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Goal! What the World Cup Can Teach Us About SEO Performance

If you’re a company that has anything to do with Brazil—vacations, imports, exports, politics or sports—you might wonder how the World Cup affects the SEO performance of your website. Well, if you depend on absolute rank as your primary performance metric, you could be misled.

Absolute rank position indicates how your keywords perform across all listings in a search engine results page (SERP) which includes universal search results (video, images, places, shopping, news, etc.) as well as the organic listings.  Typically, there are 10 organic listings found on a SERP but if you take into account your universal search results, there could be well over 20 results on a single page (see the example below for the keyword ‘mexico’ on Google).

This provides another perspective on organic search listings, but it’s not a very accurate gauge of SEO performance. Suppose Google tweaks its algorithm to accommodate a major event… like the World Cup. Then what happens? For example ESPN, which is a major destination for sports fans of all types, is nowhere to be found in the search results for the World Cup. Does that mean no one’s visiting ESPN? No.

SEO Performance2

So imagine the effect of such a change to the SERPs on user click-through rates!  We found that that recent changes attributable to the World Cup are not uniform on similar searches. Consider the SERP for “Mexico.”

On the other hand, SEO visibility monitors the overall search performance of your website—not just its SERP rankings. It looks at selected keywords for a given search engine each week and analyzes the results for them. Sounds just like absolute rank, doesn’t it? But it’s not.

SEO visibility looks across a much broader set of criteria, which includes:

  • A composed Search volume (how often people are searching for a keyword or phrase)
  • How often and in which position (ranking) a domain appears
  • Whether ranking keywords are navigational or informational search
  • The statistical value of potential traffic distribution with a science driven dynamic click curve model
  • And Searchmetrics secret sauce

If you’re basing business decisions solely on dynamic ranks, you’re getting a flawed picture of how well you’re doing because search result pages change all the time. But if you want to understand how you are doing more with a stable picture you should use SEO visibility and its sister metrics the Video Visibility, News Visibility etc.  Because in the end it’s your long-term performance that counts.

Frank Lee

Frank Lee

6 thoughts on “Goal! What the World Cup Can Teach Us About SEO Performance

  • This does make quite a bit of sense. Especially when you think about out archaic measuring solely on rank position has become. Good article and Go USA!

  • Great post, I really like the idea of using video and news visibility together with search visibility.

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