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An extremely important (in my view) analysis of the so-called 'MayDay update' by Shaun (Hobo) - looks at an example of a long tail keyword that is still at #1 but has lost 87.5% of its traffic since the 'update'!  Is Google's new SERP layout getting people to click more on PPC ads? Are universal search results grabbing more and more space above the fold so a #1 ranking means less? How do our strategies need to change as a result of this? These are crucial questions for forward thinking SEOs to ask and answer.
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from Catfish 1671 Days ago #
Votes: 3

What is really happening is now Google has very regionally biased data centers.  So you don't have the number one rankings that you think you do.  Go to Google Web master tools and look at the new keyword data and see how your rankings fluctuate for the same word in a given month.  You think you are #1 for a certain word, but do a search for that word from various locations across the country and you will see widely different results.  What people are seeing is a much greater diversification of rankings based on regional focus as well as personalization and other localization factors.  The additional competition of front page noise is also a factor but that's been going on for a while now.  This is a fundamental shift in the way we look at rankings.  Google has completely changed the game.  A single ranking report run from an IP off your local server doesn't mean anything compared anymore because you have no way of knowing how indicative it is of what is really going on across the index.  Enjoy the new game.



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from searchengineman 1668 Days ago #
Votes: 1

It is frustrating,

I too have used Web Master Tools & the report is no better than a localized SERP scan.  The only way to measure SEO efforts, is thru the use of Analytics and traffic analysis.  I'm not sure if #1 means anything anymore, like it used to be

(you might be hovering around #1, but try telling your customer that!)

Does a ranking report have any meaning in this new Google world?.


Searchengineman



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