Visibility Index

The visibility index is an indicator for the visibility of a website in the Google ranking. The visibility is determined on the basis of rankings of the website within a certain data set from keywords. However the visibility index is only one out of many that are important for SEO.

How it works

To create a visibility index, the 100 highest rankings of several hundred thousand or millions of keywords are determined in an ongoing process.These keywords cover a wide range of topics and cover the most commonly used or most searched terms or combinations of search terms. A part of the keywords get adapted to current events so that the index is constantly significant. The visibility index is calculated with the following factors, depending on the tool provider:

  • The ranking of the monitored keywords
  • The expected traffic through the positioning
  • The expected traffic through the keyword


Interpretation of the visibility code

There can be difficulties when the rating is based on the visibility code, especially for niche sites. These are websites with a keyword focus that only covers a very small part and affects a special subject for which the keyword fund has only saved a few keywords. So, the chance that relevant keywords are considered in the index in such projects is lower.

The consequence is that websites with a high ratio of niche keywords show a lower visibility index automatically. So those sites can unavoidably only build up the visibility to a limited level. Tests that have an increase in the visibility index automatically leads to a higher physical traffic. Organizations like the AGOF analyze the reach of websites and the user’s behavior online as transparent and neutral as possible. The visibility is a less important factor for that.

Whoever evaluates visibility indicators should always keep in mind that the Index does not necessarily reflect the current status. Accordingly, the data displayed is never live data, but stored data, and some of the data stored in the database can be several days old.

Also, when evaluating keyword rankings it’s important to keep in mind that although it might feel good to have a first position ranking with some keywords, the actual competition and the successful conversions with this keyword need to be taken into consideration before evaulating the quality of top rankings.

In principle, the quality of a visibility index always depends on how large the keywordset of the respective provider is, how often this keyword set is updated and which keywords are actually recorded. Especially with LongTail, the data used for the visibility index is usually not of good quality.

Relevance for SEO

The visibility index can only give a hint on the development concerning the SEO of a website. So it can be helpful to know the progress of the ranking of top keyword positions in the SERPs. Otherwise, those positions don’t really make a statement about the real traffic and conversions of a website. In the long-term however, the visibility index can provide clear indications about the visibility history of individual URLs or page areas, and for a example whether a page has been affected by a [Penalty|Google Penalty]].

Furthermore, the effects of a Google Update can be seen with the changes in visibility especially with extreme variations. In fact, the visibility index should be used primarily for trends and not as the only key figure in web analytics. It’s important to see the visibility index as one topic out of many for SEO. The bigger focus should be on the KPI and the actual traffic data as well as the bounce rates and length of stay. Those numbers show how the users react to the web content of a site. The visibility index cannot offer this.


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