Google giving away exact ranking position?

Tue 6 January 2009 10:10, Heini van Bergen

This morning I was reading Andre Scholtens post on about tracking organic search rankings with Google Analytics. Despite this being a great and Google friendly way to track which page you are listed on, as a SEO I always want to have more specific information on my rankings. It's still making a lot of difference in traffic if you're ranked #3 or #7 on the first page.

The Google location bar URL (referrer) doesn't give more specific information on the exact postion you're on, so I took a deeper look in the SERP HTML itself.

Exact position displayed in SERP HTML
In the HTML I found that Google added an onmousedown action which lists the exact position a website is on.


The number 3 in this line: onmousedown="return clk(this.href,'','','clnk','3','') is referring to the exact position on the SERP:


The onmousedown action is activating the function window.clk which sends this ranking data to Google (image broken down for better viewing):


The URL send to Google looks like:

Universal (Blended) results
There has been ranking software all along, but they are having a hard time interpreting the blended results between the normal results. Since this position information is also used for the blended results, you now have exact knowledge of your postion.


This first result refers to the following HTML code:

<a href="" class=l onmousedown="return clk(this.href,'','','res','4','')"><em>Mortgage</em> Spreads Decline on Fed Buying</a>

Is this temporary?
I've tested this on different clients and all are giving me the same ranking information, but I can imagine that other setups or locations see other results.

What does Google do with this data?
My suggestion is that Google is using this data to improve the rankings for personalized search and the clicktrough rates for their results. They question for me remains, why are they collecting the data this way (client-side) instead using some server side script?

  • Comments (8)
  • SEO
  • Tell-a-cowboy

Comments (8)


  • Hey there. Thanks for the link, but it seems to have added some random stuff to the end. You can get rid of the ?goback=.mcr_false_1_DATE.mid_693316036 bit.

    Not sure where that came from!


    Di 6 jan 2009, 16:59

  • Hi Pete, changed it! Thanks for noticing

    Di 6 jan 2009, 20:45

  • Interesting find, thanks for letting us know.

    Zo 11 jan 2009, 19:49

  • @Seosean

    You're welcome!

    Wo 14 jan 2009, 09:45

  • I didn't know that information was hidden there. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Vr 16 jan 2009, 22:40

    • Atul

    If my website is on second page, surely I have to navigate to second page to see the SERP and find out the exact position of my site. How can I find with the help of above information about the exact ranking position of my site.

    Za 17 jan 2009, 05:07

  • Yeah atul that's the same question arising in my mind....

    Ma 30 mrt 2009, 12:06

    • andy

    Trying to understand this... But what if I want to find my own site searching on a specific keyword in google? If it´s listed a few thousand results down it´s a bit hard to scroll down to! Tips?

    Vr 8 jan 2010, 11:08


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