A SERP report or Search Engine Ranking Position Report is a report showing a website or domains organic position for certain keywords for a search. For example, for any given search results, organic results on page one typically start at 1 and end at 10, although in a small number of cases this can be shorter, often just 7, with 8-10 being published on page 2. Position 0 appears above organic position 1 and below the Google Ad Spots.
While some SEO’s use manual techniques to calculate SERPs, its worth remembering that they change with the daily refreshes that Google makes, so using a tool is recommended. For a start, using Google Search Console is ok for a few keywords but it records and reports on every variation and typo. For example, “best marketing agency in ny” and “best marketing agencies in ny” and “best marketing agency in NY” could be seen as the same keyword. Depending on what people search for, the number and split count of clicks and impressions can be hard to track. You could use Google Data Studio, or the GSC API to help build a report or like most SEO’s you could just use a tool like SEMrush, Ahrefs, WebCEO or SERPbook. One of the advantages to do this is that you can track your history of ranking (especially useful if you lose a ranking to trace back the steps to that point) and your total visibility % score (% proximity to position 1 for all keywords).
An example SERP report from SEMrush, showing current and previous positions, and indicators for tracking Google My Business Position 0 (a crown), knowledge panel, answer panel, site links and video results:
SERP reports are a Key Performance Indicator for SEO and typically feature as part of the reporting process. A lot of SEO’s can focus too much time on daily changes, but the internet is a sea of data with different influences hitting a lot of sites. While many top ranking domains have perma-rank (i.e. always number 1) for a keyword, these are disappearing slowly and rankings are more fluid, as they are for most SEO’s. Fluid ranking is a part and parcel of Search Optimization, and the reason for over focus may be that #1 tends to get the lion’s share of organic traffic. However, for very large volume keywords, long tail phrases might have more traffic in total than initial root keywords.
For example, searches for a watch brand like “Rolex” might have a high volume but depending on your business, keywords like “Rolex Repair” or “Buy rolex online” might have more value to your business than just ranking for “Rolex.” Over focusing on being #1 may just be a vanity or folly – unachievable for many and of no real use to most.
In 2020, Google announced it would no longer show position 0 domains in the Position 1-10 results.