This is an update for all “Insider Programme” members receiving our “Google Search Phrase Position Report” each Friday.
As we’re sure you’re aware, everyone sees different results in Google these days, depending on where you are, what you’ve been searching for in the past, etc. This makes monitoring your site’s position in the Google results rather complex. Our “Google Search Phrase Position Report”, which you receive every Friday, attempts to do this by querying Google from the same place at the same time, with personalised results switched off. It may see its own unique set of results, as we all do, but it is at least consistent.
However, one thing which can introduce a large discrepancy from what average users see is that the Google Search Phrase Position Report includes multiple entries from the same sites. Remember those “indented second results” we used to get in Google? Nowadays Google might choose to show several entries from one site, or just one. This could mean the difference between your site appearing at number three or on the second page.
We think therefore that the main use of the Google Search Phrase Position Report now is not so much in simulating the results which people see, but in listing which sites are appearing above and below you. From tomorrow, therefore, we’re changing things significantly. For a start, the Google Search Phrase Position Report will be renamed the “Google Competitor Performance Report”. What we’ll be doing is graphing (and listing) just the complete sites which appear above and below yours, rather than the individual pages. We think this is the information you really need.
So, for example, if we see Google was showing a result from Wikipedia at number 1, then three results from the Red Widget Company at numbers 2, 3 and 4, followed by your site, we’d traditionally have reported your page as being at number 5. But in the real world, people will see all sorts of different things, with the only main theme being that your page(s) will be below those from Wikipedia and the Red Widget Company. So from now on, we’re going to report your site as being at number 3. The table of top ten results will be replaced by a table of the top 10 sites we’ve found.
The result will be that your graphs may jump up a few places, as any sites with multiple-page listings above you are collapsed down to just one result.
There are several other changes introduced with the change of the tool to the Google Competitor Performance Report, which we hope will be clear, and helpful. To take a look, sign in at the Insider Programme Dashboard and select “Google Competitor Performance Report”. There you can choose add and edit the search terms which we monitor for you on a daily basis. If you’re working on a particular project to improve your standing for a particular search term, now’s the time to ensure that term is being monitored, so you can see before and after results! You can also call off graphs covering more than the normal two week time-slot.