The problem with keyword ranking reports. How relevant are they in today's Search Engines, with Personalization, Localization, Hummingbird etc. Would it be better to drive more valuable traffic to enable business goals onsite?
The Problem with
WordPress SEO Specialist
The Problem with Keyword
1. Avoid discussing Keyword rankings with clients
2. This conversation goes badly when your SME
client thinks you should be ranking higher for
category killer keywords... Your experience?
3. Instead talk about keyword topics, categories
and groups of keywords, and in relation to other
important metrics such as impressions, reach,
4. Getting and increase of valuable quality
traffic which clear intention and purpose for
increasing brand awareness lead generation and
ultimately more revenue for your business
A Classic Keyword Ranking Report
lTypically shows a list
lof keywords which have been
ldeemed to have high search
lvalue, and therefore we
lMUST want to rank for them
lUsually ordered by current
lranking for each of the
lmajor search engines
lOften compares competitors
lresults in adjacent columns
Important information here, but by itself it only gives a
small part of the overall information that is needed for
a holistic understanding of how the SEO campaign
We need to consider the bigger picture.
Reasons why #1 keyword rank
makes no sense anymore:
To name a few...
What is a #1 ranking anyway?
•100% Not Provided
•New SERP features
•Hummingbird – towards conversational search
•Desktop and Mobile SERPs
•Miss all the long tail searches
la. Google does not supply us the keyword data anymore
lb. We have to estimate which keywords actually send us
lc. Estimated data can be attained from Google Webmaster
ld. Use an Ad words campaign and use the paid clicks
ldata to infer organic search traffic for those keywords
le. Use the Moz Landing Page Report which shows
lestimated traffic for tracked keywords - Algorithm
100% Not provided
Personalization & Localization
Basically different search results will show up in different
rankings for different people based on different conditions.
They may not see your #1 ranking...
• SERPs are personalized for you
• Are you logged into Google?
• Based on your search history
• Your browsing patterns
• Who your friends and connections are
• Where you live
• Where you work...
• A bunch more personalization we don’t know about
lA lot of real estate is being taken by other features, designed to enhance
lthe user experience leaving less for rankings
lLocal SERP features:
Carousel, Knowledge Graph Panel, “Pack” Results, “Near” Results,
Map + Pins
lAdvertising and Paid Results:
lAdwords Top, Shopping Results Left, Adwords Bottom, Shopping Results
Right, Adwords Right
List Carousel, Andwer Box, Knowledge Graph Info, Knowledge Graph
Brand, Disambiguation Box
lVertical Search Results:
Image Mega-Bock, Video Results, Image Results, News Results,
Site-links, Authorship Mark-up, Review Mark-up,
Social Results, Related Searches
More about Mega-SERPs from Dr. Peter J. Meyers:
New SERP Features
This changes often too. You may have seen some A/B testing pages
appear while searching. We can only guess what these
pages will look like soon.
Keyword rank is less relevant...
Search: “Accommodation Ibiza”
Search: “Self-contained seaside cottage Ibiza
I want to go on holiday to the Magical Islands of Ibiza...
We miss out on all this goodness
Hummingbird – towards conversational search
- Searches are kinda rewritten or changed
Desktop and Mobile SERPs
- Differences in the people search on
Miss all the long tail searches
- Very large volumes of valuable traffic via
long tail search
- Valuable because you matched the search
they made, and answered their question
Why we still use keyword
Because they are still a really useful metric.
One of the best metrics you can report on.
Makes a lot of sense
to the client.
Has been ingrained
into the client's
Better metrics to report on
• Consider a broader more holistic approach
• there are people at the other end of those SERPs:
• Keyword Groupings – Indexes of keywords
• Impressions – you results are being seen more
• Reach – more connections for broader audience
• Endorsements – including links to your site
• Goals – to enable the business objectives
Use your major keywords for primary keywords of a grouping of
long tail keywords for tracking.
Report on averages of keywords across categories
The idea is to try and rank for every keyword in the whole category and
across all the important categories
We want to rank well for
thousands of keywords
Dr. Pete explains how to
create your own ranking
indexes with data extracts
and pivot tables.
Traditional keyword ranking reports have become irrelevant, they just don't
Google changes in the SERPs by way of Personalization, Localization and
other customized search results
Hummingbird has enabled different types of results which may not actually
be returning the keywords you think you are ranking for
An increase in valuable and productive traffic is the real value to the client