Trouble in the Ranks

a correction to our Public Policy SEO Rankings

A digital marketer at one of the country’s biggest think tanks sent me an email today asking why they didn’t appear on our Public Policy SEO Rankings.

I was surprised to get this question as this group should definitely be in the rankings, but sure enough, their name along with several other big think tanks were not there.

So, I delved into the Google Sheets that processes the API-obtained data into rankings and found that I had left a filter in place for groups with reported annual expenses over $150 million.

I’ve now removed that filter and a similar filter from the state groups, adding 7 additional national groups and 2 at the state level.

I ultimately decided against removing big-budget groups from our ranking because, despite their size, they weren’t truly outliers. While there are diminishing SEO returns for each additional dollar a policy organization spends, big-budget groups were a continuation, not a departure, from that relationship.

The same couldn’t be said for very low-budget and low-traffic groups, which is why they’re still excluded. It doesn’t make sense to be attributing #1 SEO efficiency status to a brand-new group with 35 organic website visits simply because they were predicted to only get 3 visits.

I apologize for the sloppy spreadsheet work. Both rankings are now updated and I’ve re-checked the queries I’m using to generate every sheet and made sure no filters are included that aren’t also listed and defined in the “How did you arrive at this list?” section of our rankings page.

Thanks again to the anonymous digital marketer who alerted me to this error.

And welcome back to the rankings RAND CorporationThe Pew Charitable TrustsWorld Economic ForumCFA InstituteInstitute for Defense AnalysesKFF, and Vera Institute of Justice.


1 Lee Hill Road
Lee, NH 03861

‪(978) 238-8733‬

Contact Us



Join our email list to receive the latest updates.