Every now and then a client asks me about the Visibility Score in their weekly SEO report. One might think at first that it’s a pretty straightforward ranking system, where having so many keywords appearing in a given search engine on a certain page counts a certain amount. That the right direction, but it’s a lot more nuanced than that.
Here’s the actual equation: visibility points ÷ 30÷ number of search engines x 100%
Let’s break that down a little.
Visibility points are points given to a particular search phrase based on its ranking. A #1 ranking, for example, nets 30 points and a 100% score. A #30 ranking nets one point and a 3% score. Anything ranking beyond #30 is worth zero points and zero score.
Since we track progress for search phrases and keywords in Google, Yahoo and Bing the formula adds the total scores and divides them by 90 (three search engines with 30 scores each) then multiplies that by 100%. So if a keyword is ranked #1, #10, and #30, you’d get a total of 52. Divide that by 90 and multiply it by 100 and you get a score of 57.7%, which rounds up to 58%.
So what does it all mean? Obviously the higher the score, the better, and we want to have the score rising over time. Keep in mind that anything ranked over 30 doesn’t get any score. Because of this, you may have times where perhaps some of your higher-ranking search phrases might drop while a bunch of your lower-ranking ones move up. In such a case, the visibility score could drop even though the campaign has improved overall.