phpSERA: Search Engine Ranking Analysis

phpSERA: Open Source Search Engine Ranking Analysis

Latest version of phpSERA is 0.3alpha1 and was released on 2004-05-04.


This project has been ON HOLD since 2004-05-04. The 0.3alpha1 code is stable enough to use, but until the project is revived, you will need to maintain your own regex's.



This is phpSERA, a project which primarily aims to create a free tool for analyzing search engine rankings for websites.

And we need you! Add support for any search engine yourself and contribute it to phpSERA (get credits). This should help make phpSERA not only a free, but also a true alternative for the expensive commercial tools.

phpSERA v0.3alpha1 available for download
phpSERA's Source Forge project page

Overview | How it works | Updates | Screenshots | Compare | Supported SEs | Limitations | Download | Donations | Contact


You can download the phpSERA-0.3alpha1 from SourceForge!

Changes since 0.2final: Logo

Pattern updates

As with all ranking analysis software, it's all about keeping and maintaining support for a list of search engines. In the last months of 2003 I tried to maintain support for about 100 search engines, but I can't handle it on my own. Therefore, I reduced the number of supported search engines to about 50, which I will be able to maintain for all phpSERA users out there.

The update_yyyy-mm-dd.sql file has been created with mysqldump:

mysqldump -t phpsera searchengines |grep -v ^# > searchengines_<yyyy-mm-dd>.sql

And was manually changed to replace the INSERT commands with REPLACE commands, so it will either UPDATE or INSERT based on the existance of a record with the same ID.

perl -pi -e 's/^INSERT/REPLACE/g' searchengines_<yyyy-mm-dd>.sql

Installing the update

You can update your search engines table with this command:

mysql phpsera < searchengines_<yyyy-mm-dd>.sql


These are screenshots from 0.2rc5-rc9. No big changes to GUI since then.

Home New Report (1) New Report (2)
New Report (1) New Report (2)
Quick Ranking Overview (1) Overview (2)
Quick Ranking
Overview (1) Overview (2)
Ranking Trend Analysis Search Engine Management
Trend Analysis Search Engine Management

phpSERA's interface language can be set to German (thanks Markus!), English and Dutch. I'm developing it using English, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Danish keyphrases and search engines.7

How it works

Given one or more search engines, one or more keyphrases and a single URL to look for, phpSERA connects to the search engine(s), parses the result pages and displays a ranking report. Parsing is done by stripping the header and footer of result pages using quick'n'dirty regular expressions (frequently updated and available from this website). Finally, the result list is split using a given separator and a ranking (or error code) is returned.

Currently only the first result page is parsed! Fortunately,,,,,,, all versions of Google and AlltheWeb and many other SEs allow displaying up to 40 or 50 results on a single page., and display 20 results by default. All local versions of MSN display 15 by default, as well as is able to display 20.

Supporting multiple result pages is on the phpSERA wishlist though (see "Wishlist" below).


Feel free to try any commercial alternative; there are many tools available. The main advantages of phpSERA are:

  1. phpSERA is free, open source, and you may do with it whatever you want (under GNU GPL, that is)
  2. phpSERA operates serverside, and therefore won't consume as much bandwidth at the client
  3. phpSERA has a high potential, depending on the quality of the released code and frequency of updated search engine patterns (possibly contributed by you?)

Supported Search Engines

Most major and several regional search engines are supported by phpSERA. phpSERA uses regular expressions to determine the rankings and it's easy to add other search engines: all you have to do is a come up with a short regular expression that's adequate for parsing the HTML output for that particular search engine.

Quick fact: on May 2nd 2003, I was able to add support for 60+ search engines during a single working day!

List of supported search engines, as of May 4th 2004

In the table below, search engines which have the Language set to @@ are considered 'international' search engines. Most of those search engines have a default setting of 'search the whole web' rather than 'search within (English|French|Dutch|German|...) pages'. phpSERA assumes you want to know your rankings regardless of the language of the keyphrase, e.g., you'd probably rather know what ranking you have when John Doe searches for 'widgets', rather than the ranking you have when John Doe specifically searches within a certain language or country (as opposed to regional search engines, obviously).

ID Name Language (worldwide)@@ ITit
95Altavista ATde
84Altavista CH (French)fr
85Altavista CH (German)de
88Altavista ESes
87Altavista FRfr
86Altavista NLnl
48Excite (worldwide)@@
9Fireball DEde
26Freenet DEde
43Freeserve UKen
1Google (worldwide)@@
77Google ATde
78Google CHde
12Google DEde
100Google DKda
13Google FIfi
14Google FRfr
15Google ITit
11Google NLnl
122Google PLpl
121Google SEsv
118Interia PLpl
103Kvasir NOno
106Libero ITit
18Lycos (worldwide)@@
75Lycos ATde
76Lycos CHde
17Lycos DEde
55Lycos FRfr
65Lycos ITit
3Lycos NLnl
27MSN (worldwide)@@
72MSN ATde
73MSN CHde
25MSN DEde
61MSN DKda
60MSN ESes
62MSN FIfi
56MSN FRfr
57MSN ITit
59MSN NOno
58MSN SEsv
107Netsprint PLpl
119Onet PLpl
52Sonera Plaza FIfi
64superEva ITit
117Szukacz PLpl
97Tiscali ITit
63Virgilio ITit
44Voila FRfr
8Yahoo (worldwide)@@
16Yahoo DEde
20Yahoo DKda
68Yahoo ESes
54Yahoo FRfr



Parser limitations

phpSERA only works on search engines that actually output HTML pages containing the complete result list. Most (Google, Lycos, Excite, MSN, AlltheWeb, ...) do, but some regional search engines use complex Javascript/DHTML document.write, redirect and loading structures which confuse phpSERA. If you know any of these, please don't hesitate to contact me so I can list them on this site.


System requirements

Any system running PHP/MySQL should be able to run phpSERA, assuming the webserver is allowed to set up outbound connections to the search engine webservers (e.g. The webinterface has only been tested using Internet Explorer 5 and 6, but Firefox seems to work fine. Most browsers should work, as long as they support Javascript.


phpSERA is licensed under GNU GPL. Therefore, you can do with it what you want, even use it for commercial purposes, as long as any changed code is released under the GPL again. The search engine regex's are free to use, but cannot be made part of any kind of proprietary software.

GNU's Not Unix

Development status

[May 5th 2003]: project approved by SourceForge
[May 7th 2003]: phpsera v0.2rc1 pending
[May 12th 2003]: phpsera v0.2rc1 available for download
[June 23th 2003]: phpsera v0.2rc3 available for download
[July 19th 2003]: phpsera v0.2rc4 available for download
[July 24th 2003]: phpsera v0.2rc5 available for download
[July 29th 2003]: phpsera v0.2rc6 available for download
[July 31st 2003]: phpsera v0.2rc7 available for download
[August 21st 2003]: phpsera v0.2rc8 available for download
[September 24th 2003]: phpsera v0.2rc9 available for download
[January 26th 2004]: phpsera v0.2final available for download
[May 4th 2004]: phpsera v0.3alpha1 available for download

You can view the current documentation in Rich Text Format: readme.rtf


Thanks for all your efforts!


Thanks for supporting this project!

Donate (100% of your donation will go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the nonprofit organization fighting for your rights on line)


Internet World 05/04 (German edition, installation guide on p80-82)
International PHP Magazin CD 06.2003 (phpSERA-0.2rc9 included on cover CD)

Contact me

You can contact me through this page.

Official home of phpSERA:


Overview | How it works | Updates | Screenshots | Compare | Supported SEs | Limitations | Download | Donations | Contact

This page was last updated at 10-08-2008 07:05 UTC

phpSERA: Open Source Search Engine Ranking Analysis

phpSERA - free search engine ranking analysis software for you

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