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What’s a search engine ‘visibility’ score?

If you invest in search engine optimisation, you may have seen reports that refer to a mysterious phenomenon known as a visibility score.

Wassat then?

Essentially it’s a percentage score derived by assigning points for each ranking that your website achieves in selected search engines for any given keyword and dividing them by the maximum number of points that the search engines could deliver. It’s expressed as a percentage by multiplying the result by 100. You only score points for pages that appear in the top 30 rankings - any ranking below 30 scores 0.

Here’s an example.

We have a so-called competitor that’s currently targeting phrases such as:

Internet advertising agency Cheltenham

Internet marketer Cheltenham

Internet marketing Cheltenham

Marketing online Cheltenham

Pay-per-click agency Cheltenham.

They’re primarily concerned with Google rankings and their ahem ’strategy’ is to get someone from a foreign land to write unintentionally hilarious blog posts targeting these phrases. Sadly, Google hasn’t spotted their spammy techniques, not to mention the fact that they can’t be bothered to write their own blog, and they’re ranking well.

However, this is an example so let’s ignore the facts!

Assume that Google displays only one link per website in its top 10 results. That would mean that the maximum number of points they could score would be 5 keywords x 30 points = 150.

If they had 1 at number 1, 1 at number 2, 2 at number 4 and 1 at number 7, their points score would be 30+29+54+25 = 134. Divide that by 150 = a visibility score of 89%.

In fact Google is delivering their pages more than once on page 1 so their true total is in excess of 100%. There really is no justice.

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