What is search engine visibility?

By September 19, 2011Google, Search Engines, SEO

Search Engine Visibility is a bit of a confusing thing in many ways. I often talk about visibility and people nod along and I’m not always sure they fully get what I’m talking about.

What factors make a website more visible

The obvious factor that makes a website more visible is it’s rankings. If it ranks higher then it’s more visible in the search results. I therefore normally make some brackets in which I talk about visibility and I weight them accordingly. These could include:

  1. Position 31 +
  2. Position 21 – 30
  3. Position 11 – 20
  4. Position 6 – 10
  5. Position 4 – 5
  6. Position 2 – 3
  7. Position 1

So if your website appears for a search term that’s at position 1 is gets 7 points whereas if it appears after position 31 it gets 1 point (this can and does change depending on how competitive the search term is).

Then you need to work out how much search volume a term gets – use exact match in Google Keyword Tool to give you a bit of a feeling for this, group these again:

  1. 1 – 30 search queries
  2. 31 – 100 search queries
  3. 101 – 500 search queries
  4. 501 – 1000 search queries
  5. 1001 – 5000 search queries

Add together the score for the position of your site and the score for the amount of search queries carried out and you’re starting to get an index for how visible your site is in the index.

Taking this further you’d need to carry out the same exercise for a few direct competitors and you’d also need to carry this out a few times for the data to start to have any meaning.

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