(Even though I hate the focus put on search ranking)
– Mainly because:
“From what we could gather on the phone, it was just from doing searches on Google.” STOP TALKING ABOUT RANKING! (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻
— AChrisTurner (@AChrisTurner) May 21, 2013
Raven has finally done what many of us devoted users have been asking since they removed scrapped data to remain compliant with Google’s API rules; they are going to import Google Webmaster Tools data!!
This is huge. A little history for the uninitiated: late in the year (2012), Google made changes to their data policy that made using scrapped data with API data a violation. This meant that ranking data used in the Raven (and many other rank tracking tools) was no longer allowed if they wanted access to Google Adwords and other network information. Many credible companies went the route of compliance to retain the valuable, more accurate data Google provides via their APIs versus using the screen scrapped data; which can be woefully inaccurate due to the latest personalization changes in the search interfaces.
Enter Google Webmaster Tools (GWMT) and the information available.
In GWMT, webmasters can find ranking data along side page data for those pages providing the listing in the search engine result pages (SERP). In simpler terms, you can click on a keyword in GWMT and see what pages are ranking where. This is great data when evaluating ROI and determining strategy. Now the down side. After 90 days, the data is lost to the ether, also know as Google’s internal server spaces.
This is why this latest announcement is so vital and valuable from a search engine optimization standpoint, it means Raven clients will have access to pretty accurate data related to rankings and they will archive the ranking data so users can have historic GWMT information! Other services provide this, I believe, but for us, we rely on Raven and have saved the GWMT manually; with much frustration.
The update is important in also allowing Raven account holders to fill in some of the gaps created when trying to make the correlation between GWMT and Google Analytics. We perform a number of acrobatic maneuvers to fill in what we can for Google’s [not provided].
Google organic traffic makes up 70-80% of the traffic for most of our clients and 30-40% of this traffic falls into the [not provided] bucket. According to most of the recent statistics for market share, Google owns 70% of all searches. Determining branded and non-branded statistics for keywords hidden by the logged in status of users is necessary to a thorough and complete organic strategy. With longer views of this SERP details, Raven is making the ability to determine keyword relevancy, page quality and other stats more actionable.
Raven is bringing back SERP tracking in a manner, making use of the data provided webmasters through GWMT. Are you excited? Do you currently use Raven? If not, what service are you using to monitor search position? I would love to know what other search tools have already incorporating GWMT data as a method of reporting on SERP positions. Have they done it successfully?
We are excited to have this data at our finger tips and look forward to this change; which has been a long time coming.