So, you know I use Raven Internet Marketing Tools, eh? I loved it. Raven was a way for me to search keywords, find and document links, keep content, and check Google keywords’ metrics, among other things. It was a way to keep track of what people working with me were doing and of reporting back to my client.
On Friday, Raven customers got a message from Patrick E. Keeble, the CEO and co-founder of Raven, which said, ”
“As of 5 p.m. PST (GMT-8) on Jan. 2, 2013, Raven will stop importing and using any scraped Google data. As a result, we are eliminating our SERP Tracker tool in its entirety. Also, we will no longer use SEMrush data in our system.”
What prompted this action was the loss of their Google AdWords API earlier this month, after a Google audit. (SEOMoz was also affected.) So, Raven made a deal to stop scraping the keywords metrics and Google allowed them to recover the API.
Keeble also wrote that this company was taking this action because,
“… this decision aligns Raven software with the direction my co-founders and I have long believed the Internet marketing industry was going—away from individual ranking results as the most important metric and toward campaign performance metrics including traffic, conversions, and goals.”
I agree with that, but tell that to clients. They still believe in seeing their keywords at the top of page 1 at Google is the most important thing. Of course, having a top keyword for a well-searched item is wonderful. However, in some niches, this is virtually impossible. (Think golf, real estate, or gardening.) So, having a LOT of keywords all bringing in a share of the overall traffic is really the most efficient way to approach any traffic campaign. I track progress through the organic search traffic metric more than anything else. I mean, if organic search traffic is improving, we know that what we’re doing is working. It’s not about individual keywords, but about your whole campaign. I totally agree.
But I’m sorry, Patrick. You guys were great, but this change will affect my usage for sure. I suppose that AdWords data is more important to SEMs, who probably make up a large section of your clientele. Yet, I don’t use AdWords in my organic SEO campaigns, so the loss of metrics pretty much makes Raven useless for me, since I also use SEMRush.
From here on , I’m going to be using SEMRush exclusively. They’ve come up with a way to allow branded PDF reports recently, too, which is perfect because my clients are used to receiving these from Raven.
But to be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve thought of ending the relationship. SEMRush has, in my opinion, surpassed Raven in the amount and quality of data that they report on , such as Facebook Ads and other factors I’ve reported on in this blog over the past several months.
I’m wondering how all of this will affect Raven. I’m guessing that if they have more customers that depend on the AdWords data and reporting capability, they’ll do OK. If not, this change will hurt them. I’m sad about that, too, because I was a a long-time advocate and user of Raven.
I wish them well.
- A message from our CEO: Raven to drop rankings, other scraped data on Jan. 2(raventools.com)
- Raven Tools To Remove Scraped Data To Maintain Access to AdWords API(searchengineland.com)