Weighted Search Scores beat Simple Counts

30 Sep

For organic search results, a weighted score is better than a simple count

Simply counting the number of pages your brand claims (owns or controls) in the top results does not provide a sufficient measure of your brand’s actual online performance. Why? Because not all results positions are equal [link to Don’t just Google your brand, Rank it]. Here’s a simple example. Say your brand owns or controls the #s 3, 6, 7, 8 and 10 results. A simple count would be 5 out of 10. But that’s misleading because it ignores the value of higher ranked results over lower ones. (The #1 result in Google is there for a reason; so is the #5,789,645.) RankTank assigns weights to each result position as follows (below we show just the Top 10 results as an example):

table of search results positions versus weights

The value of a search result depends on its position in the rankings

Now calculate your weighted score in RankTank.

RankTank calculation of rank weighted score

RankTank calculation of rank weighted score

The results you claim (Brand A’s ECR, the weighted sum of “e”) are worth a total score of 29.

The results your competitor claims (Brand B’s ECR) are worth a total score of 37.

[For an overview of ECR, etc, see http://ranktank.eu/How-To-Use-RankTank.htm. For a detailed explanation, see http://www.slideshare.net/RankTank/rank-tank-tutorial-14524415.]

So on a simple count basis, you’d claim half the results for your brand name, apparently a fifty percent score, but on a rank-weighted basis, which reflects what users actually do with search results, you’re underperforming your competitor.

This example is based on the Top 10 results, not the entire 20. As it shows, out of a possible score of 66, your brand scores 29 and has left 37 on the table for dissatisfied customers, disgruntled ex-employees, brandjackers, and of course competitors. The differentials are even larger when ranking the Top 20, which has a total possible score of 100.

Now repeat the above — for all the keywords important to your company’s operations (sales, PR, IR, HR, legal, advertising, CRM, partners, etc) — in the top 20 results across all search engines, and you’ll get a sense of the Share of Online Voice you’re losing out on if you’re simply counting the number of results instead of using RankTank weighted scores.


One Response to “Weighted Search Scores beat Simple Counts”


  1. Best Brands of 2012 continue to dominate online as well as offline « ranktank - October 3, 2012

    […] Best Global Brands report with their position in the brand league table.  As is customary, we use https://ranktank.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/weighted-search-scores-beat-simple-counts/ rank weighted search positions as the measure of online performance, specifically, the percentage […]

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