The rank checker tool of Raven Internet Marketing Tools has been a phenomenal resource for SEO professionals and business owners. The recent announcement from the company that it is taking off the Ranking Tool to comply with Google’s Terms of Service comes as a disappointing surprise for many associated with the industry.
Although there are viewpoints and perspectives in favor and against such a move by Google, one reality is certain, and that’s Google is exercising more control on developers than ever before. Google’s Terms of Service has been there for years and the ranking tool from Raven has been in use for seven years. The market watchers are baffled as to why Google has been coming down hard in recent times.
In January 2012, all in one SEO desktop software maker Market Samurai was forced to take a similar action and that swayed the company from using Google data to data generated by Bing. However, the company still uses Google data but blends it with data accumulated from Google’s largest competitor. SEOmoz, another company that came under fire from Google recently had faced revocation of its API access to Google AdWords.
The official announcement from Raven throws up many larger questions about the future of SEO and if Google is trying to curb the resources that SEO companies, software and professionals have long engaged.
Google’s Terms of Service clearly doesn’t allow using AdWords data to rank sites or to base it on search engine results pages. Such data is considered to be scraped data and all companies are strictly advised to not use scraped data else their API access to AdWords would be revoked. Google may be simply enforcing its own terms of service for greater compliance but the timing has been questioned and pondered upon by many.
On a larger perspective, it seems to be a constructive move from Google since the development indicates and encourages using other forms of statistics to determine ranking, for instance the organic search traffic generated from its results for a website. Many experts are in favor of such developments since this would disable the SEO companies’ and software’s ability to hoodwink the protocols of Google and bring in certain levels of uniformity.
Another theory suggests that Google may be trying to cut down costs that is generated due to automated searches made by tools like that of Raven while scouting scraped data for ranking.
Whatever be the specific reason behind the development, with Raven’s ranking tool taken off the market it would be interesting to see if Raven continues to use Google’s data or switches to Bing or where SEO’s will turn to next to find ranking data.