When Keyword Rankings Matter

The value of keyword ranking reports has been hotly debated over the years. Many search marketers argue that traditional ranking reports offer little value and provide a short-sighted view of your overall organic search visibility. Marketers can be mislead when top rankings are being reported, but for keywords with little to no search traffic volume. The emphasis of keyword ranking monitoring should be focused on the right keywords, actually driving traffic and conversions.

Google Referrer String Change

Google has recently begun rolling out changes to its referring URL format to include some small changes and the addition of several new parameters. One of the new data points included in this new referrer string is search ranking data. That’s right, search ranking data. This ranking data tells you exactly where in the search results your listing appeared when the user clicked.

Example of new Google referrer strings:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=7&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.yoursite…

The “cd” parameter in the referrer string above identifies the search listing ranking that appeared when the user clicked through to the site (i.e. search ranking = 7)

New SiteCatalyst Reporting

Omniture recently announced that we are providing new reporting capabilities in SiteCatalyst to segment reports by organic keyword rankings, based on this new Google referrer string change:

This new functionality allows clients to breakdown keywords by the actual search engine rankings driving traffic to their sites. This solution will be provided through our Engineering Services Group.

This first iteration is still a work in progress and we are actively testing new advanced solutions to make this data more actionable (e.g. trending average keyword rankings, utilizing alerts to track top keywords, etc…). Stay tuned to this blog for an additional post with more details on these advanced solutions.

Our hope is this new functionality will provide our clients a deeper level of insight into their organic keyword optimization efforts and can help better balance their organic vs. paid search efforts, further optimizing ad spend.

Important Issues to Note:

  1. For more information on getting this report implemented, please reach out to your Account Manager
  2. There is no guarantee this ranking data will be permanently included by Google in their referrer strings. Our hope is that Google will continue to provide this useful information, which could also help lessen the burden expended by automated keyword ranking query tools on their data centers.
  3. Google has not rolled this out completely. The roll out is currently limited to the US-only and is currently impacting only ~10% of searches
  4. Ben Gaines will soon be posting more information on the Omniture Blog regarding additional “gotchas” and FAQs regarding this new solution.
98 comments
Vinoth Subramanian
Vinoth Subramanian

Hi,

Its very useful information to track the keyword ranking in google,whenever user clicks our site url. Thanks for the article.


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Google is always bringing something or other into the play to get more relevancy in search results, its interesting to see that what it will roll out next

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Lots of websites owners today really want to rank their website into search engines. It will help them a lot to gain more viewers to their page.

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I would like to hear everything that you know about this topic. You only have scratched the top of your respective knowledge for this which is obvious from the way you compose. Have you thought about devoting a whole web page to ensure that people won't overlook that which you have got to say?

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Most Seo expert agree that traditional ranking reports are highly misleading and may not be the best gauge of a site's search-ability. You might rank high with a highly unique chain of keywords, but the number of people actually actively searching for those words might be very little. I am not sure how useful this new keyword ranking analytic by Google would really change things. It might even mislead even more people into thinking that keyword rankings are that important.

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This has to be one of the most interesting articles i’ve ever read on a blog! (then again, this is one of the most interesting blogs i’ve ever come across)

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Excellent news, Jordan. The better the tracking the more optimization can result from it. I look forward to hearing more about analytics concerning Google’s organic algorithm.this is a great insight thanks. Hosting forums

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I don’t see those strings for the natural header result (the title of the page) but I see them for the extra links given below the description is this something that is being rolled out slowly?

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Excellent write up, Jordan! It’s interesting to uncover the different %’s of traffic each placement brings.

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I tried this url search but found nothing. Maybe I've missed out something. Anyone tried it?

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. That’s right, search ranking data. This ranking data tells you exactly where in the search results your listing appeared when the user clicked.

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. You seem to spend plenty of time behind this. This is first time here. I would make regular visits.

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It’s a shame this hasn’t been implemented worldwide for 100% of searches, we’re seeing none with this rating over here in Australia. I lnow you can get the page number from the referrer URL which is a little bit of help but this would be ideal. Currently we run a bot to search for keywords and search for our domain in the listings and produce a report

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Excellent write up, Jordan! It’s interesting to uncover the different %’s of traffic each placement brings. Even though it can surely vary, webmasters sometimes get caught up in being #1 when sometimes a listing can achieve a better CTR by listing in positions #2 or #3.

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its retard, that hasn’t been implemented worldwide for 100% of searches, we’re seeing none with this rating over here in Australia. I lnow you can get the page number from the referrer URL which is a little bit of help but this would be ideal. Currently we run a bot to search for keywords and search for our domain in the listings and produce a report...

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It’s a shame this hasn’t been implemented worldwide for 100% of searches, we’re seeing none with this rating over here in Australia. I lnow you can get the page number from the referrer URL which is a little bit of help but this would be ideal....

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It’s a shame this hasn’t been implemented worldwide for 100% of searches, we’re seeing none with this rating over here in Australia. I lnow you can get the page number from the referrer URL which is a little bit of help but this would be ideal. Currently we run a bot to search for keywords and search for our domain in the listings and produce a report.

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I never knew the “cd” parameter referred to the search position.

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Organic SEO is a must if you have any desire to attract visitors to your site/blog. It's tedious and time consuming yes, but also a must for any webmaster.

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I just found this blog and I enjoyed this post. I have been a=expanding my keywords for 5 years. Is there a limit to how many before you are wasting time or money?

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i think is great tool for SEO and make we can stay to top ten on google search.

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I know what I rank for the main terms but I’ve never really being sure about many of the long tail keywords. this is some great insight! Thanks.

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Google is definitely the master at this. What would any of us do without Google? Without the keyword tool? Without the typeahead? Wow... life would be so different, wouldn't it?

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He oversees global strategy and execution of demand creation for new customer acquisition and cross selling including the tactics of search, email, newsletters, display, content syndication, direct and dimensional mail. He’s responsible for authoring best practice guides, webinars, and reports on marketing and technology issues.

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One of the new data points included in this new referrer string is search ranking data thanks.

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Hi thanks for giving me the infos looks really interesting. greets

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Wow,this is cool.I'm glad I found this article since I was interested in tracking my keyword rankings.Thanks dude!

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