For a good amount of time the SEMRush sensor had been in beta mode but as of January 2018 it’s officially fully launched. This is a tutorial for those who aren’t familiar with what the SEMRush sensor is and for those that are aware can hopefully learn a few new things that hadn’t known previously.
What is SEMRush Sensor?
If you have ever carried out SEO for a website or you have even just had a look at where your website ranks on the search engine. You’ve probably noticed your result fluctuate on occasion. This is perfectly normal but you may be asking the question why. Well, this is down to something called SERP volatility.
Essentially the SEMRush sensor is a tool used to track Google’s SERPs volatility, letting you know if there are any changes to the search engines algorithms. Changes in Google’s algorithm can potentially have a drastic effect on SEO depending on what techniques you use etc.
Below we can start to take a look at the tool and what kind of stats it can provide you.
SEMRush currently has 9 databases:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Each one of these databases has their own sensor scores and stats for you to look at. (For those who don’t know ‘Baidu’ the main search engine used over in China and is the second biggest search engine in the world)
You’ll also notice there is there is a tab to switch desktop and mobile results. While in beta SEMRush sensor never had any mobile stats but each database now contains both SERPs.
The way to gauge the search engines volatility is by using the sensor score. This is a score out 10 with the higher it is, the more likely there has been some changes to the algorithm.
I’ve changed it to the UK database for this example which you can see above. The volatility on the 31st of July is at 2.6 out of 10. Along the left hand side, you’ll also notice there are categories each with their own volatility score.
I’ve opened up the sports category and as you can see the volatility is way higher than the overall one. This suggests that any keywords in the sports niche could be shifting up and down quite a bit.
What you’ll find is that certain niches are more likely to move a lot of the time than others. For example, a niche like shopping won’t change a whole lot as most companies and brands out at the top have a lot of staying power with the occasional new one to break the mould. However, in the news niche there will be constant change as this is usually based on current life events.
You can see the volatility score up to the last 30 days with a graph display the trend. You may have noticed that on the 22nd of July where the volatility is at its highest, there is a little google symbol underneath it. This is because that is the date were a regular monthly update takes place.
The SEMRush sensor also has SERP Features Occurrence and HTTPS Usage. These are all the different features that can appear on the search engines results, SEMRush gives you a percentage of which appear in the top 20 results. On top of this, it gives you the number of sites in the top results that use https over http.
This feature lets you see which of the categories typically deviate from the average volatility score it has. So as you can see from the screenshot above. Typically all of the categories stay consistent until nearer the end/start of next month when they begin to fluctuate quite a bit.
Winners & Losers
This section lets you see of all the sites that have positioning tracking set up, which have the most rise in rankings due to volatility and who’s had the biggest dip. As of this day of writing, there has been a Google update that has sent the volatility up into the high 9s. So the sites here have a considerable jump in rankings.
Overall this is quite an interesting tool and really puts your mind at ease when you notice any unexpected ranking changes in your website. If you have any questions about the tool you can get in contact with me here.
If you would like to give the SEMRush sensor a try you here with a free trial of the Pro Account for 14 days.