More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Ever want to check rankings on different devices? Or check to see if some layout changed on mobile or tablet vs desktop? OR double check rankings from a different GEO?

Here's a great example of how I recently used this tool. (Then I'll tell you what it is.)

Shortly after the Local stack changed from a 7 pack to 3 pack, I heard several people say that tablets were still showing 7 packs. I don't have a tablet, so used this tool to simulate tablet search results so I could see exactly what the pack looked like. And then of course after we started talking about it here, Google changed tablet packs to 3 packs as well. When I heard that news I double checked with this tool and confirmed that yes, it was true.

This also works for checking organic when your client is in a different city, state or even country. It simulates the SERPs sometimes even better than just setting location in search.

Robert Ramirez, a very sharp local search consultant who is now with Bruce Clay shared the tip in our thread about Google Testing 100% Pay-To-Play Local Ads.

So for those that don't know, you can replicate the local results (even for mobile devices) by using the Google Adwords Ad Preview & Diagnosis Tool. I use this all the time to check local results outside of my geo.


It works for the queries that Kyle posted about yesterday. I am also seeing similar results (especially for dentist queries) in San Francisco, Atlanta & Portland. This looks like something that may be rolling out and is not just a test.

Using the Ad Preview & Diagnosis tool also works for checking mobile organic results in different regions. It can sometimes give more accurate results than changing your location in Search Tools allows for. It is hardly 100%, but I use it quite often when I'm looking to check client rankings in other regions.

I'm sure some of our more advanced Pros know about this, especially if you work with Adwords. I knew about that tool once upon a time, but since I don't use Adwords any more had forgotten about it. But now since Robert brought it up I use it quite often for evaluating all the crazy changes. It works amazingly well.

Try it for some queries. It's quite slick!

Thanks Robert!!! I wanted to unbury your great tip from the original thread, so I could showcase it in our Local Search Tools forum.

Have you used it before???
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I love the Ad Preview Tool because it allows you to change your location. I think they updated it recently because I've been noticing things are way more accurate.
Thanks for the h/t +Linda Buquet . The tool really does offer a quick and easy way to clearly see results outside of your geo. The additional option of being able to use other devices makes it even more useful. There are limitations however. It's not truly a serp, so clicking on the results won't take you to the website. You also can't interact with the local stack, click through to the the local maps finder, etc... But as a quick and dirty way to view the SERP as others in the region (especially clients) do, it can be a real life saver. The team here at Bruce Clay use it quite often.

And best of all, the tool is designed for adwords users to see how their paid ads appear in SERPS - so the chances that Google will take it away from the rest of us who find it useful are much less likely!
Thanks Robert for the great extra insight.

Really like the "less likely to take it away" point too.

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