Search Engine Optimization

5 Reasons Why you Shouldn’t Measure SEO Rankings

Brad Smith
October 4, 2011

Last week was a great week.

You worked hard on your blog, created lots of content, got a ton of visitors, and felt good about your progress.

So today you want to see how your SEO rankings are doing.

You pull up your browser and Google your website’s major keyphrases to see how you’re doing.

Low and behold, you’re on top! A number 1 ranking for a difficult, major keyphrase!

Not so fast.

Your search results are personalized.

That means that there are now different results for different people.

The individual rankings you see on your computer and browser of choice may be completely different than what someone else sees.

And therein lies the problem.

Why are your results personalized?

Here are the 5 major reasons why you shouldn’t measure your SEO rankings.


Don't measure SEO rankings
Image courtesy of aussiegall


1. Browsing History

Search results are based on your browsing history.

That means the site’s that you visit more frequently will rank higher.

So because you check your own website throughout the day, it will rank much higher than it may for other people.

You can find your real rankings using Google Webmaster Tools or an anonymous browsing site like Proxify.com.


2. Location

Your search results are also based on your current physical location.

This is obvious when you’re searching for a location-dependent business or keyphrase.

For example, if you’re searching for the name of a restaurant, then you’re going to be given names around your current location.

This is why local SEO is so important. Instead of regular webpages, search engines return results from sources like maps, reviews, and more.


3. Social Signals

Your search results are already being heavily influenced by social media. And this trend will only be more true in the future.

Twitter has been proven to influence results for some time.

But now we also have Google+, and it looks like it’s here to stay.

When people in your circles +1 something, that makes those recommendations more relevant to you.

Social media provides search engines with more contextual data. So they’re going to be able to use these social signals that people give to influence your results more and more over time.


4. Change Over Time

Search results aren’t static. They change and fluctuate over time.

You can gain or lose rankings as your posts become more or less valuable over time.

Let’s say you have a popular blog post that ranks highly for a long-tail keyphrase. But over time, you stop adding to that post or linking to it from other new posts.

And other people stop linking to it as well. It becomes buried and forgotten. That post will lose its individual ranking.

Sure, there are ways to make sure this doesn’t happen (SEO COURSE). But it’s just a matter of time before this naturally happens if you stop working consistently at it.


5. Not a Business Goal

Keyword rankings aren’t business goals.

Sure they may be SEO metrics. But they don’t correlate directly with increased sales or leads.

Remember that you need to measure actions.

Your time is valuable, and you need results. So don’t get caught up in measuring things that don’t really matter.

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