Passive SERP Tracking

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Although we prefer granular SERP Tracking, like the kind Raven provides, there’s another way to determine search engine result pages without having to ever visit Google. It’s called passive SERP tracking, and it utilizes the information that’s passed through from the referring search engine result page. Using that information, it’s relatively easy to determine the following details:

  • Search Engine
  • Keywords
  • Page

The last item is the key piece of data. Knowing that the referral came from the first page of Google is helpful information. It doesn’t tell you where the result was ranked on the page — was is number one or number seven? — but it does provide a high level view. Knowing that a referral came from page one, two or ten, is much better than not knowing at all.

Passive SERP Tracker Pepper for Mint

We created a proof of concept for passive SERP tracking by making a pepper (an add-on) for Shaun Inman’s amazing stats package, Mint. The SERP Pepper allows you to easily track search engine referrals, and report on which page they’re coming from.

Passive SERP Tracker Pepper for Mint

  • Brendan Picha

    I love Mint. I’ll give this pepper a go. Nice work 🙂

  • Simon Wheatley

    I’ve had this running for 24 hours now, and even though other Mint Pepper panels are reporting search referrers, the SERPs panel remains defiantly empty… can you suggest anything I should check?

  • Simon – The first thing I would check is your visit table in the database. Make sure you have the 3 serp_ columns, they should be the last 3 columns in the table. Then you can look at some of the most recent rows in the table and scan the referer column for search engine referrals, like Google. Most if not all of the rows where the referer is a search engine url should have data in the serp_ columns. If they don’t, then make sure you have a copy of the engines file that came with the pepper, and that the entire pepper is installed in pepper/ravenseo/serps.

    Let me know what you find.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • Simon Wheatley

    Looking at your engines.php file, I thought it might be because my referrals are mostly from and the file only contains I’ve duplicated the entry for, and changed the TLD and name, but no luck. Here’s a couple of rows from nearly the end of that table:

    Removed rows from comment and forwarded to developer