Find a site’s past rankings — Ranking History

Ranking History lets you go back in time to see where a site or a page ranked in the SERPs and how those rankings changed month to month (or across many months, years, you get the idea). Before you can improve the SEO of any site, you have to understand where it’s been.

How to Find Ranking History

The feature is built-in to SpyFu searches, so getting started is easier than it’s ever been. When you get the domain’s results page, just look for the Ranking History tab to load the chart.

Example of searching a domain on the old spyfu homepage


You can also start directly from the Ranking History page at

Where we Failed Before — and How it’s Better

Veteran SpyFu users will tell you that before, you had to think of at least one keyword for a domain that you wanted to track. Back then, we left the legwork up to you.

Now, we’ve made sure to automatically start with the domain’s top 10 keywords to get you started.  You can add keywords or switch to a different pre-set group (like keywords the domain lost rankings on this past month) at any time.  If you start with a keyword, we’ll give you the top 10 ranking domains, and you get the same flexibility to switch to add other domains to the chart.

What You Can Find

We tracked the top 50 search results for every keyword over the last 7 years and then plotted those rankings against every update that Google made to its algorithm.  Like I mentioned in the previous section, you can approach it from different angles: Focus on a keyword’s history, or research a domain/URL.

Keyword History

You can choose to track a single keyword and find the domains and URLs that have been ranking on it over time. Preset filters let you jump from groups like “Top 10 Domains” to “Domains with the Biggest Losses” to review their ranking patterns as a group.

Historical keyword rankings for interior paint ideas

Domain & URL History

Or, start with a single piece of content (like the URL of an article you wrote or a product page) or a full domain. We’ll show you how it ranked across its top keywords. Just like with the keyword history option, you can use preset filters to switch between groups of keywords for this specific domain. Watch how it ranked over time on its keywords with the biggest gains or its top performers.

How a single domain or URL ranked on sets of keywords

Its URL detail lets you dig into the very content that ranked.

Last rank for a URL

Compare URLs

Go into a page-to-page comparison to see which content is better at helping the same domain gain a stronger SEO foothold.

-VS. –

Compare how each page’s ranking has evolved for the keyword “interior paint swatches.”

Another idea is to use individual URLs to compare common-themed products when pages take a hard Google hit. (Think different JCPenney sections on its clothing-related keywords.)


How do Google Updates Tie Into It?

Ranking History guides users through the effects of Google’s changes so there’s a better chance of decoding where things went wrong.

With those date markers for Google’s changes, you can follow a domain’s history alongside updates like Panda and Penguin to pinpoint the cause behind that site’s stumble in the rankings.

This fills a long-time void in organic keyword research and site improvement that only SpyFu was poised to offer.  We’ve been consistently gathering this data every month for more than 7 years. But this is more than a glimpse into past rankings. Ranking History guides users through the effects of Google’s changes so there’s a better chance of decoding where things went wrong.

SpyFu’s deep history of extensive keyword rank tracking creates a rich foundation that no other tool can ever match. We have opened up our unrivaled collection of data, giving you tremendous reach that isn’t possible anywhere else.

What if this is for a new client?

Other rank tracking tools require registration so they know what to track, That leaves new customers stuck waiting for a ramp-up process before they can start. However, Ranking History is very inclusive.  Even if you hadn’t been actively tracking a client’s rankings in the past, you get the same insights as if you had been keeping tabs on them from the start. Imagine the competitive advantage you have when you can pitch a potential new client, already knowing where their site or their competitor sites dominated a keyword group or stumbled in a niche.

If a competitor is outranking you on a keyword, this helps you dig up answers. Find out if they rank well consistently across most keywords or if this one’s a fluke. It helps to get a better sense of what you are up against and keeps you from following their lead without better evidence.

Speaking of evidence, we back up every ranking claim with a screen shot of the original SERP, so there’s never a question about what ranked where. We prefer to specialize in answers. Seven years of answers can reveal plenty to help an SEO gain a competitive edge.

More Details on What You Can Accomplish with Ranking History.

Read more in our overview “Ranking History 2.0: Strong Insights, Easy to Use.”

Learn how to “Compare a Domains Rankings from Past Months”

Get an in-depth look at the advanced features in “Advanced Improvements to SpyFu’s Ranking History 2.0”

Or take a video tour of the tool here.