Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

Pixel Rank - the better metric for your ranking?

Pixel Rank - the better metric for your ranking?

Position 1 can mean many things in today's SERPs: from directly visible to hidden behind countless integrations. It's high time we took a closer look at the SERPs. How much are positions 1-10 still worth - and is a "pixel rank" of our snippets perhaps a much better visibility metric?

I wanted to find out and created a Google Sheet that gives you the pixel rank for each keyword - along with lots of insights into the associated SERP integrations. In my presentation, I'll show you what the Pixel Rank can do, where the challenges of the metric lie and how you can use the sheet in your day-to-day SEO work.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

Johanna Maier

April 01, 2024

More Decks by Johanna Maier

Other Decks in Marketing & SEO


  1. 01 Why is the pixel rank an interesting concept for

    SEO? 02 SERP layout analysis in current SEO tooling 03 Google Sheet with DataForSEO connector 04 How reliable is the pixel rank? 05 Use cases for SEO 06 What‘s next? Our agenda for today
  2. The resolution Crucial difference: Higher PPI value for MacBook •

    MacBook Pro: 254 PPI Huawei MateBook: 185 PPI • "Pixel per Inch" or "Dots per Inch" or "How many pixel fit on one spot?" • The higher the pixel density, the higher is the resolution and more pixel (image dots) fit into a screen. How is it used for the pixel rank? • The pixel for the pixel rank will be always queried for the same standard device. • This way, the pixel values actually turn into a relative unit of measurement.
  3. Within the concept of pixel rank, pixel are a relative

    unit of measurement (screen resolution remains the same), which measures the distance to the beginning of the SERPs.
  4. Check the CTR history of your projects: Did changes in

    the SERP layout have a negative influence?
  5. SERP analysis in Sistrix Sistrix > User Testing > SERP-Layout:

    Check of the SERP development in the last 12 months for specific keywords. de.sistrix.com/kw/user%20testing/serp-layout Traffic estimates: According to the documentation the SERP integrations are also considered in the traffic estimates. This means: The estimates for two position 1 rankings with the same SV should differ if one is hidden behind many SERP features while the other is a featured snippet. www.sistrix.de/support/handbuch/seo/trafficschaetzung
  6. SERP analysis in ahrefs ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > SERP

    Overview: You can compare SERPs side-by-side at different points in time app.ahrefs.com/keywords-explorer /google/de/overview
  7. SERP analysis in SEMrush SEMrush > SEO > Organic Research

    > Positions: The traffic estimates of SEMrush even go a step further than Sistrix. You can filter out the traffic which should be generate solely by your domain being included in different SERP features. This way, you can check for which SERP features an optimisation might be relevant for your domain. SEMrush > SEO > Organic Research > Overview: Similarly, you can check in the overview, how much traffic your domain is generating through different SERP features. semrush.com/blog/serp-feature-update-2023/
  8. SERP analyse in AWR Advanced Web Ranking > Ranking >

    Keywords: The tool already provides you with a pixel rank metric – incl. the information if your own ranking is "above the old". "Above the fold" means that the ranking is in the viewport of users and initially visible on the screen before they have to scroll. https://app.advancedwebranking.com/ranking/ keywords
  9. SERP analysis in SEOmonitor SEOmonitor > All Keywords: SEOmonitor gives

    you an estimate of how many percent of the organic traffic will be taken by SERP features – and how much will be left the organic snippets. app.seomonitor.com/v2/120036/manage/strategy/0/desk top/keywords
  10. SERP analysis in Rank Ranger Absolute Visibility Score: Pixel rank

    is the basis for this score. In addition, the tool adds a weight to the score according to the SERP features present in the layout for the keyword. If the SERPs are more crowded, the Absolute Visibility for your ranking decreases. https://www.rankranger.com/blog/absolute-visibility- pixel-rank-tracking Above the Fold: In addition, for each keyword the information is given, if the ranking is „above the fold" or not. "Above the fold" means that the ranking is in the viewport of users and initially visible on the screen before they have to scroll. Demo: https://demo.bestseoreports.com/dashboard/
  11. A stroll through the world of SEO tools shows: SERP

    integrations are everywhere and have a strong influence on the value of our rankings.
  12. DataForSEO gives an overview of the many SERP integrations •

    SERP API Docs: documentation of the SERP-API https://docs.dataforseo.com/v3/serp/google/organic /live/advanced/ • Walkthrough through the SERP API: „Learning About how Serps are Built with Data for SEO" • Demo Explorer of the SERP API with test field: Enter an example keyword and discover the connected SERPs with the API. https://dataforseo.com/apis/google-serp-api
  13. Organic • Organic snippets • Rich Results – FAQs –

    How-to – Reviews – Sitelinks – Search Box – Thumbnails (Image/Video) "Organic Plus" • People Also Ask • People Also Search • Find Results On • Recipes • Related Searches Verticals Verticals of Google • Flights • Images • Jobs • Reviews • Posts • Local Pack • Map • Local Services • Top Stories • Visual Stories • Hotels Pack • Top Sights • Hotels • Video • Short Videos Verticals of other platforms • App • Twitter Knowledge Graph • Answer Box • Carousel • Multi Carousel • Knowledge Graph • Events • Mention Carousel • Scholarly Articles • Popular Products • Podcasts • Questions And Answers • Stocks Box • Math Solver • Currency Box • Found On The Web • Product Considerations Paid • Paid • Shopping • Commercial Units
  14. Costs per Keyword: 0,4 ct • Query of SERP API

    incl. Pixel rank • SERP API: 4 $ for 1.000 keywords • 1 $ of test credits for ~200 keywords • Google Ads API: 7,5 ct for 1.000 keywords Experience with DataForSEO (+) Reliable API, good docs & fast support (+) On-demand pricing without subscription (+) Live query without reliability on tool databases (-) Some direct email marketing but it was stopped after a directly asked How does the data get into the Google Sheet? • With Google Apps Script that is connected directly connected with a Google Sheet. • You only have to add your DataForSEO credentials in the Google Sheet.
  15. Extensions > Apps Script Function that adds a custom menu

    item when a Google Sheet is opened.
  16. The Final Google Sheet: bit.ly/dept-pixel-rank Region, Language & own Domain

    Keyword List Device & API Credentials Irrelevant Domains Script Menu Explanation of Settings
  17. You can adjust the settings in advance. • Keywords: For

    which keyword lists should the metrics be queried? • Region: For which location should the Google SERPs be simulated? • Dropdown selection possible • Alternative: Choose your own country or city code, see info in „Start Here" tab • Language: For which language should the Google SERPs be simulated? • Domain: Name of your own domain (for querying your Domain Pixel Rank for each keyword) • Irrelevant Domains: Which domains are not relevant or realistic competitors (e.g. Wikipedia or Amazon)?
  18. SERP Insights form DataForSEO API • Pixel Ranks & SERP

    Integrations: Structured extraction directly into the sheet for filtering and sorting • Domain Pixel Rank: Besides the position (1-10), you receive the Domain Pixel Rank of your domain‘s ranking. • Pixel Sum Top 3/10: A metric that shows you „how crowded" the top 3 or top 10 of your SERPs are. • Pixel to First Rank: The metric shows you where the first organic ranking shows up. • Pixel to First Relevant Rank: The metric only counts the first organic ranking, after irrelevant domains are excluded.
  19. There are many factors that can limit the meaningfulness of

    the pixel rank – but there are also workarounds.
  20. N° of SERP positions is fluid Device influences pixel values

    Paid SERP-Features are volatile Challenge: Google does not always show 10 organic snippets on the first page. Workaround: DataForSEO always delivers the top 100 positions. The script picks the top 10 from it to deliver a standardised metric. Challenge: The vertical pixel rank is highly dependable on the device. Workaround: Only compare desktop with desktop and only compare mobile with mobile. You can pick your device in the Google Sheet. Challenge: Paid features (Ads, Shopping) are personalised, volatile and are not always displayed to bots. Workaround: Paid features are filtered out per default in order to make the output of the script comparable. As an alternative, you can use Google Ads Bid data as a proxy for the "paid competition".
  21. SERPs have two columns. SERP layouts are dynamic. Challenge: A

    vertical pixel rank ignores the right side of the SERP like a knowledge panel. Workaround: The Sheet provides you with additional information on all current SERP features which can be taken into account for keyword analysis and prioritisation. Challenge: SERP layouts are always shifting and every movement has a strong impact on the pixel rank.. Workaround: Metrics like Top 10 Pixel Rank give an indication of "how crowded" the SERPs are. A single shift impacts these metrics less. In addition, it can be an advantage of the pixel rank to show even this little shifts that might impact our rankings.
  22. Challenge: Google sometimes shows not all 10 organic snippets (e.g.

    by filtering out very similar results). Example: Keywords like "hertha bsc" on mobile. Here a test showed that a lot of snippets were filtered out. At one point in time, we did not even see 10 organic results. Workaround: You can also "force" Google with a parameter to not apply this filter. In the script output you will see a special comment in the rows of the keywords where this edge case actually shows up. You can analyse these keyword again with the parameter setting "Force Filter = 0?".
  23. Situation How can I prioritise keywords? Approach SERP analysis and

    prioritisation according to metrics like „Pixel to First Relevant Rank". Answers which question? How many pixels are there before the first rankings shows up that I can attack? Use Case Keyword Analysis & Prioritisation
  24. Use Case Keyword Analysis & Prioritisation • Google Sheet: Analysis

    Examples (Copy of DEPT || Pixel Rank & SERP Features Extractor || DataForSEO) • Tab „Pivot | Keyword-Analysis" • „berliner bär": No ranking – Pixel to First Rank: 243 – Pixel to First Relevant Rank: 1.592
  25. Situation How can I identify threshold keywords? Approach Definition of

    threshold keywords depending on the SERP layout SERP analysis and definition of a „Above the Fold" value – depending on the device. Answers which question? When are my rankings in the viewport of my users and visible without scrolling? Use Case Above the Fold & Threshold Keywords
  26. Use Case Above the Fold & Threshold Keywords • Google

    Sheet: Analysis Examples (Copy of DEPT || Pixel Rank & SERP Features Extractor || DataForSEO) • Tab "Pivot | Above the Fold" • Pivot table shows, which domain rankings are in the viewport of my users without scrolling. • Basis: Custom Formula at the end of the "SERP Layout Overview" table.
  27. Use Case Above the Fold & Threshold Keywords • Google

    Sheet: Analysis Examples (Copy of DEPT || Pixel Rank & SERP Features Extractor || DataForSEO) • Tab "SERP Layout Overview" • Formel shows if the current domain ranking (if present) for a keyword is "above the fold" or not. • The formula considers if the rankings were queried for mobile or desktop.
  28. Formula Above the Fold & Threshold Keywords Definition • Desktop:

    800px • Mobile: 640px • You can choose an individual definition of your own „threshold keywords", for example: keywords that are close to the „above the fold" area For example: • Desktop: Keywords with Domain Pixel Rank 800 – 1.200 • Mobile: Keywords with Domain Pixel Rank 640 - 1.000 Keep in mind: • The pixel rank in the sheet ignores paid SERP features • If the keyword has high bid values from Google Ads, you should also imply that ads will take up space.
  29. Situation • Falling CTR with consistent positions Approach • Regular

    SERP analysis and side-by-side comparison over time • Pixel rank metrics can demonstrate trends. • SERP integration data can deliver granular explanations of what is going on. Answers which question? Do changes in SERP layouts influence my existing keyword rankings? Use Case Rank Tracking & SERP Changes
  30. Use Case Rank Tracking & SERP Changes • Google Sheet:

    Analysis Examples (Copy of DEPT || Pixel Rank & SERP Features Extractor || DataForSEO) • Tab "Pivot | Tracking over Time" shows the changes of rankings of time (Domain & Pixel Rank) • Detailed analysis in tab "SERP Layout Overview" possible • Example: Changes over time of the SERP integrations for the keyword "berliner seen"
  31. Situation Rollout of important organic SERP features starts in the

    US and English-speaking SERPs. Approach Analysis of the US SERPs: Which terms trigger which SERP features and how are the ranking sites optimised? Answers which question? How can we prepare for the rollout of these SERP features in the German-speaking search? Use Case Popular Products & Product Considerations
  32. Use Case Popular Products & Product Considerations • Google Sheet:

    Analysis Examples (Copy of DEPT || Pixel Rank & SERP Features Extractor || DataForSEO) • Tab "Pivot | DE vs. US" • Shows which US keywords trigger SERP features like Popular Products or Product Considerations.
  33. 1) https://app.dataforseo.com/register • "API login" in cell F4 • "API

    password" in cell F5 • 1$ as test credits = ~200 keywords • DataForSEO account might be blocked initially. Ask the support chat to undo this. 2) Google Sheet Copy: bit.ly/dept-pixel-rank • Choose your settings • Menu: " DataForSEO" > " Analyse SERPs" • Authorise the script (likely it will be flagged as ‘unsafe‘ since it is not an official Google extension) 3) Check your output! • Do you see any interesting patterns or outliers? • Can you think of any other relevant use cases for your project? Try it in 3 steps for your top keyword sets!
  34. Yes and no! The Pixel Rank cannot replace the classic

    organic positions 1 to 10. But it can be an addition and show better, for which keywords the chances for visibility, traffic and with this revenue can be higher.
  35. What‘s next? Search Generative Experience How dynamic will SERP layouts

    be? Which SERP data will be available? How fast will data providers like DataForSEO adapt? Important: The classic rankings will remain the analysis basis for the output that is generated by AI.
  36. Take-aways from the feedback on the conference Campixx: • The

    script should show the height of our snippets, incl. for example sitelinks, FAQs or other rich result elements. • Is there an option to check with DataForSEO which positions are still displayed within the first SERP? • How can we track our visibility in the entire SERP layout? So for example the % of how much surface all elements with our domain cover?