The latest Internet Retailer 500 directory is here. Each year this is one of every industry player’s prime sources of data about how the Internet ‘big boys’ are performing and, more importantly, what they are doing to be ranked in these Top 500.
One additional metric added this year to the many that are provided regarding the overall performance of these online e-commerce high flyers, is a category rating SEO effectiveness for the sites. It rates this area using a simple excellent, good, fair and poor system and here are the overall results
While two-thirds of these ‘top’ companies (approximately 330) rate as excellent or good that leaves a lot of elite online players with some work to do.
I would suspect that there are a few copies of this directory being pushed up the food chain in companies by either in-house teams or agency partners to say “See, we are doing a great job, Mr. CEO, even though you have no clue what we are actually doing!” while others are scurrying to keep their bad ratings out of their C-level line of sight.
Conductor helped put together this rating system for the annual publication as MediaPost reports
Conductor helped Internet Retailer create and introduce a new metric, SEO Effectiveness, in which the publisher will evaluate the top 500 retailers. Nathan Safran, who leads Conductor’s research team, created the methodology that determines how effective and well positioned retailers are to succeed in SEO.
Rather than examine how well retailers rank, the methodology looks at how many people in the organization are full or part time and have knowledge of SEO. It turns out companies with senior or C-level execs with knowledge of SEO have a higher chance of being successful by having better positions on Google.
Ok, so wait. Then maybe some C-level execs really do have an idea of how SEO works? Not likely. I would suspect that measuring C-level knowledge of SEO is graded on whether they know what the acronym stands for in the first place then gets less detailed from there. Of course, I am playing here but if someone from Conductor would like to elaborate on just how they measured this knowledge we would love to hear it.
So what if someone were to come in and rate your SEO effort? Where would it land? Are these kinds of ratings valuable or just more data that looks nice rather than helping to move the needle?