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Understanding Nightwatch's Main "Rank"
Understanding Nightwatch's Main "Rank"
Maja Nagelj avatar
Written by Maja Nagelj
Updated over a week ago

Nightwatch offers a nuanced approach to tracking and reporting keyword rankings by considering various search result types into a singular, consolidated "main" rank metric.

This approach provides clearer information about search visibility across different SERP features.

Aggregation of SERP Features into Main Rank

The "main" rank in Nightwatch reports is a culmination of several types of search results, including:

  • Organic results

  • Local Pack listings

  • Image Carousel results

  • Featured Snippets

  • Knowledge Panels

The methodology behind determining the main keyword rank involves the following steps:

Collection of SERP Positions: Nightwatch retrieves the ranks for the keyword across all the mentioned SERP features from the keyword’s search engine results page.

Selection of the Best Rank: It then assesses these rankings to identify the highest position (i.e., the lowest numerical value) across these features. This process can be described through the mathematical function min(Organic, Local Pack, Image Carousel, Featured Snippet, Knowledge Panel).

Example Scenario

Imagine a keyword where the Local Pack listing appears more prominent (lower numerical value) than the other SERP features. In this case, Nightwatch will prioritize the Local Pack position as the keyword's main rank, reflecting its highest visibility.

Customization Options for SEO Strategy Alignment

While Nightwatch's default behavior offers a comprehensive overview of a keyword's visibility across different SERP features, you may prefer focusing solely on organic rankings for your SEO strategy.

Recognizing this need, Nightwatch provides an option to customize rank tracking settings:

Opting Out of SERP Feature Aggregation

You can adjust the URL settings to exclude certain SERP features from influencing the main rank.

This preference allows for tracking only the organic rank of keywords, ensuring that reports align more closely with specific SEO strategies or preferences.

The new tracking behavior is applied immediately when these settings are modified to focus exclusively on organic results. However, it's important to note that this adjustment does not retroactively affect previously reported main ranks, preserving the integrity of historical data.

By understanding and utilizing these features, SEO professionals can tailor their tracking to meet specific objectives, whether they aim for a broad assessment of search visibility or a concentrated analysis of organic search performance.

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