Why Raven Tools Still Matters In Spite of Removing Rankings Data

Why Raven Tools Still Matters In Spite of Removing Rankings Data

Raven Tools logo

I’ve been a Raven Tools user for almost as long as I have been in the field of internet marketing.  I still remember being introduced to Raven Tools via a phone demo with Jon Henshaw and I remember receiving my first Raven Tools t-shirt for simply tweeting at Jon Henshaw that I wanted one.  Needless to say Raven Tools and I have some history.

But there’s a reason Raven Tools and I have a history.  It’s not because I own a different Raven t-shirt for every day of the week, or the fact that Taylor Pratt was kind enough to interview me on the Raven Tools blog a couple years ago, or the fact I know I’ll always have a place to hang during downtime at a conference.  We have a history because of the people and the service behind the toolset.  From day one, Raven has been made up of a group of people who actually care about their customers and their industry.  Never have I gone ignored when I had a problem or suggestion for Raven Tools.  They have always supported me, and I have always supported them both in praise and in recommendations.

On Friday Raven announced the removal of their SERP tracker tool and unfortunately they were met with pretty harsh backlash.  Sadly it seemed to bring out the worst in people, as though Raven Tools was intentionally trying to make the lives of SEO’s more difficult  Strangely, even in 2012 we still have a ton of SEO’s living and dying by ranking reports alone.


This was clear not only from the backlash, but also from the number of rank checking tools that bombarded users over the weekend offering special discounts.


As people threaten to leave for other providers because rankings were the only tool they used, I can’t help but think about all they are sacrificing.  Raven Tools is so much more than “a ranking tool.”  Raven tools is a comprehensive internet marketing suite that features tools to aid in analytics analysis, link building, content marketing, social media and so much more.  But more than that, I’d be surprised if you could find another group of people behind a product that are as hard working, caring, and passionate about what they do.  I doubt any provider out there offers the same level of service Raven has for all these years.

That said, with so many people focusing on just the rankings portion of Raven, I challenge Raven to make education on how to effectively use their remaining tools to make smart internet marketing decisions part of their 2013 content strategy. Clearly their client base doesn’t recognize what they have in their arsenal.

Did I use Raven’s SERP tracker? Absolutely.  I work in plastic surgery internet marketing where rankings and vanity are almost all that matter, but over the last year or so I have focused my efforts on educating clients and our sales force on the importance of other metrics such as organic search traffic growth, and conversion.  It’s this communication that I am hoping will help make the transition easier in the coming year.  Rankings are dying metric and have been for sometime.  Localization, personalization, and the like have made them much less reliable as Chris Countey illustrated in his Raven Tools post.  For those of you kicking and screaming about losing your precious SERP reports, I would encourage you to take this opportunity to learn, grown and embrace a life without SERP reporting.  Can you prove your value without it?  If not, you might want to rethink your career.

On January 3 I’ll still be a Raven Tools user and I hope to be for years to come, because I know at the end of the day what matters most to me and my career is the success of my clients and Raven Tools as a whole helps me achieve that success, not just a monthly rankings report.

9 thoughts on “Why Raven Tools Still Matters In Spite of Removing Rankings Data

  1. I must mention that i disagree with your “Rankings are dying metric”. Yes there are many other important factors (social, conversions, maintaining customers, etc) but rankings and monitoring them are an important factor to notice (but not dwell on).

  2. I can remember the first day I started and you told me how much you loved Raven Tools and how much I would grow to love them, too. Dare I say you’re their #1 fan? You’re the perfect example of a brand advocate!! It’s no surprise that you are sticking by the tools and the awesome people behind them, in spite of the recent changes.

  3. We are indeed planning a major educational initiative at the start of the year, and will also be working to help our customers in the interim with new SEO performance based reports and education around that.

    Thanks for believing in us, being a kick ass friend, and for writing this entry!

    1. @Ori, they are a dying metric because they were unreliable. I did a small scale personalization study after Google SPYW rolled out and was able to produce 4 very different sets of results for the same query all within the same office. Localization and personalization are here to stay and drastically impact many search spaces. Are they a metric worth monitoring as an SEO, sure, but the reliability is limited and they shouldn’t be what your clients are measuring success by.

      @Emma I am a self proclaimed Raven Tools fanboy, but its because of the things I mentioned in this post. Great people + great customer service = hardcore brand advocate. This isn’t the first major change Raven has made and at the end of the day you just cope with it and move on. If a change in a tool is taking down your business, you have bigger issues me thinks.

      @Jon looking forward to new content. I know I chatted with Courtney a while back about some posts on making the data in Raven actionable because I think it would be valuable to users, so I’m excited to see what you guys come up with.

      @Chris so sorry for the mess up. It’s been fixed. Happy to see I’m not alone in my support for Raven Tools!

  4. Interesting debate – I KNOW my clients care about where they rank on Google… a lot of the time it is all they care about. BUT if and it’s a HUGE if, tools and reporting can be configured to show a client how they benefit from my SEO services to them then I for one will be happy.

    By benefit I mean measured ROI or Brand Awareness tools.

    As for Raven Tools – this is the second time they’ve pulled a tool in the most appalling way – I strongly advise a new PR agent take over their account.

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