Three months I had a hair-brained idea it would be interesting to see who in the office who was the best at predicting the future. Obviously we’re a search agency, and you’d expect us to be able to reasonably accurately estimate the success of an SEO campaign, whether that’s due to intuition, analysis or forecasting. I set up a Google doc with ten clients and one of their keywords with its current ranking. The task of the experimenters was simple. They just had to predict the ranking in three months time. The more accurate they were the more they scored.
Generally people didn’t do too bad, but far away the most successful of our predictors was Lyndsey. A Global Hypercolour t-shirt is winging her way to her as a prize. What the experiment did show some interesting patterns. What I found is that we’re better at improving results than we give ourselves credit for, and that Graeme, who gets involved in our forecasting, is the most conservatitive of our team when it comes to these estimates!
Of course predicting rankings isn’t how you should go about forecasting future search traffic, even though it was fun. If you’re interested in intelligent search traffic forecasting that you might enjoy pessimistic Graeme’s presentation: