# SERP Scoring Algorithm

By King Douche | April 22, 2010

I don’t excel at much. What I do excel at is the ability to spend a whole lot of brain cycles on a SERP Scoring algorithm for my SERP checker that, in the end, will provide, at best, a cursory glance at a ‘score’ for all 3 major search engines.

I need help from the community to code-up a new SERP Score algorithm.  Now at first glance, this problem looks easy, similar to a chemisty experiment where you are given 65 milliliters of a 50% solution and 120 ml of a 30% solution then asked, “What is the strength of the final solution?” It’s a basic algebraic equation.  However, the results/scores are, well, bullshit after page 1, and I need some feedback.

I use some made-up terminology in this piece that you should know:

1.  SERPrint:   Your SERP footprint.  I represent this by displaying your numeric position on each search engine in this order:  Google, Yahoo, Bing.  Example: “1,25,0″ would indicate page 1, position 1 for Google, Page 3, position 5 for Yahoo (#25), and no ranking for The Bingers.  A 1,1,1 would indicate top SERP on all engines.

2.  Search Engine Weight (SEw):  The weight of the search engine corresponding to the usage percentage for all searches as reported by comScore March 2010 U.S. Core Search Rankings.   This is the first piece of the formula.

3. Page Weight (Pw):  Using the AOL SERP CTR Study metrics of “90% Page 1, 10% Page 2″ we can conclude that the pattern repeats past Page 2 into deeper pages.

## The Factors

There are 3 factors to consider for a cursory SERP score in the context of the search engine’s given results.

1.  Search Engine Weight:  More volume = more weight.

2.  SERP Position:   From 1-10, where does your listing show?

3.  Page Weight:  How many pages within the search results does your indexed listing appear?

### Search Engine Weight (SEw)

Using comScore data, we assign the weight of each search engine according to its search volume.

Yahoo:  16.8
Bing:  11.5

### SERP Position / Weight (SERPw)

For a given page, how far down in the list is your SERP. Assign weight based on AOL SERP Score data.

#### AOL SERP CTR Study

We need a big sample to determine the CTR on a given page for a SERP. We’ll be using AOL’s SERP CTR study to get the dispersement %.

Total Searches: 9,038,794
Total Clicks: 4,926,623

% of clicks

• Click Rank1: 2,075,765 42.13%
• Click Rank2: 586,100 11.90%
• Click Rank3: 418,643 8.50%
• Click Rank4: 298,532 6.06%
• Click Rank5: 242,169 4.92%
• Click Rank6: 199,541 4.05%
• Click Rank7: 168,080 3.41%
• Click Rank8: 148,489 3.01%
• Click Rank9: 140,356 2.85%
• Click Rank10: 147,551 2.99%

### Page Weight  (Pw)

How deep within the results does your SERP appear? We use the AOL SERP CTR Study to conclude that it’s 90/10 across the board.

### AOL SERP CTR Study – Page Depth

• 1st page: 4,425,226 89.82%
• 2nd page: 501,397 10.18%

Based on that, we assign a page-weight coefficient or multiplier (if !1, 10-x)

Observing the Obvious:  1 in 100 searches go to Page 3.  1 in 100 million searches go to Page 10?

## Sample Scoring

Using different algorithms, here are some sample SERPrints and their corresponding scores.  Which score do you think properly reflects that SERPs rankings?

Algo A = (SEw + SERPw) x Pw

Algo B = SEw x SERPw x Pw

This raw score is then multiplied by a coefficient to produce a 100-point system.   We get the coefficient by first calculating a {1,1,1} SERPrint then by dividing out the raw score by 100 to get the coefficient.  For A, it was 0.45425958 and for B, it was .025331969.

Example 1

{2,3,15}

{1,0,50}

Algo A = 48.86
Algo B =  69.69

Example 3

{70,2,1}

Algo A = 37.41
Algo B =  17.18

## Assumptions

Here are the assumptions that I used for this:

• The 6.3% left over from other search engines in SEw is irrelevant so discard it.   I teetered on this one and wanted to spread out the 6.3% proportionately across all the 3 to account for the searches but decided against it.
• People click the same way on any search engine, keyword, regardless of sex, gender, mood, or medium.  This could play a factor since more ‘desperate’ keywords might see deeper checks: “How to cure gonorrhea” or “How to hide a body”
• People usually display 10 results per page.
• This score does not factor in ‘keyword volume’.   While this is, by far, one of the most important factors to a true ‘SERP SCORE’, it’s outside the scope of this piece.
• Who cares about SERP scoring?  It’s just another useless statistic that means nothing. I get it.

What method would you use to calculate a SERP score?  How would you factor in KEYWORD VOLUME?

No Bullshit? Then just Share it!

Topics: Snake Oil | 10 Comments »

• http://zemalf.com/ Antti Kokkonen

I like simplicity. One number is simple = perfect for SERP scoring imho. The post has clear explanations, sounds reasoning, simple result = Good stuff! I excel at reading seemingly complex pieces like this one and this was most interesting, thanks.

• gegan

@Antti Thanks. It's still a little cryptic but I'm hoping that we can find a way to factor in search volume as a metric. I'm stumped on that one.

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• http://virtualcrowds.org Terence

His bots sends out all these duplicate emails with no name to info@domain.tld presuming they will be forwarded to the admin, which makes them spam, and as such, unless he is running his bots behind an vast anonymous proxy network, or from zombie sites, he will pretty soon be tagged as a spammer and either DNSBL or RBL'd and that will be the end of his shenanigans.

The problem is, the way he is running XRaider, providing links someone would have to pay \$97 or \$197 a month for, its a complete scam and total waste of money, and they probably won't even know that his bots have been RBL'd.

Nobody, except John Stahl, will gain any benefit whatsoever. Google doesn't like pages of links, and besides, all the links on his site are “no-followed”, so they physically can't transfer any Google Page Rank, “reverse google pagerank algorithm” or not.

Shame is, a whole bunch of noobies are going to be suckered-in, pay him a bunch of money and find out the hard way. Perhaps even find themselves sand-boxed by Google and actually harm whatever ranking they've got.

You can imagine the emails going back and forth even now:

Customer “…I've actually dropped from page 4 to page 15 since signing with XRaider!”

John Stahl “…just hold on another couple of months and you'll see. It will work. I guarantee it”

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• http://SEO-Website-Designer.com/ Tiggerito

Nice explanation. I came up with almost the same formula.

I didn’t bother with multiple search engines as here in Australia Google rules.

I went the extra step to include keyword volumes (from Googles keyword Tool) to come up with an estimate for actual traffic.

So far I have found the results are far from accurate. I’d class all sources of data for this as dodgy. I still use it to score a website and provide clients with an indicator of progress.

With Google Instant things will change again!