Omniture announced last week that SiteCatalyst will soon include the capability to ‘segment reports by organic keyword rankings‘. (Omniture Supports Expanded Google URL Format from May 6, 2009). This is big news, as it is the first major analytics program that I know of that will be able report on keyword ranking in SERPs. The ability to see what position your site is in for different keywords has obvious benefits in terms of measuring search engine optimization efforts, although I know some SEOs who would argue that it’s the volume of quality traffic from keywords, and not rankings, that really counts. Still, positioning naturally has an effect on click-through rate and people are curious to know where they stand, so this will no doubt be a popular feature. Hard to know at this stage exactly what form the reports will take: will it be an ‘average position’ metric that is reported alongside other metrics in organic keyword reports? Also, there was no mention of the timeline for roll-out of this feature, although it will be available to all SiteCatalyst users.
The announcement did mention that this capability is being made possible through an arrangement with Google and that ‘when consumers perform an organic search on Google and click on a result, rank and keyword data is now being passed to Omniture SiteCatalyst‘. Omniture CTO Brett Error is quoted as saying, “Omniture is taking advantage of Google’s ability to capture and share organic search rankings…”
This all seems to point to the upcoming change in Google referrer strings from the SERPs, as mentioned back in April by Brett Crosby on The Official Google Analytics Blog. Based on that article and some of the comments that followed, it looks like the new Google search referrer string will contain a ‘cd=’ parameter that identifies the position on the search page of the link that the visitor is clicking.
So all this makes me wonder: will Google also be incorporating keyword rankings in Google Analytics?