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Why rankings might not match with SERP

Sometimes rankings Topvisor delivers to you might differ from those rankings you see in the search results. 1‑2 points difference is within the normal range because SERP is very volatile, but if differences are stronger you need to make sure you check rankings the right way. To check rankings correctly it is essential to obey the following rules:

  • check rankings in private (incognito) mode;
  • check rankings in the region you've added in the Tool Settings;
  • make sure all the filters and SE interface language you've chosen also match you project's settings;
  • check rankings with cleared cache and all types of cookies in browser;
  • disable all extensions, add‑ons and pluguins;
  • check rankings manually right after you've checked rankings in Topvisor.


Search engines organize SERP results and pick up ads considering your preferences: search history, device type, what websites you open more often and how much time you spend there. We check rankings with no personalization so rankings must be checked in private (incognito) mode.

How to search and browse privately in Google →

Search location

Make sure you check rankings in the same region you've added in project's settings. If you added the USA as the location, you need to check ranking in this very region, not in Los Angeles York or San Diego; if you added New York as a state, make sure you check rankings in the state location, not in New York as a city.

States' and countries' locations are technical regions. It means users don't search in such regions because they are not set up automatically. You need to preform special actions to see SERP in them, e.g. in Yandex you need to change lr parameter in browser address bar.

Regular users won't do that so we advise not to check rankings in technical regions, but you still can use them to analyze general trend. But remember, your ranking in the USA location can be one and it might be another in San Francisco and Tallahassee.

How to add a technical location to the project →

SERP volatility

Search engines constantly index new documents (URLs) and try to make SERP more relevant making SERP change very often and being volatile. The rate of SERP changing is called SERP volatility. If the volatility range is low, it means that SERP almost haven't changed, and if it's high many websites have changes their rankings.

Google index database is updating constantly, so there's always some volatility (sometimes called "Google dance"). Yandex adds new documents by "packages". Updating of the search index (pool of documents that Yandex range) is called "database update". But not after every database update SERP changes. If SERP has really changed, there would be very high volatility for some time and an update would be recorded — a SERP change. It's better not to check rankings during an update, because while documents are being rearranged a website can "jump" in SERP. We advise to launch checks after SERP stabilizes and there's no update. Usually it takes several hours after an update is recorded.

Watch SERP volatility and updates in Updates Scanner →

Schedule rank tracking after Yandex updates ⚡️
If it's important to you whether your rankings changed after Yandex updates schedule rank tracking after updates. You can choose the time of the check: right after an update or in several hours. Note that rankings would be checked not only in Yandex, but in all search engines added in the project settings.


Search engines automatically fix typos and show results for keywords written correctly or add such results to SERP. They also recognize text typed with the wrong keyboard layout.

By default we check rankings with fixing typos, but you can disable it in the project's settings and check rankings as if a user wanted to see results for an original keywords with typos. While comparing results make sure you check rankings as you've chosen in the settings.

How to change spellchecking →


Search engines hide "explicit results": nudity, violence and gore etc. You can change this in the SE settings (this is how to do this in Yandex and Google). You can also change the filter in the project's settings, but don't forget to change it while checking rankings manually.

How to change the filter →

Search engine interface language

Each location can have its own interface language, so make sure you check rankings manually with the same language you've picked up in the project's settings. For example, it's more likely that users in Paris would search with interface in French, in London — with English and so on.

How to change search engine interface language →

Device type

When you search on a mobile device search engines take into account if a website is adapted for mobile devices, that's why rankings with different device types might vary. If you check rankings manually on a mobile device, make sure there's a location with such device type in the project and you've checked rankings in it.

How to change device type →