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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Are Your Top Google Rankings Worth The Effort? Find Out in Google’s Webmaster Center

Posted by @ 7:27 pm
4
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Google has unveiled one of the most significant enhancements to the Google Webmaster Area to date.

The new enhancement has seen the “Top Search Queries” area of the Webmaster Center become a goldmine of data for SEO purposes. As explained in the Google Webmaster Central blog:

“We previously just reported the average position at which your site’s pages appeared in the search results for a particular query. Now you can click on a given search query in the Top search queries report to see a breakdown of the number of impressions and the amount of clickthrough for each position that your site’s pages appeared at in the search results associated with that query.”

query-data-expanded-ds

Clickthrough data for SEO is extremely valuable intelligence. It provides a real sense of how your SEO is performing beyond the shallow metric of clicks to your website.

Now you can see how many times your website listings have been displayed for a particular search term and then how often it was clicked in each ranking position.

This new level of information gives website owners and SEO practitioners unparalleled insights into their SEO campaign performance and answers these important questions.

- Are your listings optimized for click-throughs?
Without knowing the number of times your listings were displayed on Google for particular searches – you were never really able to calculate your SEO conversions. SEO has now reached a new level of sophistication – as you can test Titles and descriptions to see what impact they have on click throughs.

- Are your target keywords really generating the volumes of traffic you need?
Until now – we’ve relied on Google’s keyword tools to estimate traffic volumes on keywords and search terms and then extrapolate the value of Top 10 or Top 20 ranking exposure.

With the new Google data – you can see exactly what the potential value of your keywords are in terms of traffic to your website.

- How much are my rankings moving around?
It’s really quite interesting to see how much your listings move around in Google’s rankings. I have been discussing the changes that “right time” indexing is having on rankings for a few weeks and now it’s blatantly obvious.

Where in the past we would have thought that a certain ranking position was safe for at least a few weeks – Google’s new data shows that your listing can be displayed across various positions for the same keyword within just a couple of days.

With these questions now answered, and some great functionality to chart your performance across top queries – Google have firmly placed website owners back in the driving seat of their SEO campaigns.

The enhancement is getting some very positive feedback from “industry experts” who have been sceptical of the Webmaster Center’s value in the past. Here’s some feedback that Chris Crum from webpronews got from Jill Whalen and Aaron Wall.

“For years Google has provided some mystery meat data of marginal value and so I typically have not recommended registering with their webmaster tools. But this is the first tool they have offered which flips that recommendation on its head, as these stats give you new insights into how you are doing in search – data that is not easy to get anywhere else.” – Aaron Wall

“This new data–assuming it’s accurate–provides a new layer of information beyond that which we can typically get elsewhere…As far as I know, there’s no other way to know the actual number of times an organic listing in Google is shown to people for a given keyword phrase. That’s pretty interesting and important information!” – Jill Whalen.

The debate over accuracy will continue for some time, but nonetheless – you should be actively exploring this new level of SEO intelligence.



Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of ineedhits.com - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for Gooruze.com - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile






Discussion (4 - comments)

So I guess the question on everyone lips is what is a good CTR for 1-3 position, 4-6 position and 7-10 etc? Care to share anyone? I’m getting a 0.018% CTR on average, being toward the bottom of the page for my main terms. This is truly awful, right? I’ve already changed my title text thinking I must be dong something wrong…

By Jason - April 18, 2010



Jason, I think it depends on the intent of the query.

For information based searches, people are more likely to click around on various results. I estimate that a good CTR for top position here might get you a 30-40% CTR rate. For searches related to your brand we are seeing this number double. I would also expect to see the top results take a very high percentage for longer tail search terms simply because the results might start to get thin very quickly.

By Matthew Elshaw - April 19, 2010



Thanks for sharing this piece of valuable information. It was insightful and I am sure it’ll come in handy too.

By Media Maven - April 22, 2010



[...] was just last month that Google unveiled one of the most significant enhancements to the Google Webmaster area to date and now they have added even [...]

By Google’s Search Queries Report Updated: Average Position & Stars | ineedhits - May 10, 2010




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