This is a list of frequently asked questions about the ranking grids.

What do the numbers inside each marker represent?

Each grid marker represents an individual search on Google Maps for the keyword or phrase that you specified.  The number inside the marker is the position of the business at that specific location.

Clicking on a pin reveals the results returned for that precise location.

In the example above, we see that Gustoso Pizzeria ranked 40th for the specific grid pin that we have clicked on.

Clicking on any of the businesses in the average results area will update the grid markers to display results for that business.

Click a business listing to view the result grid for that business.

How much does it cost to run a grid scan?

Each scanning pin has a cost of 1 credit per scan, so a 10x10 grid would require 100 credits to scan.

Credits can be added as a one time purchase, or as part of a subscription plan.  One time credits are available for purchase in blocks of 500, 1000, or 2000, for $5, $10, and $20 respectively.

The subscription option offers a volume discount at $27.00/month for 5000 credits. This works out to a price per credit of $0.0054 per credit, whereas the one time purchases are $0.01 per credit.

Visit the Account page to refill credits or manage your subscription.

How accurate are the scanning grids?

Each point is scanned using a real Chrome browser with geo-location settings configured to an exact set of coordinates.

Every point scan is done with a completely unique Chrome session, so that previous scans have no impact on the results.  The tool has been tested extensively, and its results cross referenced with other tools to ensure accuracy.

That said, its important to remember that rankings can shift over even a brief period of time.  Personalization is also an important factor that can result in different results.  In general, it's best to use ranking results as a directional indicator of progress over time.

How are the business rankings within the app determined?

The listings shown on the left hand side are ordered according to overall visibility. This is not quite the same as an average of all the ranking pins, but is close to it.  We don't use a true average because in many cases, a listing won't rank at all in a given spot, making averages an awkward solution.

Instead, we use a sum of total visibility to rank the listings.  In general, this gives a fairly clear picture of who is performing best in the area.

My grid scan results look a little weird.  What's up with that?

A grid scan will usually show that your highest rankings are nearest to your business. Sometimes, however, you may see a result that doesn't turn out that way.  

Here's an example of a result that, at first glance, seems pretty strange.

An odd looking result. The business is at the center of this grid.

This is an example of a business that is hitting the local filter.

As it turns out, they have a strong competitor located within the same building. Google has decided that showing both listings would not be as useful for the user, so the stronger listing is completely obscuring the weaker one.

This causes the patchwork result that you see above.  Where the business does rank, the inverse is usually true for their competitor.

How often should I run scans for the same keyword or phrase?

How often you perform scans is a balancing act.  In general, I recommend scheduling smaller grids as a way of keeping up with rankings, while using large 10x10 grids to occasionally check up on the bigger picture.

Schedule scans anywhere from once a day to once every few months.

Its important to note that how a listing is currently ranking can be an important factor here. Lower ranked listings, starting from about position 15, can see large swings in their position from scan to scan.  Scanning more frequently can help to capture the overall trend for listings that are seeing big fluctuations.

How far apart should I make the grid pins?

This depends on both business category and the level of competition in the area.

Some categories are more sensitive to proximity than others.  Restaurants and coffee shops, for example, are highly sensitive to proximity.  Law firms, on the other hand, can see similar rankings across much of an entire city.

The best way to find out is to experiment.  If your scan returns mostly the same number for each pin, that likely means that a wider scanning area would provide greater insight. Likewise, if rankings fall off steeply and leave several pins without results, a tighter scanning radius might be in order.

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