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  • The Latest Google Smack Down

    Posted Dec 20th, 2012 By in YPM Blog With | No Comments

    Those following the SEO world may be trying to recover from the announcement earlier this week by the popular Raven Internet Marketing Tools that effective January 2, 2013 they will no longer be providing keyword rankings as part of their reporting suite. The decision is a result of having failed its annual Google AdWords audit. As described by Raven CEO, Patrick Keeble, Google’s notification to API users advised:

    “In order to be in compliance with the AdWords API Terms and Conditions please cease offering any product or product feature that collects scraped data or uses scraped data acquired from another source (this includes the functionality offered under website and keyword research in your tool).”

    At the most basic level, Raven Tools and other ranking reporting tools access Google’s API to scrape data and provide ranking reporting for keywords. For years this ranking reporting has been used as a benchmark tool for SEO professionals to determine the progress and success of their efforts in helping advertisers rise to the top of search engine results pages.

    While Google’s terms of service explicitly state that any product or product feature that collects scraped data or uses scraped data acquired from another source is not allowed, there has been no shortage of companies doing just that for the purposes of providing data to agencies and advertisers alike. One such firm Market Samurai discontinued its access to Google’s API at the beginning of 2012 switching to Bing for ranking data. In November of this year well known SEO software company SEOMoz had their API access revoked.

    The industry is all a buzz on whether this is Google tightening up on its terms of service or trying to alleviate the strain on its servers being accessed by these reporting tools.

    When the cloud of buzz and suspicion is lifted what remains at the forefront are the ultimate KPIs on which SEO performance ought to be measured – namely, traffic, leads, telephone calls, conversions and sales. After all pure rankings have long since been contaminated by personal preferences, geography, user types etc. And while advertisers and SEO professionals will continue to covet page one rankings perhaps this shift will bring into focus the truer indication of online marketing success, that which drives revenue.

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