Monday, December 11, 2023

Important Features For website positioning Information Evaluation


Studying to code, whether or not with PythonJavaScript, or one other programming language, has a complete host of advantages, together with the power to work with bigger datasets and automate repetitive duties.

However regardless of the advantages, many website positioning professionals are but to make the transition – and I utterly perceive why! It isn’t a necessary talent for website positioning, and we’re all busy individuals.

In case you’re pressed for time, and also you already know learn how to accomplish a activity inside Excel or Google Sheets, then altering tack can really feel like reinventing the wheel.

Once I first began coding, I initially solely used Python for duties that I couldn’t accomplish in Excel – and it’s taken a number of years to get to the purpose the place it’s my defacto alternative for knowledge processing.

Wanting again, I’m extremely glad that I persevered, however at instances it was a irritating expertise, with many an hour spent scanning threads on Stack Overflow.

This publish is designed to spare different website positioning professionals the identical destiny.

Inside it, we’ll cowl the Python equivalents of probably the most generally used Excel formulation and options for website positioning knowledge evaluation – all of which can be found inside a Google Colab pocket book linked within the abstract.

Particularly, you’ll study the equivalents of:

  • LEN.
  • Drop Duplicates.
  • Textual content to Columns.
  • Discover and Substitute.
  • IF.
  • IFS.
  • Pivot Tables.

Amazingly, to perform all of this, we’ll primarily be utilizing a singular library – Pandas – with slightly assist in locations from its large brother, NumPy.


For the sake of brevity, there are some things we received’t be overlaying right now, together with:

  • Putting in Python.
  • Primary Pandas, like importing CSVs, filtering, and previewing dataframes.

In case you’re uncertain about any of this, then Hamlet’s information on Python data analysis for SEO is the proper primer.

Now, with out additional ado, let’s soar in.


LEN offers a rely of the variety of characters inside a string of textual content.

For website positioning particularly, a standard use case is to measure the size of title tags or meta descriptions to find out whether or not they’ll be truncated in search outcomes.

Inside Excel, if we needed to rely the second cell of column A, we’d enter:

LEN formula excelScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

Python isn’t too dissimilar, as we will depend on the inbuilt len operate, which might be mixed with Pandas’ loc[] to entry a selected row of knowledge inside a column:


On this instance, we’re getting the size of the primary row within the “Title” column of our dataframe.

len function python
Screenshot of VS Code, November, 2022

Discovering the size of a cell isn’t that helpful for website positioning, although. Usually, we’d need to apply a operate to a complete column!

In Excel, this is able to be achieved by choosing the components cell on the underside right-hand nook and both dragging it down or double-clicking.

When working with a Pandas dataframe, we will use str.len to calculate the size of rows inside a collection, then retailer the ends in a brand new column:

df['Length'] = df['Title'].str.len()

Str.len is a ‘vectorized’ operation, which is designed to be utilized concurrently to a collection of values. We’ll use these operations extensively all through this text, as they virtually universally find yourself being quicker than a loop.

One other widespread utility of LEN is to mix it with SUBSTITUTE to rely the variety of phrases in a cell:


In Pandas, we will obtain this by combining the str.cut up and str.len features collectively:

df['No. Words'] = df['Title'].str.cut up().str.len()

We’ll cowl str.cut up in additional element later, however primarily, what we’re doing is splitting our knowledge based mostly upon whitespaces throughout the string, then counting the variety of part components.

word count PythonScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

Dropping Duplicates

Excel’s ‘Take away Duplicates’ function offers a straightforward method to take away duplicate values inside a dataset, both by deleting totally duplicate rows (when all columns are chosen) or eradicating rows with the identical values in particular columns.

Excel drop duplicatesScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

In Pandas, this performance is supplied by drop_duplicates.

To drop duplicate rows inside a dataframe sort:


To drop rows based mostly on duplicates inside a singular column, embody the subset parameter:

df.drop_duplicates(subset="column", inplace=True)

Or specify a number of columns inside a listing:

df.drop_duplicates(subset=['column','column2'], inplace=True)

One addition above that’s value calling out is the presence of the inplace parameter. Together with inplace=True permits us to overwrite our present dataframe with no need to create a brand new one.

There are, in fact, instances once we need to protect our uncooked knowledge. On this case, we will assign our deduped dataframe to a special variable:

df2 = df.drop_duplicates(subset="column")

Textual content To Columns

One other on a regular basis important, the ‘textual content to columns’ function can be utilized to separate a textual content string based mostly on a delimiter, corresponding to a slash, comma, or whitespace.

For example, splitting a URL into its area and particular person subfolders.

Excel drop duplicatesScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

When coping with a dataframe, we will use the str.cut up operate, which creates a listing for every entry inside a collection. This may be transformed into a number of columns by setting the increase parameter to True:

df['URL'].str.cut up(pat="/", increase=True)
str split PythonScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

As is commonly the case, our URLs within the picture above have been damaged up into inconsistent columns, as a result of they don’t function the identical variety of folders.

This will make issues difficult once we need to save our knowledge inside an present dataframe.

Specifying the n parameter limits the variety of splits, permitting us to create a selected variety of columns:

df[['Domain', 'Folder1', 'Folder2', 'Folder3']] = df['URL'].str.cut up(pat="/", increase=True, n=3)

An alternative choice is to make use of pop to take away your column from the dataframe, carry out the cut up, after which re-add it with the be a part of operate:

df = a part of(df.pop('Cut up').str.cut up(pat="/", increase=True))

Duplicating the URL to a brand new column earlier than the cut up permits us to protect the total URL. We are able to then rename the brand new columns:🐆

df['Split'] = df['URL']

df = a part of(df.pop('Cut up').str.cut up(pat="/", increase=True))

df.rename(columns = 0:'Area', 1:'Folder1', 2:'Folder2', 3:'Folder3', 4:'Parameter', inplace=True)
Split pop join functions PythonScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022


The CONCAT operate permits customers to mix a number of strings of textual content, corresponding to when producing a listing of key phrases by including totally different modifiers.

On this case, we’re including “mens” and whitespace to column A’s listing of product varieties:

=CONCAT($F$1," ",A2)
concat Excel
Screenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

Assuming we’re coping with strings, the identical might be achieved in Python utilizing the arithmetic operator:

df['Combined] = 'mens' + ' ' + df['Keyword']

Or specify a number of columns of knowledge:

df['Combined'] = df['Subdomain'] + df['URL']
concat PythonScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

Pandas has a devoted concat operate, however that is extra helpful when attempting to mix a number of dataframes with the identical columns.

For example, if we had a number of exports from our favourite hyperlink evaluation instrument:

df = pd.read_csv('knowledge.csv')
df2 = pd.read_csv('data2.csv')
df3 = pd.read_csv('data3.csv')

dflist = [df, df2, df3]

df = pd.concat(dflist, ignore_index=True)


The SEARCH and FIND formulation present a method of finding a substring inside a textual content string.

These instructions are generally mixed with ISNUMBER to create a Boolean column that helps filter down a dataset, which might be extraordinarily useful when performing duties like log file analysis, as explained in this guide. E.g.:

isnumber search ExcelScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

The distinction between SEARCH and FIND is that discover is case-sensitive.

The equal Pandas operate, str.accommodates, is case-sensitive by default:

df['Journal'] = df['URL'].str.accommodates('engine', na=False)

Case insensitivity might be enabled by setting the case parameter to False:

df['Journal'] = df['URL'].str.accommodates('engine', case=False, na=False)

In both state of affairs, together with na=False will stop null values from being returned throughout the Boolean column.

One large benefit of utilizing Pandas right here is that, not like Excel, regex is natively supported by this operate – as it’s in Google sheets through REGEXMATCH.

Chain collectively a number of substrings through the use of the pipe character, also referred to as the OR operator:

df['Journal'] = df['URL'].str.accommodates('engine|search', na=False)

Discover And Substitute

Excel’s “Discover and Substitute” function offers a straightforward method to individually or bulk substitute one substring with one other.

find replace ExcelScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

When processing knowledge for website positioning, we’re probably to pick out a complete column and “Substitute All.”

The SUBSTITUTE components offers another choice right here and is beneficial should you don’t need to overwrite the prevailing column.

For example, we will change the protocol of a URL from HTTP to HTTPS, or take away it by changing it with nothing.

When working with dataframes in Python, we will use str.substitute:

df['URL'] = df['URL'].str.substitute('http://', 'https://')


df['URL'] = df['URL'].str.substitute('http://', '') # substitute with nothing

Once more, not like Excel, regex can be utilized – like with Google Sheets’ REGEXREPLACE:

df['URL'] = df['URL'].str.substitute('http://|https://', '')

Alternatively, if you wish to substitute a number of substrings with totally different values, you need to use Python’s substitute methodology and supply a listing.

This prevents you from having to chain a number of str.substitute features:

df['URL'] = df['URL'].substitute(['http://', ' https://'], ['https://www.', 'https://www.’], regex=True)


Extracting a substring inside Excel requires the utilization of the LEFT, MID, or RIGHT features, relying on the place the substring is positioned inside a cell.

Let’s say we need to extract the basis area and subdomain from a URL:

left mid right ExcelScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

Utilizing a mix of MID and a number of FIND features, this components is ugly, to say the least – and issues get a lot worse for more complex extractions.

Once more, Google Sheets does this higher than Excel, as a result of it has REGEXEXTRACT.

What a disgrace that whenever you feed it bigger datasets, it melts quicker than a Babybel on a sizzling radiator.

Fortunately, Pandas gives str.extract, which works in an identical method:

df['Domain'] = df['URL'].str.extract('.*://?([^/]+)')
str extract PythonScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

Mix with fillna to forestall null values, as you’d in Excel with IFERROR:

df['Domain'] = df['URL'].str.extract('.*://?([^/]+)').fillna('-')


IF statements let you return totally different values, relying on whether or not or not a situation is met.

As an example, suppose that we need to create a label for key phrases which might be rating throughout the high three positions.

Excel IFScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

Reasonably than utilizing Pandas on this occasion, we will lean on NumPy and the the place operate (keep in mind to import NumPy, should you haven’t already):

df['Top 3'] = np.the place(df['Position'] <= 3, 'Prime 3', 'Not Prime 3')

A number of situations can be utilized for a similar analysis through the use of the AND/OR operators, and enclosing the person standards inside spherical brackets:

df['Top 3'] = np.the place((df['Position'] <= 3) & (df['Position'] != 0), 'Prime 3', 'Not Prime 3')

Within the above, we’re returning “Prime 3” for any key phrases with a rating lower than or equal to a few, excluding any key phrases rating in place zero.


Typically, relatively than specifying a number of situations for a similar analysis, you might have considered trying a number of situations that return totally different values.

On this case, the very best resolution is utilizing IFS:

=IFS(B2<=3,"Prime 3",B2<=10,"Prime 10",B2<=20,"Prime 20")
IFS ExcelScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

Once more, NumPy offers us with the very best resolution when working with dataframes, through its choose operate.

With choose, we will create a listing of situations, selections, and an non-obligatory worth for when the entire situations are false:

situations = [df['Position'] <= 3, df['Position'] <= 10, df['Position'] <=20]

selections = ['Top 3', 'Top 10', 'Top 20']

df['Rank'] = np.choose(situations, selections, 'Not Prime 20')

It’s additionally attainable to have a number of situations for every of the evaluations.

Let’s say we’re working with an ecommerce retailer with product listing pages (PLPs) and product display pages (PDPs), and we need to label the kind of branded pages rating throughout the high 10 outcomes.

The best resolution right here is to search for particular URL patterns, corresponding to a subfolder or extension, however what if rivals have related patterns?

On this state of affairs, we might do one thing like this:

situations = [(df['URL'].str.accommodates('/class/')) & (df['Brand Rank'] > 0),
(df['URL'].str.accommodates('/product/')) & (df['Brand Rank'] > 0),
(~df['URL'].str.accommodates('/product/')) & (~df['URL'].str.accommodates('/class/')) & (df['Brand Rank'] > 0)]

selections = ['PLP', 'PDP', 'Other']

df['Brand Page Type'] = np.choose(situations, selections, None)

Above, we’re utilizing str.accommodates to guage whether or not or not a URL within the high 10 matches our model’s sample, then utilizing the “Model Rank” column to exclude any rivals.

On this instance, the tilde signal (~) signifies a destructive match. In different phrases, we’re saying we would like each model URL that doesn’t match the sample for a “PDP” or “PLP” to match the standards for ‘Different.’

Lastly, None is included as a result of we would like non-brand outcomes to return a null worth.

np select PythonScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022


VLOOKUP is a necessary instrument for becoming a member of collectively two distinct datasets on a standard column.

On this case, including the URLs inside column N to the key phrase, place, and search quantity knowledge in columns A-C, utilizing the shared “Key phrase” column:

vlookup ExcelScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

To do one thing related with Pandas, we will use merge.

Replicating the performance of an SQL be a part of, merge is an extremely highly effective operate that helps a wide range of totally different be a part of varieties.

For our functions, we need to use a left be a part of, which can preserve our first dataframe and solely merge in matching values from our second dataframe:

mergeddf = df.merge(df2, how='left', on='Key phrase')

One added benefit of performing a merge over a VLOOKUP, is that you simply don’t should have the shared knowledge within the first column of the second dataset, as with the newer XLOOKUP.

It’ll additionally pull in a number of rows of knowledge relatively than the primary match in finds.

One widespread concern when utilizing the operate is for undesirable columns to be duplicated. This happens when a number of shared columns exist, however you try and match utilizing one.

To stop this – and enhance the accuracy of your matches – you’ll be able to specify a listing of columns:

mergeddf = df.merge(df2, how='left', on=['Keyword', 'Search Volume'])

In sure eventualities, you could actively need these columns to be included. For example, when making an attempt to merge a number of month-to-month rating studies:

mergeddf = df.merge(df2, on='Key phrase', how='left', suffixes=('', '_october'))
    .merge(df3, on='Key phrase', how='left', suffixes=('', '_september'))

The above code snippet executes two merges to hitch collectively three dataframes with the identical columns – that are our rankings for November, October, and September.

By labeling the months throughout the suffix parameters, we find yourself with a a lot cleaner dataframe that clearly shows the month, versus the defaults of _x and _y seen within the earlier instance.

multi merge PythonScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022


In Excel, if you wish to carry out a statistical operate based mostly on a situation, you’re possible to make use of both COUNTIF, SUMIF, or AVERAGEIF.

Generally, COUNTIF is used to find out what number of instances a selected string seems inside a dataset, corresponding to a URL.

We are able to accomplish this by declaring the ‘URL’ column as our vary, then the URL inside a person cell as our standards:

Excel countifScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

In Pandas, we will obtain the identical end result through the use of the groupby operate:

Python groupbyScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

Right here, the column declared throughout the spherical brackets signifies the person teams, and the column listed within the sq. brackets is the place the aggregation (i.e., the rely) is carried out.

The output we’re receiving isn’t excellent for this use case, although, as a result of it’s consolidated the info.

Usually, when utilizing Excel, we’d have the URL rely inline inside our dataset. Then we will use it to filter to probably the most continuously listed URLs.

To do that, use rework and retailer the output in a column:

df['URL Count'] = df.groupby('URL')['URL'].rework('rely')
Python groupby transformScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

You can too apply customized features to teams of knowledge through the use of a lambda (nameless) operate:

df['Google Count'] = df.groupby(['URL'])['URL'].rework(lambda x: x[x.str.contains('google')].rely())

In our examples thus far, we’ve been utilizing the identical column for our grouping and aggregations, however we don’t should. Equally to COUNTIFS/SUMIFS/AVERAGEIFS in Excel, it’s attainable to group utilizing one column, then apply our statistical operate to a different.

Going again to the sooner search engine outcomes web page (SERP) instance, we could need to rely all rating PDPs on a per-keyword foundation and return this quantity alongside our present knowledge:

df['PDP Count'] = df.groupby(['Keyword'])['URL'].rework(lambda x: x[x.str.contains('/product/|/prd/|/pd/')].rely())
Python groupby countifsScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

Which in Excel parlance, would look one thing like this:


Pivot Tables

Final, however certainly not least, it’s time to speak pivot tables.

In Excel, a pivot desk is prone to be our first port of name if we need to summarise a big dataset.

For example, when working with rating knowledge, we could need to determine which URLs seem most continuously, and their common rating place.

pivot table ExcelScreenshot from Microsoft Excel, November 2022

Once more, Pandas has its personal pivot tables equal – but when all you need is a rely of distinctive values inside a column, this may be achieved utilizing the value_counts operate:

rely = df['URL'].value_counts()

Utilizing groupby can be an choice.

Earlier within the article, performing a groupby that aggregated our knowledge wasn’t what we needed – however it’s exactly what’s required right here:

grouped = df.groupby('URL').agg(
     url_frequency=('Key phrase', 'rely'),
     avg_position=('Place', 'imply'),

groupby-pivot PythonScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

Two mixture features have been utilized within the instance above, however this might simply be expanded upon, and 13 different types can be found.

There are, in fact, instances once we do need to use pivot_table, corresponding to when performing multi-dimensional operations.

As an example what this implies, let’s reuse the rating groupings we made utilizing conditional statements and try and show the variety of instances a URL ranks inside every group.

ranking_groupings = df.groupby(['URL', 'Grouping']).agg(
     url_frequency=('Key phrase', 'rely'),
python groupby groupingScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

This isn’t the very best format to make use of, as a number of rows have been created for every URL.

As a substitute, we will use pivot_table, which can show the info in several columns:

pivot = pd.pivot_table(df,
pivot table PythonScreenshot from VS Code, November 2022

Closing Ideas

Whether or not you’re searching for inspiration to start out studying Python, or are already leveraging it in your website positioning workflows, I hope that the above examples allow you to alongside in your journey.

As promised, yow will discover a Google Colab pocket book with the entire code snippets here.

In reality, we’ve barely scratched the floor of what’s attainable, however understanding the fundamentals of Python knowledge evaluation provides you with a stable base upon which to construct.

Extra sources:

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