I have a habit of diving deep into researching every field I come across. Serious blogging is fresh and huge topic for me so I am picking up tons of useful (and useless and outright harmful) information.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the harder aspects of it. It depends a lot on how “aggressive” you want to be and on plenty of guessing on internal workings of search engines. Most of information on it comes in “tweak that” form making hard to grasp whole picture.
Websitegrader is online service that offers free automated SEO report for your site. Is it any good? Short answer - it depends for what. Read on for long version. :)
Here is report I got for this blog Report for www.Rarst.net August 01, 2008 at 3:11 PM
Grade is roughly where is your site between best and worse ones. 61 is pretty decent for a beginner I think. :) Report has following info:
- On-Page SEO - looks for META-data, headings and number of images. Clearly not much. There is also “readability level” without of details on how is it calculated.
- Off-Page SEO - calculates when domain expires, some info from Google (it seemed outdated, report is for August 1st and it shows last crawl date of July 14th. I post daily so Google crawls me at least every other day), Alexa rank and listing in three directories.
- Blogosphere - epic fail. It hadn't detected blog (which it obviously is) and hadn't detected entry in Technorati. I emailed them about this issue and never got any reply.
- Social Mediasphere - some delicious and digg stats. Popular ones, but only two?
- Converting Qualified Visitors to Leads - fancy business title for RSS feed. Boring.
- Competitive Intelligence - you can add some other sites to compare stuff. Maybe good for impressing advertisers… if you have something to impress with. Useless for beginners.
My overall impression:
- if you have highly popular site you can get free, very pro-looking report with nice score and be very proud about it;
- for beginners it is pretty much useless.
Also ignoring feedback sucks. If I bother to waste my time and email someone about their bugs I expect at least “thank you for your feedback”. Even if it is from email auto-responder. Hadn't even got that. :(