The online value index (OVI) describes the visibility of a domain within the top 100 search results for certain keywords. Google itself uses over 200 ranking factors when calculating its own visibility index in order to guarantee high quality, relevant search results for individual keywords. These factors are weighted differently within Google's algorithm and changes can have an influence on the visibility (or OVI) of a domain. Aspects taken into consideration when calculating the OVI include not only technical errors rated negatively by Google but also more human factors such as bounce and return-to-SERP-rate and improvement / decline of competitors.
Just as stock exchange trends are a good indicator of the development of share prices, so can Google trends provide a clue as to the changing visibility of a website in its index.When it comes to search engine optimisation, trends can warn you if your domain is about to stray from the path. Charts and graphs are used to better intepret trends and differentiate easily between long term increases or declines and short term blips. The latter are particularly useful since they reveal the effects of minor changes and adjustments in relation to a more comprehensive general trend.
New Classifying trends
There are three types of trend in XOVI: primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary trend is the long term trend which in search engine optimization can be anything from 1 to 2 years. The secondary trend is slightly less long term and covers a time span of 1-12 months. The tertiary trend is the most immediate, covering up to 4 weeks. The time span of each classification can vary depending on the size and circumstances of a project – for instance depending upon whether a project is only designed to run for a short period of time or perhaps if it's focussed on particularly niche websites with little competition. Trend classification and time spans should be agreed between the agency and the customer along with stated targets and goals. The bigger the online project, the larger the time spans should be.
The keyword overview in the XOVI Suite shows the current long, medium and short term OVI trends for the domain. By default, these are set to:
These settings can be changed in Account > Settings for all domain checks. The specifications for indivudal projects can also be changed in the project settings.
Trend lines help us to predict future development of a trend based on historic performance. Trend lines consist of peaks and troughs. A signifcant change in direction can give a clue as to the future development of the trend.
In addition to trend lines, trend channels offer another way of analysing visibilty. Trend channels can be identified and overlaid in order to see not just the direction of a change, but the extent to which it alters over a period of time. If a trend chanel is identifiable following a trend break, it is likely to point to a significant new phase in the development of the trend, and should therefore be analysed and monitored more closely.
The recent case of German domain hrs.de demonstrated just how quickly Google responds to poor SEO. Following a number of internal changes and mistakes in the restructuring of the domain's navigational structure, a number of pages were rendered inaccessible or had links leading to error pages. Within a few days, Google had removed the pages from its index, resulting in a substantial loss of “trust” in the domain. Visibility collapsed and the website's visibility index value dropped by 85%.
Short term downward trend
Similarly, the case of German financial giant finanzen.de reveals the consequences of infringing Google's “rules” or even committing the most basic of SEO errors. Incoming links from external websites (backlinks) remain as important as ever for good search engine optimisation since they boost the online “reputation” of a domain. But in the case of finanzen.de, backlinks were bought. Not only that, the domain engaged in a cooperation with external “affiliates” who were to advertise the domain on a commission basis. This involved promoting content from finanzen.de on the affiliate pages and linking it directly back to the original website. These “unnatural” links were immediately flagged up in Google's algorithm and resulted in a manual penalty and a severe drop in visibilty.
Finanzen.de was able to regain some of its lost visibilty points with a successful restructuring and readjustment of its system, but it can take months or even years to fully recover from a Google penalty and restore a domain to its original position in the visibilty index.
Horizontal trend channels on the other hand occur when a domain exhibits regular fluctuations over a period of time but always within constant upper and lower limits. Such trends are typical of a domain which invests little or nothing at all in search engine optimisation
Long term upward trend vs short term downward trend
Case study: zalando.de (large online retailer)
Downward trend 1:
The first ranking collapse and accompanying downward trend coincided with the roll-out of Google's Penguin 2.0 update on the 19th May 2013, which starkly altered search engine results. Zalando was able to recover relatively quickly.
Downward trend 2:
The second collapse is more interesting. More substantial than the first drop in summer 2013, the second ranking decrease was also accompanied by a signifcant drop in top 10 rankings. Its highest ranking value was reached on the 16th June 2014 but by the 2nd February 2015 this had dropped by 85%, including an 18% loss of top 10 rankings, leaving the retail giant back at its old visibility value from the 16th September 2013.
Visibility trend zalando.de
Case Study: finanzen.de (finance portal)
Due to unnatural link building and a resulting manual Google penalty, German finance portal finanzen.de suffered a collapse of shocking proportions on the 27th November 2011, its visibility crashing to the level of small niche websites. It was until October 2014 that the website was able to regain a similar ranking in google.de.