Difference of Live Searches and Keyword Ranking Reports

Explaining Rank Differences Between Live Searches and Keyword Ranking Reports

Keyword ranking reports became more difficult to explain as Google’s algorithm gets more complex.

Once upon a time, when keyword stuffing was a thing, rankings were a reliable Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that was consistent regardless of location and personal preference.

Those days are gone.

With Pigeon and other updates, Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are now more optimized, and results can vary depending on someone’s search history, geographical location, device, online accounts, etc. While that’s all great for users, it created a challenge for those making Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign reports.

We have to face the fact that all keyword ranking reports are no longer created equal.

New Factors Affecting Search Engine Results

  1. Localized Search Results

A big change in localized SERPs came along with the Pigeon update last June 2014. It was made to boost the ranking of local listings and increase the relevance of results to users.

From the get-go, it’s easy to see why this could pose a potential problem — especially if the client is from a different geographical location. Although there are ways to get around this through virtual private networks (VPNs) and other methods, like changing your IP address, Google is one smart cookie and it’s not a foolproof way to produce similar reports.

  1. Online Footprint

It’s no secret — well, no secret to us anyway — that online activity is being monitored.

Social media accounts, search history, personal preferences — search engines like Google compiles user information to further optimize their services and alter search engine results from person to person. One way to minimize data contamination is by deleting search history or checking rankings on Google’s Incognito mode.

This method doesn’t strip your results clean, not by a mile. However, it does give you a better idea of where your campaign is at the moment.

  1. Timing

It’s not uncommon for ranking results to change in a blink of an eye.

Search engines constantly add in new information based on live events, trends, and other factors to keep SERPs relevant to the user.

So how does that alter keyword rankings?

This morning, a website could be top in the U.S. and experience a significant fall in popularity by noon. Results may even vary on a search-by-search basis! That’s how fluid rankings have become, and it’s important to factor this in when gathering data.

Are Keyword Rankings Still Relevant to Your SEO Campaign?

Even with all of these factors affecting ranking results, keywords are still a great way to showcase your campaign’s performance when presented properly.

The trick is to compile and keep track of rankings produced over a longer period of time — results over a span of one week, a month, etc. Doing this creates a more reliable baseline to track a campaign’s progress.

At 1 Source Media Group, we provide an SEO Reporting Dashboard for our Las Vegas clients to have unrestricted 24/7 access to their campaign’s progress. Our dashboard displays live data on:

  • Keyword Rankings
  • Website Analytics
  • Social Media Analytics
  • Phone Calls
  • Website Errors
  • Backlinks and More

While data will still inevitably vary due to factors we can’t control, our dashboard produces an accurate view of a campaign’s progress and how your online presence is growing. This service is available to all our clients at no extra cost.

Are you ready to see your online presence grow? Get in touch with us at 1 Source Media Group in Las Vegas today for more information or to request a quote.