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Thread: Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Question Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

    Greg Gifford just made a good post over at Search Engine Land.

    I understand what Greg is saying. And I'm sure most Local SEOs 'wish' ranking reports would just go away, especially now with Pigeon. BUT I think clients still want them.

    Plus I would think the higher you rank, the better those other metrics would be. So if you drop off page one due to Pigeon flux, then your numbers would reflect that right?

    One Positive Pigeon Result: We Can Finally Ditch Ranking Reports
    (Just a snippet - so click the link to read full post.)

    If you work in Local SEO, youíre already familiar with the Pigeon update and the crazy effects itís had on local search results. Itís painfully obvious that the rankings are still fluctuating Ė but maybe thatís a good thing.

    Many SEOs have been calling for an end to monthly ranking reports for quite a while now. Unfortunately, clients still see ranking reports as the best indicator of SEO success.

    Now that Pigeon has caused havoc with local rankings, weíve got a huge opportunity to take advantage of the flux and educate our clients that rankings donít equal success. All of the Local SEOs can band together, rise up, and show our clients better reports with metrics that really matter to the bottom line.
    What do you think???
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    Greg Gifford is offline Featured Author
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    Re: Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

    Unfortunately, yes - clients still think they're the bible of SEO success...

    BUT - we've had pretty decent success re-educating many of our clients, so they're no longer laser-focused on rankings.

    And you're right - the other metrics totally reflect rankings anyway, and will increase/decrease based on rankings.

    We've been more successful showing simple reports with numbers they can really see tied to their bottom line. Once they see them, they realize that seeing how they rank for a bajillion random keywords doesn't really prove anything other than how they rank...

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

    Thanks Greg, I get it and agree. Other metrics are important and a better measure of success, especially now since Pigeon is so unpredictable.
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    Re: Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

    Interesting idea - though looking at his suggestions, I think most people should be doing some of that anyway right now (not not live in a bubble). Given that I don't really trust some of the Google numbers (especially the in sights) while I take those numbers into account, I wouldn't really put all my eggs there.

    That being said, throwing out keyword reports, to me, does you no good - both because its what people are use to, a keyword report can help understand site health, and be an good indicator if something is going on with the site, aka keyword dropping helping find a penalty.
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    steven is offline Member + GMB
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    Re: Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

    I remember reading on blumenthal's blog somewhere after pigeon update that that some some tracking software isn't even giving proper results. Did I remember that right, and is that still the case?

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

    Yes Mike mentioned that Steven and I've mentioned it too.

    To my knowledge no one is tracking right yet, due to the data center issues I mention in the post below.

    Pigeon Analysis - New Insights about this Crazy Google Local Algo & the Constant Flux

    All trackers are going through the old datacenters that are still showing the pre-Pigeon results. Even software programs I use that just simply show me when the pack changes - still are all showing the old algo and ranking order. Google Classic maps too.

    Mark at Scout thought he found a way around it maybe - using a proxy, but I have not confirmed if it worked yet.
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    5 Important SEO Metrics You Should Focus on Instead of Rankings

    See article here

    What do you guys think of these metrics? I like the focus on traffic over strictly rankings, because of the fluctuation. One other suggestion is to use custom URLs (use Google URL builder) to set the medium as "Local" and set that as the website URL to the Google My Business page. That way you can do a better job tracking which traffic was true organic and which was because of the local page.

    I'll credit Mike Ramsey for that suggestion (his MozCon presentation mentioned it).

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    Re: Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rohrback View Post
    What do you guys think of these metrics? I like the focus on traffic over strictly rankings, because of the fluctuation. One other suggestion is to use custom URLs (use Google URL builder) to set the medium as "Local" and set that as the website URL to the Google My Business page. That way you can do a better job tracking which traffic was true organic and which was because of the local page.

    Thanks so much for posting Eric. We started discussing this yesterday, so I had to merge so we would not have a split convo in 2 different places.

    You make a really good point above!
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    Re: Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

    Traffic is incredibly difficult to report on due to "not provided".

    You can't tell if the search engine traffic is from you (non branded) or from their brand.

    I have one client who does tons of radio and tv. Over half his traffic I would imagine comes from his strong brand presence.

    About the only thing we could do is get him to track where his clients come from when they call in, which is what needs to happen anyway. Above and beyond that, what else can you do?
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    steven is offline Member + GMB
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    Re: Can we Really Ditch Ranking Reports due to Pigeon?

    I'll credit Mike Ramsey for that suggestion (his MozCon presentation mentioned it).
    Eric, can you link to that presentation?

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