Competitive Analysis

Using SEMrush API, Van Buskirk analyzes big data sets to reveal trends that result in wins and losses for industries or niches.

Search trend analysis for a Google algorithm update (like Panda or Penguin) is similar to what Van Buskirk does for industry/competitor trends. In both cases, changes to one or many websites over time are examined on a historic timeline. “Historic” can be 30 days, but is more often 1-2 years. For example, he published a data analysis on Search Engine Journal that showed how torrent websites performed in the SERP for two years before Google implemented a penalty on them (“A Thorough Data Analysis of Google’s Pirate Filter”).

Using trend analysis, he looks for correlations with metrics in the SERP changing together as a group as well as for individual websites. Keyword research is conducted to discover which competitors have the most content overlap for inclusion. In addition, clients provide company websites that may not have content overlap, but are known competitors. Events and other variables that affect search performance are put together with assistance from the client.

Variables tracked for impact on competitor and industry wins and losses in search engines:

  1. Seasonality (1)
  2. Visibility scoring in major Google Local markets (2)
  3. Different Google country databases (1)
  4. Monthly AdWords budget trends over time (1) (2)
  5. Impact of important industry news or events on websites (1)
  6. Competitor website that went through a known redesign (1)
  7. How/if a Google algorithm change affected an industry/niche (1)
  8. Changes in traffic from AdWords out of synch with AdWords budgets
  9. Industry and competitor movements in and out of product and service markets based on AdWords spends (1)
  10. Effect on a website’s ranking after a change in marketing or SEO agency
  11. User search terms for the niche/industry that become more complex/savvy over time (1)
  12. Changes in total search volume for keywords related to the niche/industry, which indicate interest level (1)

Contact Van Buskirk for a demo of competitive analysis using the below chart as an example.

Effect of Google’s “Pigeon” filter on local directory websites

The below chart is highly interactive— have fun with it! It shows a trend graph with a specific goal: finding the effect of a Google algorithm applied in late July, 2014. However, this trending data is usually done to find many different variables affecting a niche— as mentioned above. The deliverable for your company or clients would be charts and the raw tables. Use these in your next proposal presentation and kill it! Prospects want to see you understand the digital landscape for their industry. You may even uncover trends they didn’t know about. Van Buskirk creates a report that addresses important results, and his presentation with Q&A is critical to complement the findings.

  1. Examined using monthly data points over the past 2 years
  2. (No existing historic data. Shows visibility over shorter time period in Google Local markets by both Geo words in search terms, but also by sending crawlers to Google pages by local IP addresses)
Published and copyrighted 2011-2015 | by Eric Van Buskirk
921 North 20th Street, #3
Philadelphia, PA 19130