It’s a long update so grab a cup of coffee or tea. We’ve been really busy over many months getting ready for a series of releases we think are significant. Here’s what we’ve done and a little of what you should expect in the coming weeks.

Platform Design Evolution

The layout of all pages has evolved. To put it in the words of one of our team “it feels a lot more like a platform than a website”.

You’ll notice we make more of the left and right hand space in your browser. The left hand navigation can now scroll when the lists are long and we’ve lost the ‘one too many’ scroll bars in tasks, amongst other smaller improvements.

To experience the interface re-design as best you can, we recommend using the platform in either Firefox or Chrome.

Keyword Research Update Part 1

Keyword research is a part of Linkdex we’ve wanted to return to and enhance for a long time. Today is the first of a series of releases that sees our vision for this area take shape.

We want to accomplish a number of things in the first part of the release.

1.    Keyword Research – To give you access to the Google Adwords research tool and allow you to see which suggestions you’re rank checking currently and which might be good new additions.

2.    Analytics – We’ve noticed that Google Analytics reports lots of keywords you’re found for but not rank checking. We wanted to make it easy to do this.

Part 2 of this release won’t be too far behind and amongst a host of other features will include:

3.    Adwords – It’s amazing how most businesses bid on many more keywords than they rank check. So we wanted to make it easy to access these keywords and associated data and bring them inside Linkdex.

In the meantime comments and suggestions are welcome.

Site Optimisation Enters Beta

At ionSearch tomorrow we’re going to show off our new ‘Site Optimisation’ features, which are currently in beta and being slowly rolled out to our users. We would hope to provide all our users access to this technology over the coming weeks so please be patient. So what can you look forward to?

As well as discovering website issues, we wanted to make it easy for you to discover where your performing content and underperforming content is and make informed decisions on how to improve pages and site architecture, not just generally but by keyword themes!

We also wanted you to be able to discover more about your competitors’ websites and what they are doing to compete against you with their content. Not just at one point in time but through-time, like we do with our link analysis.

With this in mind the new site crawler reports on everything you’d expect and a few things that you won’t but we think you’ll like.

The things you’d expect

  • Tier – The tier a page is found in the site architecture
  • Page Excluded – By robot.txt or No-index meta tag
  • Server Errors – Like 500 and 503’s
  • Page Availability Issues – Like 403 and 404’s
  • Redirects – Like 301 and 302’s
  • Canonical Tags – To other ‘non-self’ internal pages or external pages
  • Duplicate Content – Page titles and descriptions
  • Missing Elements – Page titles, descriptions and headings
  • Meta data length – Short and long page titles, short and long descriptions
  • Broken links – Both internal and external
  • Headers and images – Covered in the ‘more details’ report section

From here on it gets more interesting

  • Internal Link Counts & Anchor Context – To find relative page prominence defined by internal link counts is not new, but add the context of the anchors pointing at the page and it starts to make your analysis more meaningful. But internal links are only half of the link story so we have another layer of data about external links.
  • External Link Counts & Anchor Context – To find a page’s relative importance as defined by external link counts and the context of the anchors pointing at the page. Which means you can look at the context of the links pointing internally and externally to any page of a website.
  • Rankings – The number of keywords being found in the top 3, top 10 or top 20 positions for each page. Answering the question – is this page ranking for any of the keywords I am rank checking. But rankings aren’t everything. What about traffic?
  • Traffic – We’re reporting natural search traffic to each page according to Google Analytics, including the unique search phrases used.

The addition of more link, rank and traffic data allows you to pinpoint pages that are performing, those that have link equity and those that are just making up the numbers before deciding on how best to optimize your site. But what if you had a financial services comparison website and wanted to find all of your site pages on a specific subject like “credit cards”?

A new way to search your website’s content

You’re probably used to using search operators like intitle: so we’ve utilized the operators you know and added a few you’ve never been given to allow you to search through content on your website.

intitle:keyword
inurl:keyword
inheading:keyword
inintanchor:keyword
inextanchor:keyword
indesc:keyword
infolder:keyword
inalt:keyword
inpage:keyword

So getting back to the example I gave earlier and you had a financial services comparison website and wanted to find all of your site pages on a specific subject like “credit cards” you might use intitle:”credit card” inurl:”credit card”.

You could then narrow the list further by finding pages that have keywords in internal or external anchors.

You can then see the pages that have rankings and / or traffic, and links and start to make decision on whether to optimize or redirect pages.

Add a task, dismiss our suggestions or simply comment

Where we’ve highlighted potential issues you can add a task or if you’re OK with what’s been found, e.g. the page title is short but you’re OK with it, you can dismiss it and we’ll not flag it again.

You can also add more general site optimization tasks and assign them to team members e.g. content to be written or edited or technical changes.

And don’t forget you can see whether what you changed worked with our task annotations.

If you want to record a history of a particular page you can do it on the comment wall. Something I think that’s useful, as remembering what’s happened, what you were thinking or what was said about a page is never easy but very useful.

What can you find out about your competitors on a crawl?

What about crawling competitors’ sites to find the depth of content they have on specific keywords?

Because we set a crawl on a 30-day timeline you can see which pages are new every month and what keywords you think they are targeting.

Finally

As always, all feedback is really welcome. I hope you enjoy today’s and the forthcoming updates being phased in over the next few weeks.