• http://www.rickbucich.com/ Rick Bucich

    People in the business for awhile will remember that Google used to provide an API so you could check your actual rank on the back end without violating TOS on the front end. It was very useful and seeing the frequently wild fluctuations visually across many keywords allowed me to develop a pretty thick skin knowing that the patterns are normal.

    This was pre-personalization of course which likely led to it being discontinued. WMT is useful but really only helps for terms driving impressions & traffic, sometimes it’s valuable intel to know where something ranks even if it does not yet provide impressions.

  • http://www.blizzardinternet.com Carrie Hill

    @Rick
    Thanks for the comment. Ido think rankings on keywords that aren’t gaining traffic is important from a “where can we improve” point of view – but I don’t think Google will EVER show it. They probably don’t want to take the resources to show rankings on keywords that don’t have any significant impressions, I imagine for every WMT account across the web, it would take a lot of server space.

  • http://www.gfWEBsoft.com Glenn Ferrell

    @Rick commented on the Google API for checking rankings (required a SOAP API key until they stopped giving them out.) This and your points above make it clear that Google understands the importance of rankings. I personally think that the Google TOS (clause 5.3) which prohibits automated queries is outdated and deserves either further clarification (by Matt Cutts) or compromise. I believe everyone would be okay with some kind of limitation on automated queries. But the way it is now, any automated queries violate the TOS — which literally means that every rank checker, backlink checker, etc. is in violation of these terms of service.

    Just getting access to rank checking through either GA or Webmaster tools really seems (to me) to fall short of what SEOs would like to see. Most SEOs also want to do some analysis of prospective clients (or client’s competitors) as well. And the growing Bing market is additional support for a more generalized tool that covers multiple search engines.

  • http://blog.webpro.in Bharati

    With the quality evolution of the search engine algorithms the approach and methodology of achieving high rankings has changed but ranking high has always been important as only when you rank high your website can get the targeted search traffic which is the major marketing goal of the online marketing campaigns.

    High Rankings lead to a high CTR (Click Thru Rate) which leads to increased traffic with a potential for good conversions.

    Hence, SEO is beyond rankings does not mean that high SERPs are no longer a long term goal of an SEO campaign but it means that the website has to reach out and branch out and gain quality web presence before it is ensured of a good high ranking search presence.

    If we get the ranking data from Google tools itself it will reduce the dependency on other third party SEO tools but what is required is a mature and a wholesome approach and attitude towards SERPs from the SEOs and the clients because there are still many clients who start their SEO discussion with ‘ I want to rank for these keywords on page1 and position 1 of Google ….’

    I have written quite a few times on this topic on the following links:

    http://searchengineland.com/why-quality-is-the-only-sustainable-seo-strategy-69244#comment-14786

    http://www.searchenginejournal.com/the-discussion-about-serps-as-one-of-the-factors-for-measuring-the-success-of-the-seo-campaign-in-the-long-run/29533/

    http://blog.webpro.in/2011/05/seo-is-much-beyond-serps-but-importance.html