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July 20, 2009

SEOToolSet Tool Review: Search Engine Ranking Monitor, Part 2

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A lot is said about how data can be used to help SEO efforts. Then again, data is nothing without proper analysis and organization. Bruce Clay designed and created a suite of SEO tools for organic optimization intelligence that filter and analyze the abundance of data that comes from a site. In a series here on the blog, I have been explaining how and why an SEO can use the tools included in the SEOToolSet. This post details a portion of the tools available through the SEOToolSet Search Engine Ranking Monitor.

In part one of the Search Engine Ranking Monitor review I outlined why an SEO should pay attention to rankings and how the information provided by the Search Engine Ranking Monitor can aid SEO efforts.

It’s worth noting here that the SEOToolSet Search Engine Ranking Monitor differs from other ranking monitors on the market. Most ranking monitors are desktop based, which often triggers an unintended consequence of being identified as spam by the search engine. Because the SEOToolSet Search Engine Ranking Monitor is Web-based, that consequence is removed from your machine and put on the Bruce Clay, Inc. servers instead. We have put measures in place that check those kinds of errors so that SEOToolSet users don’t have to deal with them.

In part one I also explained how to use several of the included tools: the Domain Ranking Report, the Comparative Domain Ranking Report, the History Report by Keyword and the Side-by-Side Ranking Comparison. In this part I’ll look at the rest of the tools that make up the Search Engine Ranking Monitor.

To use these tools, log in to the SEOToolSet and select “Client Reports” or the graph in the far right column for the client being reviewed. From the resulting page you can run all of the tools of the Search Engine Ranking Monitor. The tools reviewed in this part-two post can be found just short of half-way down the page. The menu to run the tools detailed in this post appears like this:


Changed Page Monitor

This monitor, much like the name says, identifies pages across the site that may have changed since the last monitor was run. The kinds of changes noted include:

  • Pages are gone from the site. This is indicated by the red text “is missing” next to the URL where the page was previously located.
  • Pages that have changed. This is indicated by the red text “INSPECT” next to the URL of the page that has changed, as well as the previous size of the file and the current size of the file.
  • Pages that have been added. This is indicated by the text “is new” next to the URL of the page that has been added, as well as he current size of the new file.

One way the Changed Page Monitor comes in handy is when a benchmark is taken and subsequent changes are tracked over time. Reports from this monitor will provide a history of the development on the site.

Furthermore, the tool is very useful if there is more than one party editing and managing the site. For instance, you may be an SEO consultant working with an in-house SEO. The Changed Page Monitor will alert you to changes made to pages on the site. This may be helpful to see whether or not changes you recommended have been implemented. It’s also useful to know that changes have been made of which you were not aware.

SEOToolSet logo

Pages to Submit

This tool recommends pages on your site that should be submitted to Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask. The recommendation to submit pages to these search engines occurs in the presence of one of three scenarios. A recommendation to submit a page will be made if:

  • A page used to rank well, as detected in the monitor, but does not rank well any longer.
  • A page ranks well in some search engines listed in the tool but not in others.
  • A page is defined as an optimized page in the SEOToolSet.

Ranking Report by Keyword

Select a keyword assigned to your site from the drop down menu of this tool. The resulting table lists all pages on the site that are targeted for that keyword along with the following information:

  • The keyword’s estimated daily activity across all search engines.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword when queried with “allintitle:”.
  • The highest position that the specified page ranks when the keyword is queried in Google, Yahoo! and Bing (MSN).
  • The total number of pages on the site that rank in the top position for the keyword, as well as the number of pages that rank in the top five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty and fifty results for the keyword.

Detailed History Ranking Report

This report can be organized in two ways. You can run the report by keyword or by page, depending on whether you want to see the pages that rank for a keyword across the site or a page’s various rankings based on the queried keyword.

If you run the Detailed History Ranking Report for a keyword, the resulting report includes a number of tables, one for each page that keyword is assigned to within the SEOToolSet. If you run the Detailed History Ranking Report for a page, the resulting report includes a number of tables, one for each keyword that assigned to that page within the SEOToolSet. If you run the report for a specific keyword and a specific page, the report is made of a single table with information about that keyword’s ranking history for that page.

The stats listed in each table are arranged by date and include:

  • The keyword’s estimated daily activity across all search engines.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword when queried with “allintitle:”.
  • The highest position that the specified page ranks when the keyword is queried in Google, Yahoo! and Bing (MSN).

As you can see, there is some overlap of data provided by the Detailed History Ranking Report and the Ranking Report by Keyword. The difference is that the Detailed History Ranking Report can be organized in a number of ways to highlight different aspects of the data.

SEO tools

Ranking Report by Page Name

By running this report, an SEO will be able to drill down into all the keywords targeted on a specific page. Run the Ranking Report by Page Name by selecting the page from the drop down menu and then choosing two dates from which to compare the data. The resulting table lists all the keywords assigned to the page within the SEO ToolSet. The data provided for each keyword includes:

  • The keyword’s estimated daily activity across all search engines.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword when queried with “allintitle:”.
  • The highest position that the page ranked for the keyword queried in Google, Yahoo! and Bing (MSN) on both dates specified, as well as the difference between the two positions.

By comparing the ranking a page received on two different days, an SEO can identify a rise or drop in that page’s ability to rank well for the specified keyword. By viewing this data for the many keywords targeted on the page, this report illustrates the progress of optimization efforts on that page.

Competitor Ranking Report

Competitive analysis is a vital part of the SEO process because you have to know what your competitors are doing well before you can do the same or better. Easily keep tabs on your competitors’ rankings for specific keywords with the Competitor Ranking Report.

To run the Competitor Ranking Report, first select the keyword to be analyzed from the drop-down menu. The resulting report lists all the pages that the search engines list in the top 30 results for the specified keyword. Below that is a table that also lists these competitors, along with the following information:

  • The keyword’s estimated daily activity across all search engines.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword when queried with “allintitle:”.
  • The highest position that the competing page ranked for the keyword queried in Google, Yahoo! and Bing (MSN).
  • The total number of competitor pages that rank in the top ten, twenty and thirty positions for the keyword.

Specific Competitor Ranking Report

If you’re performing competitive analysis and would like to review the rankings for keywords across a specific competitor’s site, the Specific Competitor Ranking Report does the trick. After selecting the report from the menu, you’ll be prompted to choose a competitor’s domain from a list. The competitor domains listed are those that have been identified as competitors by the SEOToolSet user. Before running the tool, you may also select two dates for which to compare. If you don’t choose any dates the report will only show data from the last monitor run.

The table in this report lists the keywords assigned to your site, allowing the user to see how the competition is faring on these targeted keywords. As with the majority of reports covered in this post, the report also includes:

  • The keyword’s estimated daily activity across all search engines.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword.
  • The number of results Google returns for the keyword when queried with “allintitle:”.
  • The highest position that a page on the competing site ranked for the keyword queried in Google, Yahoo! and Bing (MSN).
  • If two dates are being compared, the highest ranking among pages on the site will be listed for both dates, along with the difference in ranking between the two dates.
  • The total number of pages on that competitor’s site that rank in the top ten, twenty, thirty, forty and fifty positions for the keywords your site is targeting.




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