SpyFu’s Ranking History 2.0: Strong insights, easy to use

Ranking History has always pulled back the curtain on other sites’ SEO focus and efforts. Now, all of your feedback has helped us turn it into something bigger.

With Ranking History 2.0, we updated it with 4 stand-out functions that help you get more out of the tool – in addition to improved usability:

  • Filters that let you track groups of keywords or domains
  • A trendline to cut through the noise
  • Shortcuts for a quick, easy start
  • The latest (current and ongoing) Google algorithm updates

Let’s start with, well…starting.

Ranking History has always been insightful and engaging. Who doesn’t love juicy hindsight powers that come from watching a site track up and down in the rankings over 7 years? It was easy enough to understand, but the tough part of this tool was actually knowing which keywords to trace back for a domain — or coming up with a good, ranking domain to emulate.

That’s where “starting” is a lot more important than it seems. Based on your feedback, our first line of action was to make it much easier to use, and that’s where our updates start: If you can think of a domain or a keyword that interests you, we will take care of the rest. Search it, and use the Ranking History tab to see where we’ve found (and charted) the domain’s top 10 keywords or a keyword’s top 10 domains.

For this example, we’ll start with a domain.

Getting ranking history data by clicking on ranking history from the domain overview

Now that you have a starting point, you’ve got options of what you can do next:

  1. Work with these top 10 keywords
  2. Change the group using one of our pre-set filters
  3. Change to a group of similar keywords
  4. Add your own keywords to the mix

We’ll cover what happens after you choose Option 1, but first a look at Options 2, 3, and 4.

Filter to a Pre-Set Group

Keeping with the goal of making it easy to start, we’ve built in shortcuts that automatically find popular queries. These searches turn up the most informative groups of organic keywords.

By “informative” we mean that when you view 10 “keywords that lost ranks” as a group, it can reveal patterns that can help you uncover bigger, more informative issues:

  • Is it one category that is tanking the most?
  • Did a Google update take you down a few notches?
  • What kind of content is getting you ranked on new keywords?
  • When some keywords fell from the top 10, how far did they fall? (Can you get back on the first page easily?)
  • When did you start to recover, and what caused that uptick?

These 5 groups are quick-starters. We added ready-to-go filters made to trigger ideas for deeper research:

Preset filters in Ranking History

Here’s a snippet of what each filter shows, but you can read here for a more detailed description of each one and how you can use those sets of keywords to improve your own SEO.

Default (Top 10 Keywords): These organic keywords are high search volume keywords where the domain usually ranks near the top spot.

Fell out of Top 10: The domain (or page) held a top 10 ranking on these keywords but dropped in the most recent month.

New Keywords : The domain has content that is ranking for the first time on these keywords.

Gained Ranks: The domain or page moved up from the organic position it held on these keywords last month.

Lost Ranks: The domain dropped its position on this keyword from the previous month, but it held onto a top 50 spot.

Filter to a group of similar keywords

Those dynamic groups we just listed gather a list of keywords that can change month to month. If you are focused on a specific category like “memory games” for lumosity.com, you can use a different built-in filter to easily load those into the chart without much more work.

Filter ranking history by keyword

How Else Can you Track New Client’s Past Keywords?

Your view changes to include the domain’s top keywords that include “memory games.” Now you can view important groups of SEO targeted keywords without adding them to a rank tracking system one at a time. It speeds up the process. Tracing the historic rankings for groups of matched-keywords r categories is especially helpful when you’re bringing on new clients (or adding a new focus with current ones). Plus, this lets you go back in the past to track current customers before they were your clients. It turns into visual proof of how far you’ve brought them with your SEO work. Just mark your starting point on the timeline.

Now that you can find keywords by action (“fell out of the top 10,” “gained ranks”), and you can find related-word keywords, put them together for very focused research. You can combine the “keyword match” filter with the pre-set filters and get the results on your graph.

Filter ranking history by keyword and by those keywords that fell from the top 10

Those filters ave us put together a relevant keyword list, but you can control the keyword list more directly. See how the domain (or page) has ranked on any of those groups vs. specific keywords. We made it easy to add them to your existing graph.

Add Your Own Keyword to the Mix

This new button makes it easy to add a new keyword to the chart without having to run a new search.

Adding keywords to ranking history

Now you can compare how the domain ranked on a keyword you’re targeting, in comparison to its top 10 keywords that you were already viewing.

You can keep adding keywords, but we’ve found that if you overload the chart, it gets harder to gather strong insights from what you’re seeing. You can delete others that were already on the list or you can rely on another helpful addition, the trendline.

Ranking history trendline

Use the trendline to See Patterns

When you turn on the trendline, it helps you see the overall direction of the domain’s changing ranks on these keywords. If its rankings dipped (in general) in June 2014, the Panda 4.0 update might have taken a bigger toll on these keywords than what you saw before.

The trendline cuts through the noise of the individual keyword rankings to help you see patterns that emerge when the rank histories are combined.

Watch For How We Improved Usability in Part 2

There’s more to cover in Part 2, mostly centered on updates we’ve made to usability and detail:

  • Drill into more ranking detail
  • Track the history of a single page, article, or YouTube video
  • Usability improvements
  • Latest Google algorithm updates


New details in Part 2 are coming soon.

Learn more about Ranking History, built inside of SpyFu.