Rank Checker WordPress Plugin

Rank Checker is a WordPress plugin that displays valuable information about the organic traffic your website receives from search engines.  When you receive a visit to your site, Rank Checker will log the search keyword that was used by your visitor. Rank Checker will also record the position of your website within the search results for the given keyword.  Currently only results from Google search engines like www.google.com, www.google.ca, etc are supported by the Rank Checker plugin for WordPress.

How Does It Work?

When visitors click on your site in Google search results, Google will provide a “referrer string”.  The referrer string is sometimes called the “referer” string due to a historical misspelling of the HTTP variable used to store the value. The referrer information includes valuable pieces of data like the search keyword and the search ranking.  The Rank Checker plugin parses the referral string passed by Google and extracts the relevant pieces of data. Rank Checker provides a table in your WordPress Administration pages that displays keywords which bring traffic to your site:

Rank Checker Screenshot

Unlike many other plugins and paid services, the Rank Checker plugin does not attempt to “scrape” Google search results.  Automated web scrapers that track your SERP rankings by parsing Google web pages are violating Google’s Terms of Service (TOS). The Rank Checker plugin never pings or loads external search engine pages.  This means it does not place your site or server at risk of any repercussions from Google like an IP ban or some other penalty. Rank Checker uses only information that Google themselves provides when sending visitors to your site.

Sounds Great!  What Else Should I Know?

The Rank Checker WordPress plugin works by processing data from visits from search engines. If your site does not receive any search engine traffic then obviously there will be no data to display. Once your site begins to receive organic traffic you will start to see your keywords and rankings.

One other important point is that Google does not ALWAYS send keyword and ranking information. In order to provide increased privacy, Google does not pass along keyword information for any users logged into their Google accounts. If someone is logged into Gmail or another Google product when they use the Google search engine, Google will not pass along keyword data in the referral string.  This is the reason you may see a keyword of “not provided” when using traffic analytics programs including Google Analytics itself. Currently the Rank Checker plugin will filter out any results where either the keyword or ranking is unavailable.

Google also blocks keyword data when using the SSL version of the site (https:// instead of http://). If you log out of your Google account to try and generate some test data, please make sure you first navigate to the regular non-SSL (“http://”) version of www.google.com. By default you remain on the SSL version of www.google.com right after logging out of your Google account.

How Do I Change the Settings?  Where Do I View My Keywords?

After activation the Rank Checker plugin will add a new menu to the WordPress Administration pages.  Underneath the new menu you will find a link to the dashboard where you can change settings for the plugin.  You will also find a link to the Keyword Report which displays the keyword and ranking data (once your site has had time to receive organic traffic).  The following screenshot shows you the exact location:

Rank Checker Settings

Download the Rank Checker WordPress Plugin

You can download the plugin here.


If you enjoy the free version of the Rank Checker WordPress plugin then feel free to buy me a beer! You can use the Paypal donate button below to show your appreciation: