SEO Research

The Difference between Ranking Above & Below the Fold (A CTR Study)


What does Click-Through Rate (CTR) look like above the fold versus below the fold? The question, being as good as it is, doesn't make it an easy one to answer. In fact, it's more than a little complicated. After all, you have to discount the first organic result being above the fold to a certain extent considering it's the first result folks see regardless of its "fold" status.

Complications aside, for the moment, let's explore what CTR is above and below the fold for sites on page one of the Google SERP!

Breaking Down Google's BERT Powered News Carousel [Case Study]


Back in December 2019, Google's BERT algorithm made its way to the Top Stories Carousel. Ever since then I've been dying to get my hands on the newly segmented carousels to see what makes them tick, where they hit the mark, and where they fall a bit short. It's only taken me a few months, but here's a bit of thematic analysis on what's happening with the Top Stories carousel now that BERT is part of the picture.

The Wrath of the May 2020 Core Update and the Lessons Learned


While the May 2020 Core Update is certainly not the first core update we've seen, it might just be one of the most unique. For Google's second core algorithm update of 2020, we were delivered one of the strongest and most impactful updates we've seen in quite some time. Throw in the fact that the update rolled-out in the middle of a global pandemic and we're left with a lot of data, patterns, and insights to chew on.

In this post we'll:

  • Analyze the way the update rolled-out
  • Break down rank volatility increases per niche
  • Dive into some of the site-level patterns embedded within the update
  • Look at what role COVID-19 may have played

What to Do about Google's Core Updates: Prevention & Recovery


There's a lot of advice out there on how to recover from and even prevent your site from being hurt by one of Google's core updates. Some of the advice is pretty good... some of it is a bit cliche. So let's go down the rabbit hole a bit by analyzing the data on the core updates, some site-level patterns that the updates have produced, and what you might want to consider for your site as a result.

Here's a data-packed (yet holistic) look at what you can do to prevent ranking and traffic losses at the hands of a core update.

What SERP Features Do Featured Snippets Compete With? [Study]


So you've won a Featured Snippet... let the traffic flow, right? Not so fast there! What other SERP features are showing alongside your Featured Snippet? What other features are competing for a user's attention? What SERP features most commonly appear with Featured Snippets? How strong is a Featured Snippet win... really?!

You've got questions... we've got data...

The Rank Volatility Scenario in 2020: A Rank Stability Study


Is rank more volatile in 2020 than it was before the latest string of core updates arrived? Is the continued presence of both Google's confirmed and unconfirmed updates making rank stability harder and harder to come by? As machine learning progresses are we seeing more and more rank volatility? Has August 2018's Medic update put us on a new path of increased rank fluctuations?

Let's find out!

The January 2020 Core Update: Data & Analysis


It did not take long for Google to release its first confirmed core algorithm update of 2020. Just two weeks into the new year, Google announced the release of what it has called the January 2020 Core Update. Right from the get-go, all signs pointed to this update being on the larger and more impactful side. Here is a look at the update's overall impact on rank stability, a per niche rank volatility analysis, and a comparison in scope and size to a recent unconfirmed update.

In other words.... How big was the January 2020 Core Update and who did it impact the most?

SEO Research in 2019 - A Summary of Rank Ranger's Findings


The best part of my job is the ability to spend time pondering, analyzing, and researching anything and everything within the world of Search. It's in these moments where I feel I'm making a difference by helping advance the SEO conversation. With this sentimentality, let's have a look back on 2019 and revisit some of the insights we've uncovered here at Rank Ranger over the year.

Featured Snippet Synchronicity: URL Match Study


So you've won a Featured Snippet on desktop, does that mean your URL shows within the zero-position box on mobile? How often does the URL that resides within a mobile Featured Snippet match the desktop URL? Is there even a desktop Featured Snippet? What is the likelihood that a Featured Snippet win on desktop equals a Featured Snippet win on mobile?

Here's a look at how often Google shows the same URL on desktop and on mobile.

The September 2019 Core Update: What Happened & Who Did It Happen to?


On September 24th, Google sent forth its latest core algorithm update incarnation - the September 2019 Core Update. The third official algorithm update of 2019, like all other core updates, presented a unique set of ranking data at the niche level. More than that, a look at some of the site's impacted may shed some light on how Google looks at Your Money Your Life content.

Here's a look at what the data says about the September 2019 Core Update's size, scope, and overall impact!

One Giant Leap! How Google's Entity Understanding Has Advanced [Case Study]


How good is Google at understanding entities?

It's an important question since so much depends on exactly that, especially since Google now profiles sites (i.e., treats them as entities). While Google has some hangups when it comes to understanding entities, it's also made some giant leaps. 

Have a look at how Google is reaching deeper than ever into entities and why it might be on the verge of taking things to a whole new level.

Google's Ability to Understand Entity Sub-Profiles [Case Study]


Google has gotten really good at recognizing entities and how various entities relate to each other. There's no doubt about it. That said, how well can Google truly profile an entity? What happens when an entity has more than one profile? Is Google able to pick up on entity sub-profiles? What if someone is both an actor/actress and a director? What happens when a celebrity goes into politics? How does Google view the secondary profile of these entities?



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