BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine

I’ve been a user of BrightEdge for around 18 months now and at the beginning of this year I started to distance my ‘liking’ for the platform over other tools such as Search Metrics that provide a more holistic view of a website’s performance. When you’re tracking a defined list of keywords, you can very easily not pick up on successes of other keywords that may have started ranking as a result of your hard work.

I always thought that it would be too expensive to track every keyword that a website ranks for until I learned that another SEO company in London had built its own keyword tracking tool that was literally tracking millions of keywords. This is exactly why I’m impressed with the launch of Data Cube – a new feature in BrightEdge that opens up their large database of “1 billion keywords and 150 billion URLs” of which they have converted into information that is actionable.

In March 2014, BrightEdge launched a platform called ‘Data Cube‘, which makes use of the massive amounts of data that BrightEdge collects from search engines. BrightEdge says that it digs through over 100 terabytes worth of data, which equates to 1 billion keywords and a 150 billion URLs (as pointed out above). This data is stored on a month to month basis, so you can go back and compare results vs historic records. BrightEdge has named this new feature (historic comparisons) ‘Data Cube Time Machine’.

How does it work? What does it actually do?

Data Cube – Performance for my ‘Best SEO Tools’ article

If I want to see how well my ‘Best SEO Tools’ article is doing and what keywords it is ranking for then you simply paste the URL into the search field and it will look at where that page ranks in the SERPs:

Data Cube Best SEO Tools BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine

Keyword Ranking Best SEO Tools BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine

Not doing too badly. I do however rank in 6th position for ‘best seo tools’ in the US search results, which has a search volume of 720. It would be pretty neat if you could add another column for rankings and search volume for US and other market keyword positions and search volume.

Data Cube Time Machine – Performance for my ‘Best SEO Tools’ article

With ‘Data Cube Time Machine’ you can see the performance of an entire website or even a specific page. In the example above, I went from 2 keywords ranked on page 1 in April (for the ‘Best SEO Tools’ article only) to around 6 keywords ranked on page 1 in August.

Data Cube Score BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine

That’s progress!

What is Data Cube Score?

Data Cube Score is a really simple metric and is based upon click curves. For example, if you rank in position 1-20 in the SERPs you will get a certain amount of click-throughs to your website depending on where you rank. The formula is Search Volume x CTR, so the total sum of keywords that have a CTR score is determined by multiplying that by search volume – to give you an estimated traffic figure. I would personally take this score with a pinch of salt as there are so many factors that determine CTR (brand vs non-brand keywords, user intent, informational keywords etc).

If we look at Search Engine Round Table they went from an estimated traffic figure (Data Cube Score) of almost 300,000 UK visits (May ’14) to 4,973 UK visits (Sept ’14). If we delve deeper, Barry Shwartz, owner of SE Round Table, states that his site may have been hit by Google Panda 4.1. However, Panda 4.1 rolled out on the 25th of September – so I doubt the drop in May had anything to do with some sort of penalty. In fact, it was due to SE Round table ranking in 3rd position for ‘Google Images’, which has a search volume of over 2 million monthly searches. With a site like SE Round Table, they will appear in the Google News feeds in the SERPs – often for highly searched-for terms such as ‘Google Images’, which is why their ‘Data Cube Score’ was so high in May 14′.

seroundtable datacube score BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine

If we look at Search Metrics, we can see a similar sort of graph where in May there was a massive spike (weekly):

SERoundtable searchmetrics BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine

The reason why I like Data Cube

It’s got a lot of potential. I still think BrightEdge are behind when it comes to this sort of performance based reporting, as SearchMetrics has already developed a very refined setup of this. However, BrightEdge has the actual data in volume going for them with 1 billion keywords vs SearchMetrics’ 100 million keywords in its database. And because they have so much data you can enter any URL and find out what a page ranks for and perhaps determine why it ranks for the keywords that it does, which actually provides lots of insights. I still think there are way more things that they could add to Data Cube, but I’m certainly happy to have this system in there as part of the package.

Author: Jonathan Jones

I first first started creating websites back in 2005. This led me to creating a free web hosting business in 2007, which still exists today. I ventured into creating types of websites such as blogs and forums using Wordpress, vBulletin, Invision Power Board, Drupal and Joomla. I've since worked on some of the leading brands in the UK finance sector, in the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) field, and now work for MoneySuperMarket, the #1 price comparison website in the UK. Social: Google+ and Twitter.

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