Are you aware that at the whim of a fleeting thought and a few keystrokes, essentially anyone who has the slightest inkling to research a subject can pull up a snapshot of the trails we all leave behind?
In search engine optimization (SEO), it’s not always what you see, it’s what you don’t see that has the greatest impact. So, learning to peer behind the scenes and identify the causes that create effects via link building maneuvers, a PR campaign or tactical SEO marketing, can provide valuable insight to achieving a high ranking.
Going Behind the Scenes
Although the tool we will be discussing was designed as a way to gauge metrics and exposure, it can be used for a variety of applications (limited only by your imagination). Despite the fact that it is the perfect tool for spying on yourself or the competition, we will only cover a few of it’s applications.
If your business or website is caught in the cross-hairs or competition, there are some interesting free tools available (one in particular from Google) that allow you to spy on your competition, analyze your competitors (link building or PR) in real time, or find those who are singing praises or throwing stones at your business. For those of you who are not familiar with reputation management, essentially since there is no shortage of websites with the ability to post information abroad and throw a major kink in your company image (as results can make their way to the top 10), being informed as it occurs is imperative.
To aid this, Google has implemented a nifty little option in Google Blog Search, that skims millions of entries for specific queries used in web pages or blogs.
So how do you use it?
I’m glad you asked, say for example I wanted to see what a competitor was up to that day, I might use a tool like this with their domain name as a search query.
http://www.domainname.com then the query would be translated into a link:www.domainname.com string and the search function would look at any link leading to the site, that is still fresh and available for inquiry.
This is also great for snooping around when you want to put an end to all of those scraper / content parrots that tend to nab your posts and attempt to posture them as their own in an attempt to get a lift for the keywords or the traffic that page garners. Mostly, it is blog harvesting software that is to blame (and the ones using it quite naturally), but at least you can sneak a peek at the offending site or respective site in question to determine if they had honorable or malicious intentions.
To implement that type of query, use the title of your page or title of the post “in quotes” to encourage exact matches only and enter it in the search query for the results.
You could also use this tool for SEO Link Hunting to see when and what your favorite competitor is zeroing in on, as far as keywords or who is chatting them up in the press (usually themselves in disguise).
This tool can let you know when links to them go live and make their way back through the information loop, via the blogosphere. Just get creative in the way you use it, set a Google Alert by using the instructions at the bottom of the page for the search query, it will ask if you want to me notified as it happens or once a day, once a week or once a month.
1) use the keyword – to see all activities across the web for the major players that have the ability to attract the spiders.
2) use the company name in regular form to see mentions of their company.
3) use the URL to find fresh links (or refer to this post for more along those lines)
In closing, what is a blog without a TOP 10. Feel free visit the links below featuring topics from the past that managed to pique the interest of others and hit our most read list. Just think, you could spend hours sifting through search results looking for this kind of stuff, or you could just use the links below. All of the pages listed are buried in this blog, but as always, you can find something useful from each of them including links to other sites and useful tactics (if the need arises).
Top Secret SEO 101 Crash Course:
1. Learn how to spy on your competition and take a peek at your competitors back links and resources.
2. Learn a bit more about SEO Web Design.
3. Learn how to target your marketing efforts for maximum results (naturally includes a behind the scenes link building strategy).
4. How to develop Website Authority for your website (definitely a must read).
5. Where to start with keyword research or an SEO campaign.
6. How to optimize your pages for a local search engine optimization campaign.
7. Learn which SEO Techniques to avoid!
8. Learn how to build links for competitive terms or the long tail of search.
9. Why it’s important to have a visually appealing and sticky site in addition to just ranking well.
10. and; How Web 2.0 is impacting search engines as well as the next generation of SEO.
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