Under the Microscope: SEOmeter.com
As many of you know, I’m an in-house SEO for my day job, so naturally topics and sites involving SEO are near and dear to my heart. So when I was asked to put SEOmeter.com, a new free SEO tool, under the microscope, I happily complied. The concept behind the site is simple, but incredibly viral. The site measures what they call the “crawl cycle” of all sorts of websites from across the web. For those of you unfamiliar with how search engines work, they send spiders or bots to “crawl” your site and index its content. They then rank that content according to their algorithm and then display it to people searching for the appropriate terms.
Basically, they use the frequency of Google crawls to rank your site in comparison of other sites on the web. By allowing people to pit their site against others, SEO Meter taps into the competitive nature of webmasters. And, since it’s a free tool, you can bet it’s going to attract a lot of links. When you throw in the fact there is a HUGE demand for tools to rank websites (think Alexa, Technorati, etc) and it makes the site down right viral by nature. To capitalize on the viral aspect, SEOmeter provides several different sized badges or images to place on your site to brag about conveniently check your crawl rate right from your site without having to navigate to SEOmeter. As more and more people begin to see the badges, you’ll have people clicking through to find out how their site stacks up. It’s genius.
While I do very much like the tool, I also think there is one area to improve upon. I really think a bit more explanation is needed about what the crawl rate actually reflects. The question is addressed on their FAQ page where it says this:
“It is usually the case that a website “trusted” by search engines is crawled by search engine robots more frequently. This trust, in turn, is reflected in the website’s search engine ranking. Therefore, by monitoring search engine’s crawling activitites [sic], webmasters can gauge the search engine’s trust in their website.”
However, as much as I would like to have a ranking system that would replace Google’s increasingly irrelevant PageRank, I don’t think relying on the crawl rate gives an accurate display of the value or trust Google places on a particular site. For instance, when I clicked on the Top-20 and looked at the blogging category, I see wordpress.org at the second spot from the bottom of the list! Now I’m sorry, I enjoy blogaboutyourblog.com but I have a hard time believing that Google values or trusts that site more than it trusts wordpress.org. In my mind, results like that would seem confusing, especially to people outside the SEO field and more in depth explanation would seem needed there.
Other than that, I think SEOmeter.com is on the right track. The site has a clean, straight-forward design. And you really can’t beat a free tool, especially one that has to do with SEO. I’ve registered Blogging Experiment and I should start seeing tracking data soon so surf on over to SEOmeter.com and see how your site compares.