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@BradShorr 1) Obsessing about rankings: fair enough.
2) (not provided) It will, agreed, that's why I think we should all be very conservative with any data we can get right now. Monitoring rankings might be the only way in the future to connect traffic with conversions for a given search string. (Albeit not perfectly...)
9 months ago on SEO: Why a Focus on Rankings Is So 00’s
First off, I agree with you, selling rankings to clients is a thing of the past. We should sell revenue or audience. However, there is a double message in a blog post like this one that I strongly disagree with: tracking ranking is useless. It is not, in my opinion. (Far from it.)
- (Not provided): Tracking rankings is far from perfect, but it helps you figure out some of your missing data hidden under the not provided label. With this lost in referrer data, I would in fact be expecting a lot of press around the necessity for ranking data. (Seed the keyword list from Adwords, where the data is still available.)
- R&D : Ranking data is data, you can analyze it for trends, compute it with others metrics to discover correlations and opportunities. Every data point has a value, as long as you understand what the data really is and as long as you have the skills to interpret it.
- Track search engines changes: On a large volume of data it's easy to get an insight on what is going on by looking at the rankings. You won't always be affected for sure, but sometimes you will see changes in your ranking patterns (Panda, Penguin) that might affect your overall strategy.
Monitoring rankings still gets you closer to more traffic.
9 months, 4 weeks ago on SEO: Why a Focus on Rankings Is So 00’s