Your ranking on Google does not matter anymore

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For a long time, keyword rankings were a staple of any SEO campaign. In many cases, it was a fundamental metric used to judge performance.

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A few years ago, the keywords users seeking to access our website content included much more information. All this information was available transparently within Google Analytics, and could obtain estimates of volumes of relatively precise search within the keyword tool from Google.

The first major update that modified this was encrypted Google search and the dreaded legend not provided  (not supplied) into Google Analytics.

This created a domino effect among
many software vendors
SEO made many
tools were less effective,
or at least more complex, to measure
the impact from the
organic search at a granular level.

Then , more recently, Google made the decision to move the search volume estimation tool planner your keyword to show estimates in broad ranges . Instead of informing us that a keyword is searched 1,400 times a month, report that seeks to between 1,000 and 10,000 times a month. This does not help much.

These changes forced marketers to tailor your search strategy to focus less on individual keywords and adopt a content strategy centered on the theme , especially for content that is on the top of the funnel.

Keyword rankings are inaccurate

One of the strongest criticisms of the classification data keyword is its great imprecision. Many industry leaders and even software vendors working with tracking data classifications admitted that it is.

The reasons can be divided into 3 main levels:

  1. Personalization
  2. Device
  3. Location


At the time when Google+ launched , he talked a lot of personalization in searching the SEO industry. Even after the demise of Google+, personalization has remained a big issue to consider.

You’ll get extra points if you remember the fragments of Authorship (in 2012).

Ultimately, Google will provide customized results for a user based on your search history. This means that if I did the query “electric cars” and had sought before the Tesla website, Google will probably adapt classifications of search results to show Tesla site among the first.

Not happen the same for someone who had not previously visited the website of Tesla; Therefore, it is very difficult to determine which website really ranks in the first position (that may be different for one person than another).

Device and location

While customizing has an impact on the ambiguity of keyword rankings, it ‘s nothing compared to the role of implicit query factors such as location and device.

One of the most important advances in terms of search Google in recent years is its ability to take into account certain aspects of a query that is not explicitly stated. To understand my point, let’s take as an example the query “restaurants in Boston”.

In 2010, this search resulted in a list of relatively generic websites in which they talked about restaurants in Boston or belonged to restaurants.

Currently, the simple search for “restaurants in Mexico DF” allows Google provides much more information than before. Google can see which device do a search, where you are at that time and even if you are moving.

Suppose you used an iPhone and you were walking around downtown Boston at 11.30. So really would this query to Google:

“What restaurants are open now where you can lunch that are at a reasonable walking distance of where I am, in downtown Boston (EE. UU.)?”

Google collected all this information without the user had to write it. As a result, you can completely tailor search results to the current situation of the user performing the search.

We can conclude that answer the question of who ranks first for the query “restaurants in Boston” is an even more complex task.

In the best case, the keyword rankings are directional

Solid ratings keywords does not always equate to large volumes of organic traffic, let alone improvements in income. As I mentioned earlier, we have lost a great visibility metrics search volumes, making it very difficult to accurately estimate the amount of traffic that can be obtained from an individual keyword. If we add the changing look of the results page search engine (p. Eg., The large increase in the leading or featured snippets fragments), becomes an even more daunting task.

If you depend on the ratings
keyword as a guide,
you’re probably taking
the wrong direction.

If all that haunts you is tracking a page in relation to a target classification it is likely to miss the enormous value that your content is generated. For example, what if you had created content with the primary objective of generating external links or social networking traffic, but the content was not necessarily designed to have good ratings (p. Eg., A research report)? Use the keyword rankings as determinants of success could lead to the contents of a completely inaccurate way is evaluated.

Performance measurement level set of issues

To overcome many of the disadvantages noted above, we changed the way we measure HubSpot content. In recent years, we have stopped to analyze content performance at the page level and we have begun to observe level set of issues .


Conversions and organic search traffic are our goals major search, therefore, when we group content sets to try to gain visibility for searches related to a particular topic, look at the collective performance of these groups of web pages compared with the performance of individual pages.

This analysis model helps us to realize the various objectives of each individual content. In addition, carry out this analysis scale lets us know what topics tend to generate higher traffic growth compared to others, and what issues tend to convert traffic at a higher rate.

This information often provides a much clearer picture for the team regarding what they should focus on without obsessing about the classifications of individual keywords.

Still keyword rankings are used?

Despite all what I said above, I’m not saying the keyword rankings no longer exist (I can already see the tweets ready to attack). Keyword data may be useful to investigate any problem you have SEO your site, and to analyze the intention behind certain types of searches.

That said, the new version of Google Search Console should bring everything you need.

The most important thing to know as a marketer is that you observe the data regarding keywords are not at all accurate. For that reason, this should not be never your primary performance metric.