Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tools, Awards And General Link Stuff

I've been up to my eyeballs creating presentation slides for the upcoming SES Training program in San Francisco, love to do these sessions, hate doing slides. We have a nice crowd coming to a great hotel on historic Union Square so it should be a good session.

I'm happy to annouce the Link Spiel won the SEMMY award in the link building category. I was shocked to be honest, didn't think I had a paid link's chance in hell given who the finalists were but -- it did and I'm extremely grateful to all that voted.

Help! I’m New, I Need Links, What Can I Do? Debra Mastaler, The Link Spiel 9/29/07

Andy Hagans’ Ultimate Guide to Linkbaiting and Social Media Marketing Andy Hagans, Tropical SEO 2/5/07

Revealing your Competitor’s FULL External Relevance Profile – One of my best kept secrets Hamlet Batista 10/17/07

In other news, I have been meaning to download and try out a couple of SEO/link tools and finally did so this weekend.

First one is SEOQuake which shows a large number of SE parameters under each search result. There's a download for Firefox and one for IE but I couldn't get the IE to work properly so couldn't test that one. You can pick and choose the various engines/parameters you want to see, (PageRank, inbound link counts per engine, if they have edu links etc) there's a lot of them but several strong ones you can use to help determine whether or not to pursue a site as a link partner.

It's helpful, offers a great one-stop look at a number of things and is free to use. But like a lot of these tools, it doesn't have export features or comparative analysis capabilities that would propel it to awesome status and become something I'd pay for.

The other tool is one Michael VanDeMar created called Bad Neighborhood Link Checker:

This tool will scan the links on your website, and on the pages that your website is linking to, and flag possible problem areas. This can greatly ease your seo efforts.
Basically, the tool scans your outbound links and tells you if the sites you're linking to could have issues that may affect your ranking. I had to giggle a little at what came back for my site, not sure I'd call SEOByTheSea, Marketing Pilgrim or StoneTemple potential spam sites but hey- who knows what the guys are really doing over there. ;)

Ok, in fairness and because I know I'll get a raised eyebrow from one of those "guys"-- all it means is the blog I was linking to had a disproportinate number of the same type of inbound links so a little "possible problem" flag was raised. The tool recognized a lot of "sameness" in the link structure which is, if you believe everything you hear, not a good thing when it comes to links.

You can hover over the different images and information boxes pop up to tell you what the image stands for - I like that. I also like the fact the tool identifies which link is questionable and why.

For example, I had one questionable link (which is different than the "possible problem" flag) come back identified as containing verbiage "questionable" for the SEO community. The word was "sex" and while I think it's safe to say people are having and talking about sex in the SEO community, as a term on a site talking about SEO, it's out of place -- even if only by one letter.

What triggered the blip to the Bad Neighborhood tool was in the comments on a blog I linked to. Seems the word "sex" was used both in the anchor and surrounding text so my site was guilty by association and the link was flagged. This little tool is handy-dandy if you don't want to spend a lot of time looking over potential partner sites.

Disclaimer here: There is absolutely nothing wrong with a site that uses verbiage outside the topical realm. There are comments on this blog which could be considered off topic, I can't police everything and don't want to. The point here is - if you run that tool and find a lot of off-topic verbiage/links then think again about partnering with them.

As a reminder, Aaron has a terrific list of free SEO tools over on LinkHounds as does Joost de Valk so check them out as well.

A couple of people have asked how my website and blog redesigns are going. Great! I'm excited at what's being done. Never thought it would take so long but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Thanks again for voting for my link building post and for supporting this blog. It's much appreciated. :)

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