Google AdWords Traffic Estimator

May 11th

Google made their AdWords traffic estimator available external to your AdWords account. They still use the evil little graphical representation for total search volume, but they give rough approximations in actual numbers for the amount of AdWords clicks they think you will receive.

The tool allows you to pass variables in the URL string, so perhaps this is good for scraping some data on the value of certain keyword markets? I also added a link to the tool on my keyword research tool.

If you do not enter a bid price or budget the bid price they recommend is supposed to show your ads ranking #1 85% of the time. More background here. They also note that when you access this tool external to your account that it will not factor in your past account performance, so the numbers may not be as accurate as if you use the tool in your account.

SEO Friendly Internet Explorer and Firefox Setups

May 11th

I updated the page with Google Toolbar buttons for Internet Explorer, including a new botton for Google Trends.

I also listed the extensions I use on Firefox and posted a few handy Firefox bookmark toolbar links that you can drop to your Firefox bookmarks toolbar.

Recommending doing things like using the Google Toolbar assumes that you are not mass spamming on that computer or a computer that shares the same router / IP address.

Google Banned Link Finder

May 11th

RustyBrick pointed out a new free SEO tool by Sufyan that searches through a page or site to look for links to sites that are banned in Google. It is designed for smaller to mid sized sites. The tool returns a list of pages you link at and their PageRank. The tool lists the age and URLs of pages that do not appear in Google.

Most large quality sites probably have at least a few links to banned sites, so you don't want to let Google become the editor of your site, but if most of your links go to banned sites that could hurt your site's reputation or ability to rank in Google.

Currently Google is also a bit flaky on the URL search. With some of them they they give the signs of sites being banned while listing many pages if you do a site: search.

Google Trends - Kick Ass!

May 10th

Google extends their lead in the keyword research market by adding a new tool called Google Trends. It operates similar to the Google keyword research tool, but offers trends that goes back for years, and even overlaps news related to keyword search spikes, like Google Finance does. Many of the links they provide are to cheesy press releases, so that might present another marketing opportunity.

The tool also shows top cities, regions, and languages that queries occurred in. They also allow you to set timeframes and the market location.
It also allows you to compare phrases.

The only downsides to Google Trends are that it only works for broad terms and does not give exact numbers.

I added a link to Google trends on my keyword research tool.

Clicktracks for Free

Apr 24th

Clicktracks offers up a free version of their analytics software by the name of Clicktracks Appetizer.

Tag, You're It

Apr 13th

Tag Viewer is a Ruby on Rails AJAX application that makes it easy to cross reference tagged resources at popular tagging sites.

The idea sorta came to life after I started to find the footer tag links on my keyword research tool rather handy. Your thoughts on Tag Viewer would be appreciated.

I don't intend to commercialize Tag Viewer in any way. I had it made because I think it will be useful for helping me do web research. While I claim to be an SEO, I am much more of an info porn junkie than an SEO ;)

Google AdWords Opens Up Keyword Research Tool, Adds Seasonal Data

Mar 22nd

Google recently opened up their AdWords keyword research tool by allowing it to be accessible from outside AdWords accounts. They also added seasonal search volume data for global and local searches, and allowed it to be accessible by match type (ie: broad, phrase, exact).

That will likely just about kill off most of the paid keyword research tool market.

I told MSN that I thought one of the ways they could possibly catch up a bit with Google on the SEM front is to make the default keyword research tool. Google's now is feature rich, shows seasonal data, data by match type, and the data is easy to export. As Google, Yahoo! and MSN jocky for position you can bet that their keyword research tools are only going to get better - although I don't think Yahoo!'s crusty old tool has changed in about a decade hehehe.

SEO Tools

Mar 6th

These are SEO Tools that I use and recommend to others. Most of these SEO tools are free. Warning on SEO Tools:
Many SEO tool vendors sell software which has been outdated and rendered useless by improving search technology. Worse yet, some of these people intentionally lie to get you to buy their software, even if it will get your site banned from the search engines.

Some of them will tell you that keyword density is the key to seo. That's a lie. Some of them will tell you that trading links off topic and lots of low quality link trades are all you need to rank in Google. That typically don't work well either.

Before buying any SEO software check to see if similar or better free software is available here or here.

Keyword Suggestion Tools:

  • Keyword research review - I prettymuch review most of the best keyword research / keyword suggestion software on the market. Most of the tools worth using are free. My two favorite tools are listed below

  • Google Keyword Tool - shows 12 month trending data. Can offer keyword suggestions based on page content or a word you enter.
  • SEO Book keyword research tool - driven off of Yahoo!'s keyword research tool, it makes it easy to cross reference the various keyword research techniques. It is a bit feature rich, but if you like lots of data you will love this tool. You can give it a test drive by searching in the box below:

Keyword Suggestions for:



Expand Your Keyword List:

Formating Your Keyword List for Google AdWords:
Formatting can be done inside AdWords. Google is also beta testing desktop software for managing your AdWords account. The keyword list generator above also makes it easy to set matching types on your keywords when you generate your keyword list.

Google AdWords also has a function called dynamic keyword insertion which inserts search queries into your AdWords ad copy.

Keyword Density Analysis:
Generally aiming for a keyword density is a waste of time for the following reasons:

  • each engine and query type is unique. there is no such thing as a universal perfect keyword density.

  • getting people to like your content and link to it is more important than what algorithms think of it
    • link popularity is weighted more heavily than page copy for competitive queries (I have even ranked pages that did not exist)

    • and readable useful to human pages are important to conversion
  • most pages made with bots in mind read like they are meant to be read by bots
  • this article covers keyword density from a more scientific standpoint, stating why it is useless

Having said all of that, if you want to look at keyword density here is a free keyword density analyzer.

Keyword Rank Checking Tools:
Digital Point Keyword Ranking Monitor - (free) Offers a quick way to check the backlinks and keyword rankings of a site on Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. Takes a bit to set up, but provides free graphs of ranking vs time and works within the Google terms of service.

Link Analysis Tools:

  • Hub Finder - free open source tool looks for co-occuring backlinks. If you read about hubs and authorities (and why they are important) you will find this tool exceptionally useful.

  • Link Harvester - free open source tool looks at unique linking domains, .edu & .gov backlinks, unique C block IP addresses. Tool has CVS export option. Both Link Harvester and Hub Finder work with the Yahoo! TOS.
  • Back Link Analyzer - like OptiLink and SEO Elite, but free. It is downloadable software that does anchor text analysis on links.
  • I would recommend sticking away from link exchange hubs. Typically the easier it is for the average person to get a link the less value it has. Many people using link exchange networks employ underwaged third world workers to make automated sites they know will eventually get banned.

Other Tools:

If you have a cool SEO tool you would like me to review just leave a comment below or send me an email :)

Backlink Analyzer Fixed

Feb 13th

Some of my friends recently told me that the version of Backlink Analyzer on the site did not do the cross referencing of the anchor text profile. I linked the download page to a version that does.

If you downloaded Backlink Analyzer and you were not able to cross reference the anchor text profile give this version a try. After all the pages are spidered click the search terms button to bring up a full list of words in the anchor text, linking page title, and page copy of the page you are analyzing. You also can enter a phrase or groups of phrases and click the add keyword button to see how often those phrases occur in the anchor text.

I am hoping to have a new version out by the end of the month that will be cross platform, extensible plug-in friendly, and open source...will see how it goes.

Free Meta Search Engine Source Code

Feb 9th

Want to run your own meta search engine? I made the source code to Myriad Search open source...so if you want it come and grab it.

Google, Yahoo! and MSN are queried via their API programs. Since Ask does not have an API those results are grabbed from Teoma.

Myriad Search makes it quick and easy to see all the top search results at the major engines and then export the results via a CSV spreadsheet. It also allows you to grab Alexa data, if you desire it.

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