena that aggregate search results over many different locations in order to best report on the listings from a holistic perspective.

But for the most part, the available tools require you to collect several days’ worth of data in order to get a statistically significant view.  What do you do when you want to just quickly see a SERP in another location?

There have been various platforms and workarounds before, but LiveSerps is a tool that hopes to solve this dilemma once and for all.

The Firefox and Internet Explorer toolbar was developed by The Search Monitor and lets SEM/ SEO marketers to view live SERPs from anywhere in the world to validate ad placements and organic results.

It currently supports top tier engines in forty countries and twenty U.S. markets. SEM pros can also choose to view their data from a fixed Web perspective or choose various mobile devices such as iPhones/iPads, Android & Blackberry.

I asked Lori Weiman, CEO of The Search Monitor how they came up with this idea.

We realized that while our clients have huge data needs across thousands of keywords, there are some times when a quick live search view on a small group of terms is needed.  The preview tools provided by the engines have a lot of limitations and so just aren’t meeting all the needs of the busy search marketer.  For example, these preview tools only allow 1 look-up at a time and only on their own engine which makes multiple checks tedious, plus the results have the words ‘preview’ all over them which is poor quality for screenshots and client presentations.  Since LiveSERP doesn’t have these limitations – multiple searches can be run at the same time, it remembers your last search so that you don’t have to re-enter all of your settings again, and it allows for multiple devices, geos, and engine views simultaneously.

Okay, enough jibber-jabber…let’s go under the hood!

After downloading and registering for a free account, this is the toolbar interface that you will  see in your browser:

As you can tell, it’s very intuitive and allows for a very simple way to choose the engines, countries, languages, and devices you would like shown.

For more options, click the settings “gear” symbol on the far right, and you can select a few ways to customize how you want the pages to be displayed.

Here’s an example of a search performed on the terms “ski jackets”, “snowboards”, and “snowboarding boots” on Yahoo in Atlanta.

You’ll use up your twenty-five free searches per month fairly quickly, because each SERP is considered its own “search”.

For example, if you were to search two keywords, on three engines, in two different cities, that would count as twelve total searches (2 x 3 x 2 = 12).

Users can receive new search credits in the following three ways:

  • Liking their posts on Facebook –
  • Following them on twitter and retweeting their tweets @searchmonitor
  • Buy more searches at any time in bundles of 100 searches per bundle

So far, the user reaction has been very positive.

“Live SERP provides our marketing team a standard for accurately monitoring our SEO and SEM placements across key geographic markets by removing the influence of social signals and caching. As an added benefit, we’ve even found it useful in discovering affiliate and competitor geo-targeting strategies we wouldn’t otherwise see in real-time.” said Jean Elias, Director Online Marketing, for CareOne Services, Inc.

There you go…another great tool for your Search Marketing Toolbox.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Search Marketing Toolbox


About The Author: has been a search marketer since 2003 with a focus on SEM technology. As a media technologist fluent in the use of leading industry systems, Josh stays abreast of cutting edge digital marketing and measurement tools to maximize the effect of digital media on business goals. He has a deep passion to monitor the constantly evolving intersection between marketing and technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @mediatechguy.

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  • RonnieBincer

    Nice preview of the tool. What happened to the simple search in Google where you change your left side-bar “Change Location” setting to be that of the client? Not as fancy, but seems to get the job done… what am I missing?

  • Lori Weiman

    Hi Ronnie, responding to your comment. LiveSERP supports different devices, it supports other search engines besides google, it runs more than 1 search at a time, and it remembers your past searches. Its a utility for SEM/SEO marketers who need efficiency. For one at a time searches, the simple method you pointed out works, but is not efficient if you have a bunch to do or if you want different views besides google desktop.


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