Ranking reports have continued to be provided by most SEOs, but only because that’s what clients want to see, not because they’re of any great value to them. The ranking report the client is viewing is only as good as the computer it was generated on. Results may differ on other computers. We explain to our clients that ALL ORGANIC RESULTS ARE LOCAL.
It is difficult to explain this to a client. Few people know about personalization of search, but everyone understands regionalization. Users who have been using Google for a long time see highly tailored results based on Google’s perception of their search patterns. If the Google search user is logged into another Google product, such as Google Plus or Gmail, the information Google records about their interactions is used to enhance future search results.
Clients still perceive SEO services as being about keywords and search engine rankings. In some respects, they are right. When searching for information, we use highly descriptive terms we believe search users will enter. In addition, we use phrases, sentences, and entire paragraphs to the same effect. We will try to provide location-specific information as frequently as possible. Long-term, we expect our work to result in high search engine rankings under a number of key words associated with the product or service our clients offer. But that’s not what SEO is about. It used to be, but those days are long gone.