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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Measure SEO Rankings

Tell me if this sounds familiar...

You worked hard on your website, created lots of content, got a ton of visitors, and felt good about your progress.

So today you want to see how your SEO rankings are doing.

You pull up your browser and Google your website’s major keyphrases to see how you’re doing.

Low and behold, you’re on top! A number 1 ranking for a difficult, major keyphrase!

Not so fast...

Your search results are personalized.

That means they are now different results for everyone.

The individual rankings you see on your computer and browser of choice may be completely different than what someone else sees.

And therein lies the problem. Keyword rankings aren't an accurate picture of how your SEO performance is doing.

Here are the 5 major reasons why you shouldn’t measure your SEO rankings.


1. Browsing History

Search results are based on your browsing history.

That means the site’s that you visit more frequently will rank higher.

So because you check your own website throughout the day, it will rank much higher than it may for other people.

You can find your real rankings using Google Webmaster Tools or an anonymous browsing site like


2. Physical Location

Your search results are also based on your current physical location.

This is obvious when you’re searching for a location-dependent business or keyphrase.

For example, if you’re searching for the name of a restaurant, then you’re going to be given names around your current location.

This is why local SEO is so important. Instead of showing typical webpages, search engines return results from sources like maps, reviews, and more.


3. Social Signals

Your search results are already being heavily influenced by social media. And this trend will only be more true in the future.

Twitter has been proven to influence results for some time.

But now we also have Google+, which looks like it’s here to stay.

When people in your circles +1 something, that makes those recommendations more relevant to you.

Social media provides search engines with more contextual data. So they’re going to be able to use these social signals that people give to influence your results more and more over time.


4. Change Over Time

Search results aren’t static. They change and fluctuate constantly over time.

You can gain or lose rankings as your posts become more or less valuable over time.

Let’s say you have a popular blog post that ranks highly for a long-tail keyphrase. But over time, you stop adding to that post or linking to it from other new posts.

And other people stop linking to it as well. It becomes buried and forgotten. That post will lose its individual ranking.

Sure, there are ways to make sure this doesn’t happen. But it’s just a matter of time before this naturally happens if you stop working consistently at it.


5. Not a Business Goal

Last but not least, keyword rankings aren’t business goals.

They might be helpful SEO metrics. But they don’t correlate directly with actionable metrics like traffic, leads or sales. 

Remember that you need to measure actions, because you can directly influence them one way or another.

Your time is valuable, and you need results.

So don’t get caught up in measuring things that don’t really matter.

So... What Should You Do Instead?

Step 1: Sign up for my free email mini course (starts today!) and find out how to improve your SEO and fix your website. I'll show you how to uncover and fix each of these mistakes:
  • Day 1: Keyword Strategy (Monday, January 14th)
  • Day 2: Optimizing Your Pages and Posts (Tuesday, January 15th)
  • Day 3: Link Building -- the Right Way (Wednesday, January 16th)
  • Day 4: Content Marketing & Social Media (Thursday, January 17th)
  • Day 5: Exclusive SEO Webinar (Friday, January 18th)

Step 2: Join my free webinar this Friday, where we'll talk about how to fix these common SEO mistakes. It takes place at 9:00 AM PST, and there are no replays planned.
Step 3: Stay tuned for a special announcement next week. I'll let you in on something I've been working on and am really excited to announce.

Until next time,
- Brad

PS: The free SEO mini course starts today. Click here to sign-up now.