Being an engineer at heart I like to measure things and to take them apart to see how they work. Search engines however are somewhat opaque – they use hundreds of different algorithms to create Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPS) and those algorithms are a closely guarded secret and the subject of much debate and investigation in the SEO community.
So, since I wanted to learn more about SEO I decided to track and graph the top 100 ranked entries for a particular keyword over several weeks and here is the result. Click to enlarge it.
(i) volatility is clearly a lot less in the top ranked sites – moving one position from 4 to 3 is going to be a lot harder than moving from 94 to 93.
(ii) some sites can have stunning leaps for a short time but then get reset back to their former position – presumably getting the ‘recent content’ lift but then failing to capitalize on it with more frequent updates.
(iii) search engine optimization (SEO) is not something you can do once and forget, it’s something you need to stay on top of with frequent updates to your site and constant in-bound link building efforts.
I plan to compare this chart against some other keywords I’ve been tracking to see how they compare. I also want to track each site to determine what caused the particularly stunning leaps or falls in the rankings and learn from it. Maybe a chart like this could help identify which keywords are more volatile than others and therefore which ones you can make most progress against.
It’s early days, I just generated the first chart a few hours ago, so stay tuned for updates on this project.