Search Engine Ranking

Our methodology for determining and reporting Search Engine Ranking is the same regardless of whether we’re customizing reports for our clients or reporting on industry trends in general. We use a standardized methodology so that we can compare the results over time.  This methodology is simple and straightforward. It’s the same core methodology we’ve been using since 2006, but changes to Search Engines since have necessitated adaptation.

Ranking on the Google is Local

Google’s evolution from showing a global result set to showing localized result sets is a giant change. It’s enormous in terms of its impact on national and global brands. It adds a new dimension to reporting Search Engine Rank. This not only means bigger reports, but the new scope of data presents more of a challenge to drawing conclusions.

People use Search Engines by entering a search phrase, sometimes only word or two, and receiving a list of web pages back. When Search Engines like Google Search show a list of web pages matching the search phrase, they’re listed one at a time. The first page listed on a Search Engine Results Page is said to have the #1 Rank. The second page listed is given the #2 rank, and so on.

The lower a page’s rank is, the more traffic it can expect from search engines. For website owners that are serious about getting the most search engine traffic they can, getting a low rank for a highly used search engine terms is important.

Although Google uses over fifty variables today in determining which pages rank above others for specific terms, there are three classic pillars of SEO. These are the three primary factors that determine search engine ranking:

  • Relevance – Google looks at a page’s content. Does it contain the search term? It better if it wants to get found for that term.
  • Frequency – Google loves sites that publish new content often. The freshness of the content also helps to reinforce it’s credibility to Google.
  • Authority – A page’s authority is determined by how many other pages with high or low authority are pointing to it. It’s tricky to get other sites to point links into yours. That’s where social media marketing and local social media efforts can really pay off.

At Massive Impressions we use a strategy called content marketing that exercises all three pillars of SEO resulting in lasting, safe results for our clients.

This description of the methodology we use at Massive Impressions Online Marketing accounts for the current state of Google today.

Five Steps in our Search Engine Ranking Methodology

  • Step 1: Use Google in a Browser on a Desktop

    Don’t try to use some automated tool to determine search engine rank. None are completely representative of what you’ll get if you use Google in a browser, on your computer. Don’t use a mobile phone. Don’t use any other site other than

  • Step 2: Make Sure You’re Logged Out of Google

    If you use Google, especially Gmail or Google Plus, then if you’re using the search feature you’re probably logged in to Google. You’ll know you’re logged in if your name or e-mail address appears in the upper right hand corner. If you do see that you’re logged in, then make sure you’re logged out before the next step.

  • Step 3: Set your Geographic Search Area

    Enter your search term in the search box and hit Enter. You’ll see the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) which contains, at the top, another search field. Beneath that search field are the search results. Right above the search results should be a button labeled “Search Tools”. If you click that button new fields appear. One of these fields should display your current location, or at least what Google thinks is your current location. You can click on this location to choose a new location. Use this feature to set the location where you want to see the search results.

  • Step 4: Choose Only Organic Results

    Much of what’s shown in the SERP is paid for, or is a display of some other Google feature that’s being promoted, for example Google Maps with lists of Google Places. Paid search ads that look like organic search results are also shown. For the purpose of determining the unpaid, truly organic search engine result ranking, the most sought after positions in the SEO game, we have to carefully distinguish what’s organic from what’s paid. By default a SERP should show only 10 organic search results at at time.

  • Step 5: Record the PAGE URL, not just the ranking domain

    Web pages are what ranks, not sites. Sites rank because they have pages within them. Domains don’t rank, but they do gain authority for the pages within them.

    When we record who occupies a rank position, we record the page that’s ranking and not just the domain or site. This  is important for being able to recognize, later on, why that page is ranking.

seo methodology - paid versus organic

Your business can benefit from better Search Engine Ranking.

Every website can benefit by improving its search engine rank. It means more visitors. For the best value SEO for websites, contact our online marketing company: Massive Impressions Online Marketing. We excel at SEO that’s a safe investment for long term brand building. Call us at (866) 800 – 3579 to learn more.