Omniture recently announced that it would offer a Complimentary VISTA solution to any company that requested it, allowing Google natural search page ranking to be passed into a variable whenever it occurs in the referring URL. This is the first time that Omniture has offered a VISTA solution for no additional cost, and my primary suggestion is to take advantage of this opportunity as I believe you will be able to gain significant value form these reports.

How you can get value from this complimentary VISTA solution:

The recommendation for the basic implementation of this solution is to place the natural search ranking into a Custom Traffic Variable (or “prop”). Then you will be able to look at your natural search keywords report and break it down by the Google search rank prop using a correlation.   This will provide you with all the natural search keywords and the ranks that occur.

First thing to remember: when you are setting up the prop make sure you also set up the correlation between your natural search keywords and the search rank prop. Without this you will not be able to see which keywords resulted in which rank within SiteCatalyst.

Warning! The following paragraph is an advanced concept:

If you really want to squeeze the most out of this complimentary solution, here is my suggestion. Use Omniture Discover, Data Warehouse, or ASI to breakdown by Pages > Search Rank > Keyword.  (You might also want to break down Pages > Keyword > Search Rank,  whichever you prefer).  You may also take another approach and segment by key pages or by natural search ranking to get this data broken down in powerful ways. These breakdown reports will show you how pages are ranking relative to their keywords.

If you don’t have Discover, Data Warehouse, or ASI then have your supported user contact Omniture Client Care or their Omniture Account Manager and request to have a 5 item correlation enabled.  Ask to  correlate Pages with Search Rank prop and natural search keywords.  You will only be able to see pageviews from this breakdown but the value is there.

How you can get the MOST value from this complementary VISTA solution:

Have the VISTA solution place the search rank into a prop and a Conversion Variable (or “eVar”). You will be able to take your keywords, break them down by the search rank and pull in metrics such as revenue, orders, units and any other conversion events. Comparing keyword search rank directly with conversions will give you a full picture. Any actions you make will be well informed because they include conversion metrics which is what you want to concentrate on.

Example: You take your Unified Sources keyword eVar and break it down by search rank. You pull in metrics such as revenue, form completion and email list sign-ups (assuming you are setting those events). You scan through the reports and find keywords that have a poor ranking but a high conversion rate. You will immediately know that the keyword is one you should concentrate on for you SEO and even make sure it is part of your paid campaigns.

However, this will only reasonably work if you have the Unified Sources Vista solution. If you don’t have it already, then take a couple minutes to look over my post on Unified Sources. You will definitely be able to gain huge returns on your investment.  And I believe you will see even more returns by combining this complimentary VISTA solution with Unified Sources.

It may seem obvious that placing the natural search ranking into an eVar as well as a prop is better than putting it into just a prop. But more data is not always better data; placing the search ranking in an eVar has limited usefulness if you don’t correlate the rank with keywords. And the only way you will be able to do that with an eVar is if you have an eVar that contains your natural search keywords. This is what the Unified Sources VISTA solution accomplishes.

Note on the creation of the solution:

If you follow my blog (subscribe here), then you know my team is the team that builds VISTA solutions.  A point to remember is the Google Search Rank solution is a custom developed solution (like everything the Engineering Services team does).  So, you will need to contact your account manager and get an agreement in place.

This solution will only be complementary to the end of September, which means you need to sign the contract before Oct 1, 2009 or you will need to pay the standard VISTA solution pricing.

As always, post your comments or e-mail me at paurigemma (at) omniture.com.  It is your comments and e-mails that keep me posting and give me ideas for future posts.  If you do decide to purchase an Engineering Services solution,  make sure you mention the blog and you will get white glove treatment.

14 comments
Paul Web
Paul Web

Thanks Pearce for the informative post. This is some really good news. It’s great that Complimentary offers a Vista solution for no extra cost and it’s time for us to take advantage of this too. But how is it possible to track the site link position for Google Organic Searches?

Jils
Jils

How can we track the sitelink position for Google Organic Searches?

philip
philip

I have the same question as Ig - how often is the rank included in the URL? (what % of all searches from google?)

lg
lg

Would you happen to know in general what instances Google pushes the rank in the query string? I have the rule in place now and just needed to get an idea of what level of Google referrals will be reflected in the reports. Thanks!

julian
julian

Hi, Can you give a little more detail on how the pagerank is collected? My understanding was that only in certain situations does Google pass the pagerank through the referring URL eg: in FF when # is in the original search query Also can this solution be used to collect site link data when Google shows a rich result snippet in it's organic results?

Phil
Phil

Is this an add-on to VISTA or is the VISTA Solution Free?

lg
lg

Hi Pearce, Just wanted to clarify if this is for page result rank or search result rank (page 1 versus position 1 on page 1). There is a report called "All Search Page Ranking" that is for which page of the results my listing was on. But it sounds like this VISTA rule will capture where in the total listings my link was when clicked on, is that correct?

Dan Cross
Dan Cross

Hey Pearce, I managed to get this implemented on a few sites a couple months back, and have essentially sat and watched those numbers compile, wondering how to really use the data well. I appreciate this post, but have a technical snag... hoping you can shed some light. It was suggested on initial implementation of this VISTA rule that we capture search rank in an eVar rather than an sprop. So now this data isn't available for correlation. Since this eVar isn't captured on-page, I can't equate an sprop to the evar containing the search rank. Any ideas on how to deal with this? Thanks!

Aaron
Aaron

Hi Pearce, thanks for your post, I will pursue this with our account manager. Quick question, can the VISTA rule populate the values into multiple report suites? ie. a global report suite and a child report suite?

Pearce Aurigemma
Pearce Aurigemma

From what we know most clients are seeing page rank data for less than 15% of their search results. Google did say they would be increasing the instances but that does not seem to have happened. Also, we do not know the exact situation that causes Google to use the advanced URL parameters.

Pearce Aurigemma
Pearce Aurigemma

Julian, The page rank is collected from the query string from the referring URL. You are correct in that the value is not there for most searches so the VISTA solution can only grab the value when it sees it in the referring URL. I am not aware of an actual situation such as a # in the original search. The complementary solution only covers the search rank, however the rule can be expanded to grab other parameters form the query sting such as the oi= but that addition would be subject to standard VISTA fees.

Pearce Aurigemma
Pearce Aurigemma

It is a complete developed solution that is given away complimentary (Free). :)

Pearce Aurigemma
Pearce Aurigemma

lg, You are correct, it is the absolute search rank. This will not capture what page the search was on only it's overall rank. So assuming there are 10 results per page and the Google Search rank is 13 then that would mean it is the third result on the second page.

Pearce Aurigemma
Pearce Aurigemma

Aaron, The simple answer is Yes. The long answer is to say that a VISTA solution sits on top of a report suite, so if you want the VISTA solution to set values on more than one report suite you simply need to request to have the solution placed on each additional report suite. You do this as part of the agreement, so when you are working with your AM make sure to provide them with a list of all the report suites you want the VISTA solution placed on. Just a quick heads up, after the project is considered complete (after the solution is promoted to production) it will cost a copy request to have the solution placed on more report suites.