Google SERP Monitor: Track your searches in Firefox (BETA)

This is a query monitor tool for Google and Firefox. It allows you to keep tabs on queries you use often, displaying them automatically on top of the Google pages. Hence your favorite searches are always near, complete with number of results per query. When you don't want to look at them you just collapse the SERP Monitor and they are hidden.

A browser-based keyword and search monitor

A SERP is a "Search Engine Result Page". The SERP Monitor is is a very nifty little thing that tracks specific queries in the Google SERPs.

Google SERP Monitor allows a user to track the result count of predefined queries. The tracking happens automatically each time a Google page is visited with no extra page refresh and no extra load time.

If there are new results, the SERP Monitor shows a new! mark with the number of results per query above the SERPs (or above the search box, on the front page). Eg. if a user wants to monitor a site for the keyword "widget", (s)he can add the search "site:www.example.com widget" to SERP Monitor.

Actually it's pretty intuitive to use and not so easy to explain, so just go ahead and try it.

Google SERP Monitor is a GreaseMonkey user script, based on Scholar Monitor, which -- again -- was based on Persistent Gmail Search. In the beta version, it is not much more than a "quick hack" of the Scholar Monitor.

To keep track of new results, the user script uses cookies. For best results you should have cookies enabled, and you should keep cookies until they expire.

How to monitor your queries and keywords

It's easy. Install the script. Then point your browser to Google, and modify the default searches and/or add your own.

Click "Edit monitor items" to set new searches up for tracking or change those you have already. Click "refresh" (rightmost circle icon) to refresh the numbers. This does not cause a page reload. Oh, and then you can click the little triangle to hide the SERP Monitor list of searches... and unhide it of course.

How to install

(reused from Scholar Monitor, which was reused from Persistent Searches to Gmail.)

  1. If you are not using Firefox yet, download and install one from the Firefox homepage.
  2. If you haven't already, install the excellent GreaseMonkey Firefox extension.
  3. Open the SERP Monitor user script in Firefox. Feel free to examine the source code.
  4. From the "Tools" menu, select "Install User Script .." and confirm the various prompts.
  5. Go to www.google.com
  6. See the nice "SERP Monitor" box on the page? If not, refresh...
  7. Clicking on a search executes the saved query. To refresh result counts, click on the refresh icon in the upper right corner.
  8. Use the "Edit monitor item" link to customize SERP Monitor.
  9. Enjoy!

How to uninstall

Select "Tools" in the Firefox menu, then select "Manage User Scripts". In the box that opens, select SERP Monitor and click the large button at the bottom of the box titled "Uninstall". That's it.

Privacy

This tool does not phone home. It sends your queries to Google, in exactly the same way as if you entered them in the search box - only, with this tool you don't have to do that. Information about your searches is stored by your own browser in cookies that reside on your own PC.

Note that this also means that once you have downloaded a version and installed it, you have no way of knowing if you are running the latest version or not (and neither have i). The only way to find out is to visit this page and compare version numbers.

Current version and upgrades

2005-03-22: Version 0.9 BETA Rev. 2 (fixed alignment of right border of box)
2005-03-22: Version 0.9 BETA

To upgrade you need to visit this page, as there's no built in connection between the script and this site. This site does not know which version you are running (if any), so it is not possible to remote upgrade the SERP Monitor.

To upgrade you can simply install on top of the old version - UNLESS there's been a name change. Name changes include the version information, it's the whole string you see when you select "Manage User Scripts". Revisions are not part of the name.

If the name has changed you'll have to uninstall the earlier version first. Sofar there's been no name changes.

Known bugs

This script is currently a BETA version. Some things might not work. If they don't, feel free to fix them yourself or uninstall. This has been observed so far:

New queries disappear when going to a new tab or window. The examples come back in the new tab.
It has to do with cookies across domains. Perhaps i should call it a "feature": If Google redirects you to google.DK (or CO.UK or whatever) from google.COM then you'll have a new set of keywords to use for that domain.

License

Script license: Creative Commons, credits appreciated (link to this page or site)

 


Last edited: 2005-03-22