Link Appeal Tool

Jun 3rd

The Link Appeal Tool has link appeal since I am linking to it. I think I used the word link to much...anyway here is the link.

This is another one of Will's cool free tools over at Webmaster Toolkit. It looks at the PageRank of a page as well as the number of outgoing links on that page to give you a guestimate of how much value that link would have to help you decide whether or not it is worth going after.

SEO Tip: Submitting Press Releases to Help Search Engine Optimization

May 12th

With the growing commercial nature of the web it is becoming harder to get quality one way inbound links without spending a fortune. By submitting free or cheap press releases you can build link equity without spending a ton of money.

Many people do recommend donating to PR Web to help your PR get quicker handling and a better rotation.

"For $80 your release is also included in the Yahoo! FeatureExpress program where the full release is published under the Yahoo.com domain.

For B2B client releases that are keyword optimized, you can expect 20,000 - 60,000 page views in the first two weeks. For B2C clients it's higher, as much as 190,000." - from Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing

There are also a bunch of smaller press release sites on the web. Please submit any press release sites you find useful to this posting by clicking on the your evil Happy Thoughts Link.

Don't worry, be happy! (cartoon is worth playing at least twice) A few smaller press release sites that were listed are:

Cheap Google PageRank Software

May 11th

Update: Backlink Analyzer is free link analysis software which has probably the best feature set of any of the link analysis software products on the market.

The Original Link Analysis Software
When OptiLink ($224) came out a few years ago it was a software product like no others. A few weeks ago the second version of PageRank Prowler ($97) was released. PageRank Prowler is a product similar to OptiLink (which only lacks the link text features).

Dirt Cheap PageRank Software
Now I haven't tried the full version of it yet, but recently software by the name of PageRank Digger that only costs $39.99 via PayPal was released. I guess it's claim to fame is speed. "You will be able to scan over 2000 domain names per minute." It is not just scanning links and getting PageRank that matters though. Being able quickly evaluate and rearrange the raw data is what makes it really useful. I think this tool is targeted more toward the expired domain community vice the seo community.

Branding & Creating Better Products
It is amazing to see how quickly advanced link tools (or any technology) can become commodities. I wonder when someone will be smart enough to market a link product which is BETTER vice cheaper. I can think of a few upgrades that would make the best link software way better and am surprised that nobody has marketed them yet. I wish I had more time to learn programming... :)

Example Link Analysis Software Upgrade
I am surprised there is no specific parameter link analysis software on the market. Software which scans Yahoo! or Google for .edu links which link to your competitors. That is just one example of a useful modification I don't think has been marketed yet. I got a couple other ideas too...email me if you are a programmer who wants to make really cool link analysis software.

Do you know of any link software which better than OptiLink? What on your site makes it better, vice cheaper? The competitive nature of the web will eat up most people who use cheap as a sales angle. Branding is where it's at.

PR Prowler (PageRank Prowler) Review

May 6th

Update: Backlink Analyzer is free link analysis software which has probably the best feature set of any of the link analysis software products on the market.

Recently Shawn Pringle launched PR and link analysis software by the name of PR Prowler. The first edition was a bit bulky and slow, but recently he launched PR Prowler V2.0 which has many needed upgrades.

PR Prowler operates in its own browser window similar to OptiLink. OptiLink still has a few more features (such as showing link text), but PR Prowler allows you to search for backlinks and keywords as well.

When you use PR Prowler with the Google link:www.evilcompetitor.com function it will return their backlinks and allow you to manipulate them in multiple ways. PR Prowler allows you to organize the links by site or PageRank or by how much the link should boost your PageRank (estimated). The best part about PR Prowler is that it primarily operates in the background so that you can do other business while it is collecting data.

Any software which runs in the background, checks backlings to the full Google database search depth (1,000), and will sort the results by PageRank is easily worth well over $100 to most webmasters, but PR Prowler only costs $97. View the official PR Prowler website.

Google Search w PR (PageRank) Displayed

May 6th

Cool new Google search result scrapper. It may soon get banned, but if it does not then it will be an awesome tool for SEO.

Proogle shows search PageRank with search results. This can quickly give you an idea of how competitive a search term phrase may be. In addition you can add a couple features to your search to make it super useful for SEO.

Instead of looking at a search phrase you can see who is linking to a site (using link:www.blawhateversite.com). In addition you can also add &num=100 at the end of the address bar to view 100 results per page.

here is an example search on SEO Inc.'s backlinks

Proogle will allow you to quickly find your competitors most valuable backlinks. It is not quite as powerful as OptiLink, but pretty damn darn cool for free!!!

May 20, 2004 Update: Proogle was rebranded to Prog.

Meta Refresh vs 301 Redirects

Apr 21st

Why use the Meta Refresh Tag?

Many people use meta refresh tags to tell the search engines that their pages moved. It is not the most elequent way to do so though.

What does the Meta Refresh Tag Look like?
Place
<meta HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" CONTENT="0;URL=http://www.redirectsite.com/">
in the head of your page copy. The number is a measure of time to redirect the browser to the new location (I believe in milliseconds.)

What is the problem with using a Meta Refresh Tag?

One of the bigger problems with this is that it is a common spam technique. Some people suggest setting the meta refresh to at least 5 seconds to avoid any ranking penalty.

In addition Google will show the URL of the original page in the search results if it has a higher PageRank than the location of the destination page. Last month they discussed Google's problems with the meta-refresh tag at WMW.

What is a 301 Redirect?
A 301 redirect is a perminant change of location code. It tells a search engine spider that a page or website has moved.

What does a 301 Redirect look like?

Redirect permanent / http://www.newurl.com/cool/

The 301 redirect code goes inside a .htaccess file either at the root level or in a local level. You can also use a 301 redirect to move just a single page.

Redirect permanent /oldpage.htm http://www.newurl.com/cool/

Other 301 redirect info
Yahoo! Slurp has been having trouble resolving 301 redirects for a while now, but when they work correctly they garner no penalty and all the link popularity is parsed through to the new location.

A Spammers Guide to Search

Apr 14th

In the past I have went out of my way to define the concept of "ethical search engine optimization" as being crap. Recently Stanford agreed with this idea. A research paper by Hector Garcia-Molina and Zoltan Gyongyi by the name of Web Spam Taxonomy stated any attempt to manipulate search results is, was, and will always be spam.

If you are doing it with links...it's spam.
If you are changing content...it's spam.

thanks to Webby

Free Reciprocal Link Checking Script

Apr 9th

Many articles have came out recently stating that reciprocal link exchanges are a waste of time. This is true if you can afford to spend a bunch on links, but if you are a bootstrapper you will need to do all the little things. Reciprocal link exchanges can still help boost link popularity some.
Shawn over at Digital Point creates some of the best free SEO tools on the market. Recently he whipped up this free reciprocal link checking script, which reads a file of link partners (in the same directory) by the name of sites.txt. sites.txt is a list of URLs to check (separated by a carriage return).

<?php

$mydomain = "yourdomain.com"; // Set this to your domain

$list = file_get_contents("sites.txt");
$urls = explode ("\n", $list);

echo "<B>Checking back links to $mydomain....</B><P><FONT SIZE=-1>";

foreach ($urls as $url) {
if (strlen ($url)) {
echo $url . "<B><FONT COLOR=";
if (strpos (file_get_contents($url), $mydomain) != FALSE) {
echo "GREEN> Found";
} else {
echo "RED> Missing";
}
echo "</FONT></B><BR>";
}
}
echo "</FONT>";

?>

There is an ongoing discussion about his free reciprocal link checking script over at the Digital Point forums.

PageRank Prowler (PRProwler) And Other PR Tools

Apr 7th

Update: Backlink Analyzer is free link analysis software which has probably the best feature set of any of the link analysis software products on the market.

Recently another PageRank analysis tool came out by the name of PageRank Prowler. PageRank Prowler ($97) is somewhat of a hybrid between OptiLink ($224) and the recent free PageRank tool by SEO Guy.

PageRank Prowler
PageRank Prowler allows you to set a PageRank level which it will look through Google search results to find sites at or above that PageRank. These results can be saved as an HTML sheet or in a CSV list. The benefits PageRank Prowler has over other PageRank software are

  • It allows you to search for multiple terms at once. For example, you can search for sites linking to any of your main competitors all at the same time.

  • PageRank Prowler also allows you to search for specific search terms and not just backlinks. (OptiLink just searches the backlinks of a given site).
  • PageRank Prowler will also allow you to search starting from URLs within a given site / sites and return results from there.
  • At $97 PageRank Prowler is significantly cheaper than OptiLink.

SEO Guy PageRank Tool
The SEO Guy PageRank tool is the quickest of the three, but it has the least features and the search depth is limited to 100 documents. This means that if your competitors backlinks are listed at #102 then you will never know they exist. If you can not afford to spend money then this free web based tool is a real time saver.

OptiLink
The biggest downside to OptiLink is that it costs $224, but it is well worth that if you can afford it. It allows you to query different databases and comes with free lifetime updates. Leslie Rhodes is a smart marketer and programmer who will probably even include Yahoo! Webrank in future releases of his software.

All three are real time savers, it's up to you to decide which one is right for you though...

Google PageRank vs Yahoo! Webrank

This entry was inspired by a recent article from Danny Sullivan.

Lots O good Google PageRank info below. Still not much out on Yahoo Webrank though... What is Google PageRank?
Google PageRank is a mathematical approximation that a random web surfer would cross any given page prior to starting to surf over again. It is a measure of link popularity on a 1 - 10 logarithmic scale. One powerful link from a strong site is worth way more than many links from small sites.

How do I check PageRank?

How do I check my Competitors PageRank?

  • The same way you would check your own. OR

  • There are automated tools which process portions of the web to help you find link partners quicker. Here are two interesting tools:
    • SEO Guy has a tool which allows you to set PageRank levels and perform a search for any given term. It will return a list of top ranking websites which have a PageRank equal to or greater than the # you requested.

    • For deeper link analysis, OptiLink link analysis software - orders the backlinks of your competitors in order of PageRank so you can Quickly view his most important backlinks (in the eyes of Google).

More on PageRank
PageRank is only one aspect of website promotion. It does play a huge role in the current Google ranking system, but there are many other factors. Generally some sites could really do well by making sure their site is well integrated into their local community and then buying a link or two to suppliment their rankings.

The web does self organize into micro communities and PageRank does not take that into account as well as search engines such as Teoma do (see also: Teoma review).

Buying PageRank
It is probably worth it for many sites to buy 1 or 2 PR7 or so links. I have been able to locate them for under $100 a month and sometimes cheaper than $50...a few times even free. I have seen run of the site PR7 links around $200 per month.

There are many many reseller networks of people selling PageRank. You want to make sure you are as close to the source as possible when buying links. IE: you may want to buy off a website, a link broker, or link brokers friend, but you start to run into heavy inflation when you buy links off a link broker from a different link broker from a link broker...

The prices of the links are spread extremely wide. There are many important factors such as

  • How well the webmaster knows what their links are worth.

  • The PageRank of the page.
  • The number of links on the page.
  • How well that page fits the theme of your site.
  • The direct traffic that link will bring.
  • The length of the contract.
  • Sometimes you can get discounts for quantity buys.

On my other site I have listed more PageRank resources and more in depth Google PageRank coverage.

Yahoo! Webrank
As you can see there is a ton of info out there on PageRank. Since Yahoo! Webrank is new and expiremental there is no solid data out there on it.

They are currently testing Yahoo! Webrank in a beta test which is closed. In Danny Sullivan's article he pointed me to a backdoor link he found in Webmaster World which will allow you to download the toolbar that will show the Yahoo! Webrank. In addition Digital Point has a Yahoo! Webrank tool which sometimes provides sporadic or random results. Its inaccuracies may actually be due to the fact that Yahoo! Webrank is still in a beta test.

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