Explore the History of Website’s Rankings and Traffic from Google SERP

Explore the History of Website’s Rankings and Traffic from Google SERP


When it comes to web analytics and digital marketing effort evaluation, we often need historical performance data to develop more efficient strategies for the future. Historical rankings and traffic data, in particular, helps to determine the gains and losses of our optimization and financial investments in organic and paid search. Besides that, quantitative information of our and competitor websites’ past achievements empowers us to make more accurate forecasts of the market outlook.

Today, we’ll tell you about historical data retrieval through DataForSEO API and share a few use cases on how this data can empower your SEO strategy and software.

What historical insights you’ll get with DataForSEO

Here at DataForSEO, we understand the value past insights bring to the SEO community. That’s why we have recently released a new endpoint to our powerful DataForSEO Labs API stack – Historical Rank Overview.

Besides detailed distribution of a website’s historical SERP positions, this endpoint will supply you with historical monthly traffic volume for organic and paid search calculated using two methods:

  • As the product of click-through-rate (CTR) and search volume values of all keywords the domain ranks for
  • As the product of CTR and impressions of all keywords the domain ranks for

The datasets also come with an estimated cost of converting organic search traffic into paid as well as an estimated cost of driving paid monthly traffic from search ads.

We’ve been accumulating all of this data for multiple websites since October 2020. Accordingly, you can obtain historical data from October 2020 furthest. Every month, we update the dataset to include the previous month’s data.

You can obtain any website’s past performance in terms of Google SERP positions and traffic using just three parameters: “target” to define target website, “date_from” and “date_to” to define the time range of interest. Additionally, you can indicate location and language to retrieve country-specific historical results.

When you start using our Historical Rank Overview API to build graphs and other visualizations, make sure you set the “correlate” parameter to “true”. It’s intended for correlating previously obtained datasets with the ones you retrieved the latest, and mitigate any inconsistencies that may result from changes to our database.

The cost of using this API will depend on the number of months for which the data is provided in a single request and the number of requests you make. For example, extracting 6 months of historical data for 1,000 domains will cost as follows:
1,000 domains * 6 months * $0.001 + 1,000 requests * $0.1 + = $106

Below you can review a sample dataset obtained through Historical Rank Overview API.

Request Sample
POST: https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/dataforseo_labs/historical_rank_overview/live

[
    {
        "target": "searchengineland.com",
        "language_name": "English",
        "location_code": 2840,
        "date_from":  "2021-01-01",
        "date_to": " 2021-03-01"
    }
]
Response Sample
{
    "version": "0.1.20210519",
    "status_code": 20000,
    "status_message": "Ok.",
    "time": "1.2876 sec.",
    "cost": 0.103,
    "tasks_count": 1,
    "tasks_error": 0,
    "tasks": [
        {
            "id": "05191741-1535-0294-0000-a031a592f374",
            "status_code": 20000,
            "status_message": "Ok.",
            "time": "1.1340 sec.",
            "cost": 0.103,
            "result_count": 1,
            "path": [
                "v3",
                "dataforseo_labs",
                "historical_rank_overview",
                "live"
            ],
            "data": {
                "api": "dataforseo_labs",
                "function": "historical_rank_overview",
                "target": "searchengineland.com",
                "language_name": "English",
                "location_code": 2840,
                "date_from": "2021-01-01",
                "date_to": " 2021-03-01"
            },
            "result": [
                {
                    "target": "searchengineland.com",
                    "location_code": 2840,
                    "language_code": "en",
                    "total_count": 3,
                    "items_count": 3,
                    "items": [
                        {
                            "year": 2021,
                            "month": 3,
                            "metrics": {
                                "organic": {
                                    "pos_1": 1928,
                                    "pos_2_3": 4579,
                                    "pos_4_10": 20313,
                                    "pos_11_20": 23898,
                                    "pos_21_30": 20914,
                                    "pos_31_40": 21912,
                                    "pos_41_50": 21221,
                                    "pos_51_60": 21089,
                                    "pos_61_70": 21106,
                                    "pos_71_80": 21611,
                                    "pos_81_90": 21468,
                                    "pos_91_100": 18009,
                                    "etv": 1765474.1599040001,
                                    "impressions_etv": 86145.49603829999,
                                    "count": 218048,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 4460017.272215857
                                },
                                "paid": {
                                    "pos_1": 0,
                                    "pos_2_3": 0,
                                    "pos_4_10": 0,
                                    "pos_11_20": 0,
                                    "pos_21_30": 0,
                                    "pos_31_40": 0,
                                    "pos_41_50": 0,
                                    "pos_51_60": 0,
                                    "pos_61_70": 0,
                                    "pos_71_80": 0,
                                    "pos_81_90": 0,
                                    "pos_91_100": 0,
                                    "etv": 0,
                                    "impressions_etv": 0,
                                    "count": 0,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 0
                                }
                            }
                        },
                        {
                            "year": 2021,
                            "month": 2,
                            "metrics": {
                                "organic": {
                                    "pos_1": 1942,
                                    "pos_2_3": 4578,
                                    "pos_4_10": 20411,
                                    "pos_11_20": 24055,
                                    "pos_21_30": 20852,
                                    "pos_31_40": 21620,
                                    "pos_41_50": 21083,
                                    "pos_51_60": 20760,
                                    "pos_61_70": 21133,
                                    "pos_71_80": 21566,
                                    "pos_81_90": 21300,
                                    "pos_91_100": 17925,
                                    "etv": 1759889.52825,
                                    "impressions_etv": 86676.57240234,
                                    "count": 217225,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 4820206.852618921
                                },
                                "paid": {
                                    "pos_1": 0,
                                    "pos_2_3": 0,
                                    "pos_4_10": 0,
                                    "pos_11_20": 0,
                                    "pos_21_30": 0,
                                    "pos_31_40": 0,
                                    "pos_41_50": 0,
                                    "pos_51_60": 0,
                                    "pos_61_70": 0,
                                    "pos_71_80": 0,
                                    "pos_81_90": 0,
                                    "pos_91_100": 0,
                                    "etv": 0,
                                    "impressions_etv": 0,
                                    "count": 0,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 0
                                }
                            }
                        },
                        {
                            "year": 2021,
                            "month": 1,
                            "metrics": {
                                "organic": {
                                    "pos_1": 1179,
                                    "pos_2_3": 2789,
                                    "pos_4_10": 12422,
                                    "pos_11_20": 14779,
                                    "pos_21_30": 12910,
                                    "pos_31_40": 13654,
                                    "pos_41_50": 12886,
                                    "pos_51_60": 12954,
                                    "pos_61_70": 12976,
                                    "pos_71_80": 12952,
                                    "pos_81_90": 13096,
                                    "pos_91_100": 10895,
                                    "etv": 831626.000218,
                                    "impressions_etv": 31558.40583978,
                                    "count": 133492,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 2663965.7644522227
                                },
                                "paid": {
                                    "pos_1": 0,
                                    "pos_2_3": 0,
                                    "pos_4_10": 0,
                                    "pos_11_20": 0,
                                    "pos_21_30": 0,
                                    "pos_31_40": 0,
                                    "pos_41_50": 0,
                                    "pos_51_60": 0,
                                    "pos_61_70": 0,
                                    "pos_71_80": 0,
                                    "pos_81_90": 0,
                                    "pos_91_100": 0,
                                    "etv": 0,
                                    "impressions_etv": 0,
                                    "count": 0,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 0
                                }
                            }
                        }
                    ]
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
}

How data from the past will empower your SEO strategy and software

To put it briefly, historical data on websites’ rankings and traffic from Google SERP can help SEO experts and developers to leverage the following:

. Be fully equipped with data to impress a prospective client

Whether you’re working at a digital agency or as an independent consultant, a part of your work involves preparing pitches for potential customers while making sure your pitch will seal the deal. However, assembling sufficient data to put together a comprehensive picture of a business’s market and search shares at this stage is overcomplicated by the absence of the client’s accounts access. The same goes for competitor research, the only difference is that you can’t access their private analytics ever at all.

To tackle this challenge, many agencies and independent experts utilize paid instruments for market and SEO research that swiftly supply the necessary historical stats. For example, you can retrieve historical rankings and traffic on any website you need using our API solutions. In this way, you’ll be able to understand the path a client’s business walked through and their competitors’ progress pace. This data will help you to sketch out a more powerful and effective strategy offer.

. Enrich competitor research with a retrospective view

Understanding the speed at which business’s competition is moving forward and climbing up Google SERPs can be true enlightenment for SEO experts and digital marketers. With historical competitor rankings and traffic data at hand, they can conduct a comparative analysis of their website’s advancement and estimate the necessary velocity to attain the objectives they have set.

However, not many solutions can offer historical stats on a business’s competition. Incorporating DataForSEO Historical Rank Overview, you can offer users of your software an elevated competitor intelligence functionality and gain a competitive advantage for your tool at the same time.

. Provide historical insights for users right from the start

Many SEO tools don’t allow importing past performance insights collected with a former software to a new platform and leave SEOs without a possibility to time travel through Google SERPs right upon signup. By and large, tools only start displaying historical rankings from the date you created a project and added specific website(s) and keywords to it.

Being stipped off of historical data can lead to misinterpretation of current SEM and SEO progress. For that reason, loss of historical data is a critical restraint keeping SEOs from switching software providers.

However, you can leverage DataForSEO’s Historical Rank Overview and help your users recover insights into their historical ranking distribution and traffic acquisition. Even though it may not be the perfect solution, this data will allow your users to see how their current overall results compare to past performance.

For example, you have a user who signed up in February and couldn’t download his historical rankings from the previous SEO platform. With Historical Rank Overview API, you can build a similar chart to let the user compare his or her website’s top-10 ranking performance before and after switching to your tool.

Quick recap

Historical data on websites’ ranking distribution and traffic from organic and paid Google search is a treasure trove of insights for SEO experts. DataForSEO is bringing you the key with the new endpoint that recently joined DataForSEO Labs API stack – Historical Rank Overview.

It can provide a deep dive into the past progress and earlier strategies of a potential client, fuel comparative competitor analytics, and foster current SEO and SEM strategies. What’s more, leveraging Historical Rank Overview, you can one-up the competition and start displaying users’ historical rankings from the day of signup for your SEO software.

Let’s take a little time travel across Google SERPs 🙂
I’M IN

Irene T.

The three passions of my life are writing, learning languages, and traveling. I followed the calling throughout the four years of BA in English and French, and carried my dreams in a backpack across 13 countries. Being a Content Writer at DataForSEO, I see every article as a journey to new destinations of the tech and SEO world. Embark on.

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