Considering how much Google has been playing the privacy card recently, I’m surprised they do this, but it turns out the referrer string for Google searches typically includes a variable in the URL, “cd”, which signifies the approximate ranking of the link someone clicked on to get to your site for a search term. e.g. “1” would mean your page was the top result.

We’ve had requests to parse this data. As of about 20 minutes ago, we are now doing just that! (Pro+ account required).

Note that this is passive, in other words, we only have the data that Google gives us as people click through on search results. We’re not scraping SERPs, and we only have this data from Google because they’re the only ones who do this. (If any other major engines do it too, let us know and we’ll try to add it). If you want scraped results, you should use our SheerSEO integration.

The screenshots below show how we report this data (5 different places – Spy is my favorite). Keep in mind the data shown in these screens is from our own stats and it’s only been live for a short time so there’s only a few results logged so far. But I took a peak at some super high traffic sites to see what the reports looked like there, and it’s awesome.

Also, the ranking numbers you see for any given search are the average of all searches for that term. Not all visitors see the exact same search results! So if you had two people with a search and one saw it at position 4 and the other at position 5, the number reported would be 4.5.

First, rankings integrated right into the main search report:

But of course there’s also a report dedicated to just rankings, and in this case, they are sorted from best to worst rank (menu included in the screen so you can see where to go to get this):

We integrated it into the “keywords” report too, so you can see your average ranking for any given single word. Note that the ranking numbers in this shot aren’t accurate, since we’re dividing the sum of all rankings for any word by the total number of searches for that word on that day, and since we only have ranking data for 20 minutes so far today, the divisor is out of proportion. Come tomorrow, it will be correct.

We also added it to the dashboard search module:

And last but certainly not least, we put it in Spy, which is my absolute favorite. As live searches from Google stream in, we’ll show you the ranking right there (if it’s included in the referrer string). You might also notice we’re now showing the search in the same way we used to with the old version of spy, where it’s a separate string instead of just the full referrer string which is harder to read searches from:

I freaking love this and hope you do too!!