Monitor Your Visibility in Google, MSN, and Yahoo with these DIY SEO
(Parts 1 & 2) By Tinu AbayomiPaul
this three part article, you'll find many tools that any webmaster can use to
monitor your site's search engine position, and use to increase the visibility
of your site in major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN.
Most of the coverage I've seen focuses on the ability of UrlTrends to allow
you to "View Any URLs Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, Popular Search Terms and
And that's a great thing, to be able to see all of that from one place. But
one great thing missed about this tool are that you can subscribe to changes to
the results via RSS -hands off monitoring of your site.
Fagan Finder's URL Info
This online gadget is like the Swiss Army knife of site information, giving
you one-page access to dozens of pertinent check-ups. But monitoring relevant
search engine information like your back links, or the cached pages in a search
engine are just the tip of the iceberg.
You can use URL Info to chëck that your HTML code is validated, translate
your page, and if you're a blogger, discover where your site is mentioned in the
Ever wondered what your site looks like to the search engine spiders that
crawl the web, looking for information to include in their databases? Go to this
page to see what information is seen by the spider and what it skips over.
Spannerworks.com can also help you figure out how to troubleshoot content
that seems like it should show up to a spider but doesn't, with its HTTP viewer.
They also have a tool that will analyze your keyword density.
GoRank.com's Top Ten Comparison
If you've been banging your head against the wall in an attempt to figure out
why you haven't hit the top ten results in Google, GoRank.com has a page that
can give you important clues to help you figure it out. One of my favorites, the
Top Ten comparison report, will scrub the raw data of the top ranking results
for a given keyword.
In studying the results, you may find it easier to understand where your own
optimization efforts are going wrong. Don't forget to stop by Google for your
API key at http://www.google.com/api as
you'll need it to create your free account.
Search Guild's Keyword
This one's an old favorite of mine. When you find what you may think is an
ideal keyword, before you start tweaking your pages, it's a good idea to run it
through this tester. Using the Google API, it analyzes whether or not a given
phrase will be worth your efforts.
You'll already have to be well-versed in how to find good keywords to plug
into the tool, but once you have that nailed, it's pretty reliable in telling
you whether it's worth your time to target that phrase. If you use flash on your
site, check out the flash viewer on their utilities page as well.
The following tools are for monitoring your search results in the three major
search engines. It isn't an all-inclusive list, but rather a highlight of some
of the tools you can use. (I'll point you to one of the master lists when we get
into more general tools in part three.)
Using Your Google Site Information Page
I've covered this in an earlier article, but just in case you missed it,
we'll go over it again briefly here. (If you need more help following along, you
can listen to one of my recent podcasts for a convenient audio walkthrough.)
Open up your browser and go to Google's home page. Type in
info:yoursitenameandsuffix. So if your site was ExactSeek.com you'd type
info:exactseek.com. You can also use site:yoursitenameandsuffix to
find out which pages have been indexed by Google's search engine spider.
This search will tell you pages that Google considers similar to yours. It
will also show sites that it considered linked to you, and show sites that carry
your full url, hyperlinked or not. It's not 100% accurate as far as telling you
all the sites that are linked back to yours, but what you can learn from this is
which back links matter.
From here you can also see the last day Google spidered your home page.
To see this in action, click on the first group of information links, "Show
Google's cache of yoursitename.com" If you look next to the word "cached" on the
first line, the date is expressed also.
Sometimes it seems that the cached time for yoursitename.com and
www.yoursitename.com are different, so be sure and check both.
Information About Your Site In Yahoo
This document will tell you how to find out what sites are linking to you,
give you the results for how many pages of your site are in Yahoo, and more.
Once you get to the results page, you'll be able to view your cached pages, etc.
Discovering Your Site's
Status on MSN
As the page in the help section states, you can use
site:www.yoursitehere.com to find out if a document at your site has been
indexed. The results page will also give you the date of last caching.
You'll need a free Google API key for this one, and this site has the direct
link telling you where to get one. You'll have to enter this key in order to
query the site for information on Google.
With Google Rankings, you'll be able to see where you rank within the top
40-1000 results in Google for a given keyword. I recently noticed that it also
displays results for MSN and Yahoo, with links to each search engine.
They also have some other tools that will track your keywords over time, as
well as one they call the "Ultimate SEO Tool" that will measure your site's
LilEngine.com's Back link Checker will measure the number of links you have
pointing back to your site against competing sites. Handy if you just want a
quick comparison of how many links you have versus others, though how much
getting more links back will help varies, depending on other factors.
Yahoo Search Rankings
From the same folks who brought you Google Rankings, using Yahoo Search
Rankings, you'll be able to see where you rank within the top 1000 results in
Yahoo for a given keyword. If you just want to see your Yahoo rankings, it's
You can find more Yahoo tools that use the Yahoo Web API at their
In the next part of the article, we'll take a closer look at other tools that
give you more specific information about the links pointing back to your site,
keyword research, and more.