Search safety settings
The basic mechanism behind every rank-checking tool looks as follows: when you check your rankings or any other search engine related factors, the software sends queries to Search Engines. When Google or any other Search Engine receives a comparatively big number of queries coming from one IP address, it may ask you to resolve a recaptcha to confirm the requests are being sent by a human being and not a robot, or even block your IP temporarily. This is done to prevent their servers from overload with automatically sent requests.
SEO PowerSuite offers a number of solutions to that. There are multiple Search Safety options in Rank Tracker, intended to either prevent your IP from being used or minimize the risks of your IP getting temporarily blocked (and reduce the number of captchas that pop up throughout the checks).
Using your direct IP
In the free version, Rank Tracker will use your IP by default to perform all the checks. To protect your IP from getting blocked for excessive queries, make sure you enable both 'Show Captcha…' options under 'Preferences > Search Safety Settings > Captcha Settings'. To prove the queries are not automated, you shouldn't skip any of the captchas during the search.
To minimize the number of captchas that pop up, you can reasonably limit the number of queries sent, and make them look more human-like.
In 'Preferences > Search Safety Settings > Human Emulation' you can set the program to visit the search engine's homepage, and enable random pauses between making queries, which emulates natural human behavior.
- Commonly, we recommend to enable two first boxes and set the pauses between 3-8 seconds.
In 'Preferences > Search Safety Settings > User Agents' you can set a Specified User Agent if needed. By default, Rank Tracker is rotating user agents and performs search queries using random ones.
- Unless you need a specific user agent for some kind of sensitive task, these options should remain unchecked.
- In 'Preferences > Misc. Global Settings' you can limit the number of tasks Rank Tracker will run simultaneously. By default, it's set to 5, but using your direct IP we recommend to limit the Number of Tasks to 1-2.
- Captcha Skipping Delay should be set 60 seconds. Within this time captchas tend to expire on search engines' side, and resolving a timed-out captcha makes no difference.
- Decide on whether you need Cache feature (to store the results in cache for 23 hours), or not (if you update the rankings more frequently and need the real-time results).
Using safe querying mode
If you have a licensed version of Rank Tracker (Pro or Enterprise) with an active Search Algo Updates subscription, you can use the Safe Query Mode to run the checks.
The concept behind the mode is that the requests are being processed on our end, protecting your IP from being used, detected and blocked. With the mode, you don't see any captchas while the program runs the tasks covered by the mode.
You may check the detailed explanation of mode and the list of tasks it covers here.
- The safe querying mode is enabled by default in any registered version of the app. You can check if it's on by going to 'Preferences' and clicking on the 'Search Safety Settings'.
In case safe querying mode is enabled, some other settings may still be in conflict with it, and may not allow the program to switch to the mode. Check this guide to make sure all the settings are in line with the mode.
- Using the safe-querying mode, you can increase the Number of Simultaneous Tasks up to 5 and disable all Human Emulation settings to speed the process up.
- The ‘Show Captcha…’ options should still be enabled, to successfully run the tasks the mode doesn't cover; captchas simply won't pop up for the supported tasks.
In both free and paid versions of RankTracker, you have an option to use your own private proxies instead of your IP or our safe-querying mode.
With Proxy Rotation feature on, the program will connect to search engines through the proxies instead of your IP and distribute the requests between them to keep your checks uninterrupted.
This also allows you to speed up the workflow, as you can set a higher number of simultaneous tasks and update multiple projects quickly.
To start using proxies, go to 'Preferences > Search Safety Settings > Proxy Rotation' and enable it. You can Add the proxies by one, or Import them in bulk (the wizard will show the required format of the proxies list).
Once the proxies are imported, you can Select any of them to be used, and Check their status anytime.
- Check with the proxy provider on the required authentication settings: some proxies require username and password, others require your IP being whitelisted on the provider's side.
- Check the proxies occasionally and make sure to only use Alive ones. Dead proxies and proxies with poor Response Time should be removed or replaced.
- Avoid using any free shared proxies (Rank Tracker may rotate them endlessly, unable to find any appropriate proxy for a task). Keep the 'Look for new proxies…' option disabled.
- Enable the option to 'Use direct connection If no proxies are available'.
If you'd like Rank Tracker to use a proxy instead of your IP when it performs the tasks requiring direct connection (connecting to your AdWords, Google Analytics accounts and some others), set up a proxy under 'Preferences > Proxy Settings'. We recommend using the proxy with the best response time here.
- Enable the option to 'Use Proxy' and enter proxy’s address and port.
- Tick the 'Proxy requires authentication' box if applicable, and enter your username and password.
- Check the proxy to make sure it is working properly.
- Once the proxies are set up, you can increase the Number of Simultaneous Tasks respectively: we recommend to set it three times less than the number of proxies you have, so that each task would have backup proxies.
- To prevent the proxies from getting timed-out, increase the Request Timeout to 90 seconds.
- In case the proxies get compromised by the search engines, they may receive a captcha just as any IP, so keep the 'Show Captcha…' options enabled.
- Human Emulation delays are optional with the proxies, though they may minimize the risk of getting a captcha.
If you'd rather not resolve captchas manually, or if you need to leave the software running unattended, consider getting an anti-captcha key. You can get our SEO PowerSuite Anti-Captcha key here, and paste it under 'Preferences > Search Safety Settings > Captcha Settings' - simply enable the Automatic Captcha Recognition and enter the key code.
The captchas will be resolved automatically in the background, keeping your proxies safe. With the reasonable number of tasks and moderate human emulation settings, even a key for 1K captchas may really last a while.