The SISTRIX Visibility Index and the SEO Cosmos

Successful SEO consists of many elements that are interdependent. The Visibility Index helps you identify elements with weaknesses so that you can work on the right areas.

On this page, we will show you how the SISTRIX Visibility Index fits into the SEO world, and what it has to do with a city skyline.

Reminder: SEO means search engine optimisation – the necessary measures to make a website visible in search engines.

Google has had the largest market share among search engines for years and is therefore the most relevant for people who deal with search engine optimisation (SEOs).

The goal of search engine optimisation is that your target group finds your page via a search engine. For this, your domain needs to rank for appropriate keywords on Google.

This means that your domain appears as high as possible on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) for keywords matching your topic that someone enters into the Google search box.

Here you can find even more SEO terms: What is SEO? The SEO Beginners Guide

When searching Google for sights in Manchester, Google suggests a few places of interest at the top, and an info box about the city of Manchester also appears. Below that, similar questions to the search query appear, as well as a link from tripadvisor to the 15 best things to do in Manchester.
The Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for the search for sights in Manchester.

The Visibility Index – Mapping the Google Skyline

To illustrate this, we use the image of a skyline with many different skyscrapers: Domains in Google’s search results pages are the silhouette of these buildings – each domain that appears as a search result is a building with a certain height in the skyline. The SISTRIX Visibility Index is a scale to measure how high each building is.

The higher a building is, the more conspicuous it is, and the more people notice the building. The smaller it is, the easier it is for people not to notice it at all.

The Visibility Index, as a skyline of buildings.

Comparison Only Makes Sense Among Competitors

If we apply the Visibility Index as a measuring scale like a ruler to the skyscrapers of the skyline in the UK, wikipedia.org, for example, would be a skyscraper over 700 metres high and amazon.co.uk would be about 338 metres high. Compared to the other buildings, they disappear above the clouds. Domains like wordhippo.com or nationalgeographic.org have buildings just over 30 metres high, making them the yellow buildings in the diagram.

It is important to note that the majority of domains for which a Visibility value is calculated have a value below 0.1. In March 2023, for example, a total of around 4.5 million domains were considered for the calculation – only percent of them ultimately had a value equal to or above 0.1.

Of 4.5 million domains assessed, 99% have a VI of under 0.1

Of these 67 thousand domains, the majority had a value between 0.1 and 1.

If we apply the image of the skyline back to SEO work, it means that search engine optimisation is about standing out in this silhouette.

Now, you should not try to compete with Wikipedia or Amazon. A total of around 100,000 Visibility points are distributed and with its market share, wikipedia.org already takes 7 percent of these points.

Instead, there are different types of buildings in this big skyline, for example the red, orange, yellow or green buildings in the diagram. That is who you should compete with, your direct competitors.

Even if your building does not end up as high as Wikipedia’s – if it is the highest among your competitors, then it’s quite good, and you will probably gain a lot of people who will notice you.

Three Domains in a Visibility Comparison

To give you a practical insight, we will compare three domains with each other: wikipedia.org, argos.co.uk and manchester.gov.uk.

In the Visibility history of the three domains, it can be seen that wikipedia.org is many times more visible than argos.co.uk and manchester.gov.uk.
The Visibility histories of the domains wikipedia.org, argos.co.uk and manchester.gov.uk.

A comparison of the three Visibility charts already clearly shows that wikipedia.org is significantly stronger in terms of visibility than argos.co.uk, and even more so than the domain manchester.gov.uk.

Even if we compare the individual key figures of the three domains, we can see differences:

The domain wikipedia.org has around 10 million keywords in the Top 10 alone 1. This means that the domains argos.co.uk with 1 million keywords and manchester.gov.uk with just under 18,000 keywords cannot keep up.

The explanation for this – and the reason why manchester.gov.uk can never reach the visibility level of Wikipedia – is that Wikipedia, as an encyclopaedia, can provide content for an extremely wide range of keywords.

Manchester.gov.uk as the website of the Manchester city administration, on the other hand, provides content for keywords that have a connection to Manchester and the region. For a keyword such as “monument bristol“, the website – logically – has no content. Google therefore considers manchester.gov.uk as irrelevant for this keyword and lists other domains, such as Wikipedia, in the search results pages.

Therefore, it makes little sense for manchester.gov.uk to regard wikipedia.org as its direct competitor and to waste valuable SEO work trying to rank for a keyword like “monument bristol”. We explain below what does make sense, on the other hand.

Identify Problems and Improve Visibility

SEO work has no beginning and no fixed end. If you have the tallest building one moment, your neighbour and competitor may be building three more floors on top of their building the next day. Search engine optimisation is an ongoing process in which constant adjustments have to be made. A precise analysis – especially of your own competitors – is essential for this.

This is where the SISTRIX Visibility Index comes into play. It was designed for the targeted management of search engine optimisation and shows you current problems that you can fix to optimise your visibility.

The SISTRIX Visibility Index combines important data that you need for search engine optimisation: Relevant keywords for a domain, average search volume values and the expected click probability.

Thus, the Visibility Index offers you three crucial advantages for SEO work:

  • Competitor analysis: Top performance is impossible without an objective comparison with your competitors. With this benchmarking feature, the market leaders in your segment provide you with a blueprint for future SEO success. (Learn more)
  • Historical data: Your SISTRIX account comes with an integrated time machine: We collect all relevant search results since 2008, so you don’t have to configure projects and keywords and wait for the results. (Learn more)
  • Independent success measurement: SEO is complex enough. With the Visibility Index, you use a key figure that is not influenced by external factors such as the weather, seasonal fluctuations or TV commercials. (Learn more)

Use, Calculation and Features of the Visibility Index

16.03.2023