Search Engine Optimization : SEO BOOK.
Ten-Plus Useful tools For Search Engine
Checking Your Site Rank
How do you know how well your site ranks in the search engines? You
can go to a search engine, type a keyword phrase, and see just what
happens. If you are not on the first page, check the second, if you
are not there, check the third. Then go back and do it for 50 search
terms on several engines. It's going to take a while. Many programs
are available that will check your search engine position for you. You
tell the program which keywords you are interest in, which search engines
you want to check and the Web site you are looking for in the search
results and leave it to do its work. Most search engines don't like
these automated tools. Google mentions one of the most popular of these
tools. Web position Gold . If google notices a computer using one of
these tools excessively, it may ban search queries from that computer…
if it can identify by IP number, that is. On other hand, google provides
an authorized way to send queries of this kind by using various software
programs and services such as DigitalPoint's free Keyword Trackers too.
You sign up for a google API (Application Program Interface) key at
www.google.com/apis, and you can sue the key withy these programs and
services. You can see a typical keyword report, showing position for
each keyword in a large variety of different search engines - in this
case produced by Web-position gold. Many sites do site ranking, such
as WebCEO, Position Vision, and so on.
Checking for Broken Links
Link checkers are always handy, whether you are interested in optimizing
your site for the search engines or not. After you have created a few
pages, you should run a link check to make sure you didn't make any
mistakes in your links. Many, many links checkers are available including
paid services such as LinkAlarm, that will automatically check links
on your site and send you a report. Currently using a little Windows
program called Xenu's Link sleuth, it's free which is always nice. This
program is very quick - it can check tens of thousands of links in a
few minutes - and it's very easy to use. It produces a report, displayed
in your web browser, showing the page containing broken links; check
a link, and it opens the page so you can take a look. You can use the
program to check both internal and external links on your site. Web
design software package may include a builtin line checker.
The Google Toolbar (toolbar.google.com) is a great tool. It mainly use
it for two purposes: for searching Google without having to go to the
Google site first, and for seeing if a Web page is in google's cache.
But it contains a number of other neat tools, such as the ability to
search dictionary.com the word you want to check into the text box and
then select Dictionary from the Search Web drop-down list. The toolbar
also has the pagerank indicator which can be useful when evaluating
a potential link partner; a pop-up blocker; a way to search Google for
pages similar to the one you are viewing, and a link to Google Zeitgeist.
Google Zeitgeist(www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html) is worth persuing
now and then, particularly if you are looking an online business and
want ot know the types of things people search for, or to see how current
events affect searches. Google Zeitgeist is an analysis of what people
are searching for, when are where. You can find the most popular brand-name
searches charts showing how searches peak for particular keywords during
news events or in response to TV shows, the most popular searches for
particular women, men and fictional characters, the most popular movie
searches in Australia, the most popular brands in Italy, a feel for
what people are really searching for. There are other similar tool.
Wordtracker for instance will periodically send you a free report of
the top 500 searches and Ask Jeeves has a service that shows you the
top "advancing" search terms - the ones that are growing most
quickly (sp.ask.com/docs/about/jeevesiq.html). Yahoo! Buzz can be interesting,
too. Las t but not the least, The Lycos 50 is published weekly by Aaron
Schatz at 50.lycos.com. The interesting thing about the Lycos 50 is
that Aaron uses it to predict what will be hot or not.
The Alexa Toolbar(download.alexa.com) can be handy too. It can give
you a general idea of whether the site gets any traffic at all; you
can view traffic details for the site, such as the traffic rank, an
estimate of the number of visitors to the site out of every million
Internet Users, and so on. Alexa's numbers are pretty good for the world's
most popular sites, but very inaccurate for the average site. If the
site is ranked 4000000, you can get bet it doesn't get much traffic
at all. If the site is ranked 4000, it's far more popular. Alexa also
provides a list of the most popular sites, in thousands of categories,
a good way to track down affiliates, for instance or link partners.
And it has an interesting search function; use the Alexa Toolbar to
search Google, and you'll get different results. Sites are ranked differently,
though the data comes from Google, and you will also get small images
of the home page of the top few sites. And point at the site info link
to see information such as how long the site has been online, the number
of sites linking to it, similar sites and so on.
Being able to produce a list of pages linking back to a website is extremely
useful. I use a link analysis tool to find out how many links are pointing
to a client's site in comparison with competitors sites, and also to
find out who in particular is linking to competitors - a good start
in a link compaign.
Seeing What the Search Engines See
When looking at a competitor's pages, you can sometimes see things that
are not visible to the site visitor but that have been placed on the
page for the benefit of the search engines. When viewing your pages,
you may want to checkthat all the links are readable by the search engines.
· Sim spider: www.searchengineworld.com/cgi-bin/sim_spider.cgi
· Delorie: www.delorie.com/web/ses.cgi
You can also search for term such as search engine simulator or searchbot
simulator. Another great way to check a site is to use a text-mode browser,
such as Lynx, to your site. If your site cant be seen in Lynx, it will
have problems ranking in any search engine. You can find a Lynx simulator
Finding Your Keyword Density
You don't need to get hung upto keyword density. You can analyze the
nth degree, and everyone has a different opinion as to exactly what
the density should be. But it's sometimes interesting to check your
pages for keyword density, and many toola are available to help you
do so. WebPosition Gold, has a built in density tool and you can find
various online tools, such as the following:
· Search Engine World's Keyword Density Analyzer: www.searchengineworld.com/cgi-bin/kwda.cgi
· KeywordDensity.com: www.keyworddensirty.com
Analyzing your Site's traffic
You should really track traffic going to your site. Search engine positions
isn't terribly important - it's just a means to an end. What really
count is the amount of traffic coming to your site. And it's important
to know how people get to your site, too. There are two type of traffic
analysis tools: those that read server logs and those that tag your
web pages and track traffic using a program on another server. In the
first case, the tool analyzes log files created by the Web server -
the server add information each time it receives a request for a file.
In order to use the tag systems, you have to add a little piece of code
to your web pages - each time a page from your site is requested, the
program is in effect, informed of the fact. You quite likely have a
traffic-analysis tool already installed on your site - ask your server
administrator how to view your logs. Otherwise, you can use a tag-based
traffic analysis tool; In generally you will have to pay a monthly fee
for such a service. Analysis tools show you all sorts of interesting
and often useless information. But perhaps the most important things
you can find are:
· Which sites are sending visitors to your site?
· Which search engines are sending visitors to your sites?
· What keywords are people using to reach your site?
You may find people are reaching you with keywords you hadn't thought
of, or unusual combinations of keywords that you hadn't imagined. This
doesn't replace a real keyword analysis, though as you will only see
the keywords used by people who found you, not the keywords used by
people who didn't find but were looking for products or services like
yours. Most traffic analysis tools are really not very good. Some don't
provide much information, but the ones that do provide a lot of information
are often way too complex and confusing. One log based system is ClickTracks.
It was created by someone who worked for one of the top log tools companies,
but who felt the popular tools just throw statistics at the people,
instead of providing useful, easy to understand information. This is
a very cool tool that uses tables and images of your Web site to make
understanding your logs very easy. ClickTracks also ahs a tag-based
tool that you can use for a monthly fee.
· Serach Engine World: www.searchengineworld.com/misc/tools/htm
· SEO Help: www.seo-help.com/seo-reference/seo-resources.html
· Pandia SEO: www.pandia.com/optimization
Don't forget the Search Engines
Don't forget that you can find just about anything through the search
engines themselves. If you have some kind of tedious procedure to work
through, chances are someone has built a program to automate the procedure,
So head to your favorite search engine and spend a little time tracking