Using MonkeyLearn To Improve Your SEO

Read Full Article.  

Speaking specifically on the contextual side of SEO, you (probably) know Google ranks pages based on more than just the direct keywords on your page. For example, a search for “best seo company in philadelphia” returns results where only one website used that exact phrase on their website – it was in their title tag specifically. Yet our company, who does not have that phrase, let alone the keyword “best” anywhere on our homepage, ranks position 4. We don’t even have a synonym for the term as far as I can tell.

WPengine Review (From An SEO Point-Of-View)

Read Full Article

WPengine is our current hosting solution (since we run Wordpress), going from 1&1 (a “you get what you pay for” type of hosting service). I wasn’t thrilled with 1&1, especially after trying to run the Outdated Content Finder with them. They’re support was very poor. But not unlike any other webhost I used in the past. I figured they’re all this way. Reliability and availability was fine for the most part until a Moz Top 10 link came through, then timber…. down went the webhost. I’m also not a huge fan of having to dig through confusing resource pages when a problem happens. I figured they were all this way.

Review of Linkody

Read Full Article

The link management function isn’t new to the SEO space. Many tools do it already, like Buzzstream and Raven – and they do it quite well. Additionally, link discovery is an existing feature of tools like Open Site Explorer, yet this is an area where I see opportunity for growth. I love the idea of these ‘new link’ reports, but honestly, haven’t found anything faster than monthly updates. I know it’s a tough request, but I mentioned this to François. By tracking “as-it-happens” links, you can jump into conversations in a timely manner, start making relationships, and maybe shape linking-page context. You might even be able to catch some garbage links you want to disassociate yourself from quicker.

Review of

Read Full Article

I stumbled upon an interesting service I don’t think many SEOs know about – at least, not the few I’ve asked. It’s called Looks like it’s about 2 years old. Simple premise: Add your site to the database, and others can republish your content. They say, “It’s the wire service reinvented for the web.”

Review Of Visual Link Explorer

Before starting this review, I want to highlight some good prospecting by Razvan Gavrilas. He read a comment I left on a post from Seer about data visualization and Google Fusion Tables, and reached out to me (for those who disagree with me about the power of comments, here’s more proof of value). Razvan emailed me through one of my e-mail accounts, to which I unwisely mistook as being a vendor looking to pitch.  He then hit me on Twitter, to which I unwisely ignored thinking it was also a vendor pitch. He then added me on Linkedin, and finally got my attention. His persistence was impressive, and my ignorance was shameful. I wish I had taken notice sooner, as he was offering me a demo of a really incredible tool. Semi-serendipitously, I offered to do a review, and recommended the company to a few of my friends, one of which was Mike King who also shared it – he has much more amplification than I do. This is more proof that persistent, smart, personal outreach may not be scalable, but it’s still incredibly powerful.  Now, on to the review…

cognitiveSEO logo

I’m a very-right brained, visual person. I really like data visualization. The critique I left on the Seer blog about Google Fusion Tables was that the functionality wasn’t there to click through and look at specific data points. As an answer to that, the Visual Link Explorer by Cognitive SEO was born. In addition to the Visual Link Explorer, my demo gave me a huge array of link slicing tools, with a lot of filters and features. Unlike many link tools predecessors, this toolset was clearly created to serve the masses who may each be looking to gather different link metrics. On many reports you can filter on link strength, citation flow, count, etc. Also unlike some simpler link reporting and analysis tools, there’s a learning curve here. But like any robust analysis tool (like Omniture for instance), it may take some time to learn this platform. I see this being valued more by the enterprise agencies or in-house SEOs who are held to higher reporting and analysis standards.

I tinkered. I created a campaign and ran an audit on my company’s services domain and another Philadelphia SEO company’s domain. I already had a fair sense of their linking tactics – they have a lot of exact match anchor footer links embedded in clients’ websites. I wanted to see how the two link profiles compared. The campaign wizard prompted me through the initial steps (where I deepened the data pull), and returned massive digital reports within 7 minutes (which the system then saves for immediate review later). That was impressive considering how slice and diced data I had at my fingertips, right in my browser.

So jumping into the new Visual Link Explorer feature specifically, this was really the most impressive of all. A fully navigable, functional, clickable visualization of my link graph:

click image below to open larger in new window

Link Data Link Visual Explorer

Now here’s the comparison of my SEO competitor, which was just as easy to pull up:

click image below to open larger in new window

Competitor Links

Right off the bat it’s pretty clear that we have two completely different link building, content marketing, and site architecture strategies.  By examining the cluster above, I confirmed what I suspected about my competitor. They have hundreds of links pointing directly to their homepage, with very little variation of exact match anchor text – terms like Philadelphia SEO Company, and Philadelphia SEO. Surprisingly, while Google spanked a lot of this with the Penguin updates, this company still remains strong for these keywords. They rank very well, and this visualization helps me recognize (in seconds) their exemption, and possibly put together a plan to match them at their own game. In my opinion, that’s the biggest value of data visualization – the ability to “snapshot” the landscape quickly, and start driving actionable strategies. With a lot of clients or busy days, this is incredibly important.

Zooming into the interactive interface, I’m able to see links much closer (the scroll wheel on the mouse is heavenly for this).  I’m also able to toggle Link Trust Flow, Domain Trust Flow, Link Citation Flow, Domain Citation Flow, and Link Rating.

click image below to open larger in new window

Close up of links

I’m able to click through each of the data points to get more information (in the form of a knowledge box), a fix for one of my biggest criticisms of other data visualization tools:

click image below to open larger in new window

Visual Link Explorer - closeup

It’s really pretty amazing, and I’m just tapping into it.  My only criticism is (and I shared this with Razvan) is its missing some definitions, and by that I mean, clearly descriptive labels of what all the amazing data means. Novice link builders will get lost in this data, so I’d like to see it maybe cater to them more. This is a powerful tool and should be clearer so all SEO clients can benefit from an empowered (and fully comprehending) SEO service provider.

I would be shocked if this doesn’t quickly become part of an SEOs regular arsenal.

More coming soon – I’m going to create a video tour hopefully soon.  In the meantime, to see some of the other reports from Cognitive SEO’s great tool, here are a few more resources:


SEMrush Review

what keywords am I ranking for?I love when clients ask, “What keywords am I ranking for?”

Well, unless you’re ranking for a keyword, and people are clicking through (where I can see it in your analytics), I have no idea.  I suppose I could do a few hours of keyword research and run that through a rank checker to see if you’re in contention.  Or I could use SEMrush.

SEMrush is a great tool, with a lot of keyword data for both PPC and SEO.  Basically they create their own ranking index of the web.  And, they’re pretty accurate.  It’s great as a competitive tool – enter in a competitor and check out what they’re ranking for.  This is eye-opening for several reasons.  With estimated volume along with each keyword, it’s great to illustrate keywords you’re not optimizing for (and maybe should be).

It does a few other “nice to have” things, like providing quick snapshots of competitors in Google.  Granted, you could do this yourself pretty quickly with your own Google search, but SEMrush gives you a decent .csv output.  I also like the competitive ad review feature (helps you figure out how your ad copy stacks up with your competitors).

This tool has been out for a while, though I’m always surprised how underutilized it is.  Give it a spin.

Quick Review of Bing

Behold.  Bing is alive.  Bing is Microsoft’s newest search engine (codename Kumo), replacing Live Search ( redirects, and the search box at is now a Bing box).  Microsoft is putting a big $80 million into branding this; probably a reaction to some of their previous branding/rebranding failures.  But if this is more of the same, it’s not going to beat Google despite all of the branding.  Sure it can raise market share and improve ad revenue, but this needs to be a special search engine targeting a big “type” of searcher.

bing search bar

So is it?  Not really.

First off, the results seem about the same as before.  I don’t think they did much with the algorithm – if anything.  My rankings all stayed the same.  I still feel like I’m getting the same mainstream to junk site results ratio (my big complaint about Live were that the results were either really safe, or really useless – very little in the way of fringe, valuable hidden sites).  I assume that if this takes off, more time and money will be poured into the algorithm.

I do like the Web Groups.  For certain queries, a left navigation is generated with different related categories.  These categories also appear in the body of the results.  Useful when the engine can’t determine a searcher’s intent.  This is their attempt at giving you wider results (and actually giving you more listings per page).  Google does this too on occasion, but not this well in my opinion.

I also like other components of the interface.  I’m still surprised that Google is still so plain and dull.  Bing gives you more color, and uses the search engine result page real estate more efficiently.  To the right of each result is a dynamic button (when you hover over a listing).  This gives a summary of content by pulling HTML text from the site.  I think this is useful once you get used to it.  It’s also easy to ignore if you’re not interested.

A lot of the other stuff is very Google like.  Same old related searches, same vertical results, and pretty much the same Live image results.  Dig in and try it.

Like our posts, case studies, and experience? Think we're a good fit for your company? Contact Us Now