seolearner - 7:01 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)
If we are not able to at least get a rough idea of how we are "really" ranking across the board then how can we know how much work needs to be done to move up the SERPs.
As many members said before on this, We can not really know how our site is ranked in other people's computer. The only way I can think of knowing exact position is to trust on WMT's average position. When new WMT interface introduced for search queries, there was no average position of the keyword. Now recently WMT has introduced the average position column for the search keyword. I think variation in the ranking is the main reason WMT had to introduce average ranking position. So webmaster knows the average ranking.
I would think that if you built a site with great on-site and off-site SEO (along with Google trust)then your rankings should not be all over the place compared to other sites. From this simple testing it seems that at least the #1 site is the only consistent site for pretty much everyone.
Yes, this is true and it seems that #1 site is consistent in performance but I am sure there are many more keywords where even #1 is not consistent. As I said, finding HOW & WHY using only one keyword's ranking will be difficult. It might be possible that consistency depends more on off-page SEO rather than on-page SEO.