Where Do Your SEO Clients Really Rank In SERPs?


Apparently it has become a problem for companies to accurately determine through reports where they rank in organic search listings, since search engines have begun to favor local listings. Google, for example, favors location in search engine page results for companies that have filled out Google Places profiles, according to some search engine optimization (SEO) experts. It has complicated SEO efforts to achieve above-the-fold or even first-page ranking.

A company whose founders have roots firmly planted in SEO will debut a feature Tuesday that reports where an SEO's clients actually rank in the organic search engine results pages (SERPs), taking into consideration local listings in Google and Bing.

The product, SyCara Local Plus from SyCara, also checks rankings from ZIP code or geographic location to measure the influence of SEO efforts for clients by geography. As Google, Bing and other search engines market local listings, it will make it more difficult to move up in search rankings.



The market for local listings on computers and mobile continues to skyrocket, along with online advertising. Local advertising revenue will reach $153.5 billion in 2015 -- up from $136.3 billion in 2010, according to research from BIA/Kelsey released Monday. The firm estimates local online/interactive advertising revenue will reach $42.5 billion by 2015, up from $21.7 billion in 2010.

Fionn Downhill, VP of strategy at SyCara, believes local search will influence some industries -- such as the travel industry -- more than others. Providing an example, she says SEOs that are attempting to get a Las Vegas hotel to rank high in organic search may find that local listings in Google Places can much too easily push a company's ranking from one to 10 overnight.

SyCara, which bases the product on an algorithmic model, had simply relied on keywords to determine rankings in the reporting tool. Now the reporting tool monitors keyword, location, and language. "A keyword" becomes one keyword in a specific location. It will change based on geography.

The SEO ranking tool also measures videos and blogs, according to Downhill.

SyCara, of course, claims to be first to market with the tool, but banter with a variety of SEO experts in the Dojo Chat Room suggests SEOmoz and Raven Tools have similar features in their respective tools. For those who want to catch up with changes going on in Google Places, Mike Blumenthal over at the blog Understanding Google Maps & Local Search - Developing Knowledge about Local Search can get SEOs caught up.

As for SyCara, the company plans this year to take its tool into Europe and Canada, as well as translate the product to make it available in Spanish and French.


2 comments about "Where Do Your SEO Clients Really Rank In SERPs?".
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  1. Chris Nielsen from Domain Incubation, March 22, 2011 at 2:47 p.m.

    Touting the ability to get sites ranked has been the snake oil of many SEO companies for years and I am disappointed that it's still being used as a way to measure SEO performance and success.

    It shouldn't be in most cases for most clients.

    Why? Because while a "top ranking" may result in a lot of traffic to a client site, it is not a given. If a top listing is poorly writen, keyword stuffed, or misleading, it may not provide the client with what they really want: Visitor conversions.

    Really bad SEO companies have been long been selling clients on the promise of top rankings, where later the client finds out that they SEO company has delivered what they said, but the business benefit as been low to nothing.

    How is this possible? Simple. The client's site ranks for things that people don't search for. You can see your top-ranked site, but no one else does because they do not search with the terms and keyword phrases that you are. Think: Smoke and mirrors.

    So, while a top rank listing can be nice, make sure not only that it is for something that people search for, but also that you get the traffic and conversions that you are expecting for the price you pay.

    Traffic numbers, and more importantly, conversion numbers, should be the only real metric to assess SEO project success. This was true in the 1990's and will continue to be true in the 2090's as far as I can tell.

  2. Sebastian Aroca from Hispanic Market Advisors, July 28, 2012 at 1:46 a.m.

    I like the article, and agree with the comments from Chris Nielsen as well. A good SEO consultant should not be afraid at looking at the analytical data weekly and adjust activities to those that bring the best ROI. Everything starts with keyword research, and setting the right keyword strategy, and learning how to target groups of keywords that are low in competition and high in volume search..

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