By Li Evans
Last week SEOMoz.org released a new tool to the Search
Marketing world called “Page Strength”. The tool takes an in-depth review of several different factors of a
website’s “strength” within the search engine world. The nicest thing I found about this tool is
that it does not rely on just one source to pull all of its information from.
The tool pulls information from Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia,
Alexa, de.licio.us, as well as the Wayback Machine and more. This tool can really help to broaden the total understanding a website's scope, reach and visibility in the search marketing arena as a whole (natural, social marketing, linking strategies, etc.).
Not being a fan of Google’s pagerank tool, I happily surfed
over to Rand Fishkin’s site after reading a Page Strength Tool Review on SearchEngine Roundtable
by Barry Schwartz. Barry actually took
the time to create a nice visual summary of the tool’s use, so it’s worth
checking out. Beyond Barry’s review, the
tool also got the attention of Search Engine Watch and Threadwatch last week –
which ended up driving a boat load of traffic to SEOMoz.org, so much so that
they had to pull down the tool for a while.
First, let me say that I like this tool – it’s a great “quick
glance” at where a website can stand in different elements of the search
optimization. However, I don’t believe
SEO marketers should rely on this soley. There are certain aspects I have questions with, which I did ask Rand about, and to his and Matt’s credit (smart thinking
guys!) that information is being kept close to their vests as it differentiates
them from anyone else.
This tool is nice because its gives a more well rounded view
of the website’s existence in the search landscape. And this is Organic Search or Natural Search
I’m speaking to here, the tool doesn’t focus on the paid search realm.
I’ve always have had questions about Google’s “Page Rank”, mostly
my questions focus around “Page Rank for What?” and “What does Page Rank Really
Mean?”. This tool takes the Page Rank
from Google and uses it as a piece of the total picture, putting it along side
of counts of links in Wikipedia, DMOZ, and de.licio.us. Taking these pieces along with counts of how
many links are coming into a domain (also segmenting .edu and .gov links coming
in and weighting their values), allows the webmaster/SEO marketer to have a
better handle on where the website stands on a whole, not just in one search
As I stated, I don’t believe this is a tool to solely base
where a website stands on, there are other factors here that should be looked
at, and until there’s a tool built, SEO professionals will still have to go
about manually securing that information. The tool does look at the first 4 keywords in a title tag and how the
site ranks for those in Google, however, when you are just taking over a site
to do SEO for it, its not likely those first four words mean a thing to what
the company’s bottom line is.
Where I’ve found the best use for this tool is in comparative
analysis. Being able to put competitor
websites on the same playing field and comparing the same data. The ability to say “look your competitor’s
website is stronger than your website because they have all their bases covered,
where your current site only is strong in one area” is a powerful visual tool
when you are trying to prove a point or close the sale on your SEO services.
Rand & Matt have put together a really nice tool with
Page Strength, one that I recommend adding to your “tool chest”, especially
since they are offering it for free. Here’s hoping they might beef it up a bit and possibly offer a more
complete version for a price – my bet is that they’re already working on it! A lot of us would pay money for
such a tool.