Useful SEO Tools & January SEO Recap
I’ll be introducing a weekly update to this blog from now on. Essentially what I’ll be writing about is what I’ve done in the week that is noteworthy. Simply, anything noteworthy will be listed here and hopefully it will be useful to those reading. If anything, it might only be useful for myself — in that case, my apologies.
To start off with I was recently introduced to a new SEO tool called Netpeak. The tool practically runs on APIs and it’s another of those tools that I’ve listed in the “Best SEO Tools for 2014” article. The tool is quite versatile and allows you to check hundreds if not thousands of URLs’ metrics.
The metrics that it includes are:
- Domain Authority;
- Page Authority;
- Citation Flow;
- Trust Flow;
- Ahrefs backlinks;
- MozScape (OSE) backlinks;
- MajesticSEO backlinks;
- Domain Age;
- Google Index;
- Social metrics: StumbleUpon, Facebook Likes/Shares, Twitter, Google+ and more.
This is very useful for a number of reasons. If you’re doing outreach and you want to get your content on a high quality site then there is no better way to identify a decent website (aside from reading said site’s content) by analysing it with Netpeak. I’ve not only used this for outreach, but for analysing clients’ websites; it’s just another way of identifying backlinks where you did not know you had them at all. I actually recommend using Screaming Frog to scrape your website and then run all your URLs within this tool. It really gives you a nice overview of how your site is doing, especially within the social media aspect of things. Netpeak essentially takes all the manual work out of it all and is a nice package. I really do recommend it. A big thanks to James Phillips, a new co-worker, who recommended it.
Two of my clients at the agency I work at recently moved to new CMSs (It’s sort of the reason why I wrote that article on checking the backlink profile of 5,000 URLs), and this of course meant that the URL structure changed. Setting up 301 redirects is obviously one of the most important things to do when a change like this occurs; otherwise, you lose any value that you had in the search results page to a 404 page if there is no redirect in place. What I did actually identified issues that my client were not aware of. We had redirects going to totally irrelevant pages, and simply pages that had been deleted without any redirect taking place.
How do you find these?
Our relationship with our client is moreover one where we do a lot of advising after an update such as a migration has occurred or where we can see where a few improvements will make a dent somewhere. My team actually keeps a regular scrape of all of my clients websites, so we can go back and find out what the legacy URLs were. So I used the legacy URLs and pasted them into a text file, and then uploaded them to Screaming Frog. Screaming Frog has a really nice feature where you can view how a URL has been redirected (It creates a redirect map for you). And then from this, you can manually check to see if a redirect has been implemented correctly or not. Dan Sharp, the Founder & Director of Screaming Frog, has a very detailed article on how you can do this. I recommend giving that a read, as it’s worth the trouble. This can not only be used for migrations, but to see if your client has actually deleted a web page or moved it to a new URL without telling you.
January – SEO Recap
- 4th of January, Google released RapGenius from its penalised status. It took just 10 days for them to be released from Google’s sandbox.
- 9th of January, webmasters were reporting that there was a Google update occurring. To be quite honest, my websites actually saw a significant change in rankings on the 11th of January. Others reported similar updates around these dates.
- 20th of January, Matt Cutts, Head of Spam at Google, published an article on his blog entitled “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO“. I followed this very closely and gave my opinion on this. Feel free to read & comment about this here.
- 22nd of January, Google updated Webmaster Tools to show you the “final destination URL instead of the redirecting URL” when looking at crawl errors.
- High profile site, Expedia, was outed by SearchMetrics as being penalised by Google. They apparently lost over 25% of their traffic due to a partial penalisation of their website.
- Last month, Google’s Matt Cutts released a video on social signals and how social media does not affect the search ranking algorithm. So those that have suggested that social media is one factor in Google’s algorithm are actually incorrect. Matt actually comes up with a correlation and causation argument, and states just because something is doing well on Facebook, doesn’t mean that it ranks well because of Facebook. In fact, if it is doing well on Facebook then what’s to say that it isn’t doing well on the rest of the web and gaining valuable links, which we know is a factor in Google’s algorithm.
- SEO industry playboy figure, Rand Fishkin, did an AMA on Reddit. I personally enjoyed the Twitter account Rand Fishskin. I was giggling like a schoolgirl who had just heard the term ‘breast’ stroke for the very first time. I didn’t find this AMA very helpful, and much preferred AJ Ghergich and Brian Dean AMAs on Reddit.
Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for now. Is there anything that I’ve missed in January?
Also, here’s a failed attempt at a graphic that I tried creating:
Don’t ask me why.