Archive for the ‘SEO Tools’ Category

Research Your Competition with Yahoo Site Explorer – SEO Tip Week 28

Friday, July 13th, 2007 |

52 SEO TipsI’ve got a simple SEO tip today. As an SEO Company we are always doing competitive research. Many of our clients are astounded at the wealth of information that can be discovered using Yahoo’s Site Explorer especially for competitive link research. Site Explorer can help you track down the links pointing to your competition and allow you to contact those same sites and request or pay for a link to your site.

Yahoo’s search engine also provides information about competitor backlinks. You can find tools to do this for you but going to Yahoo! Search and typing in the following commands will work just as well.

  • If you are looking for web pages that link to multiple competitor, usually you will find good backlink pages like this, you would type in:,
  • We also should all know how important .edu and .gov links can be to our site. So why not look for competitors who have these links. I’ll give an example as if I was looking. I would type in a keyword such as “seo” and then do a search for only .edu domains. I would type in: seo Replace the .edu with .gov for government backlinks.

Of course there are many other things you can do for research and seeing what advanced options are available can be a great catalyst so be sure to view the advance search options in Yahoo! for more ideas.

Google also has advanced search but I think Yahoo! does a better job with options and functionality, especially when it comes to researching backlinks.

Please send any suggestions or add them to the comments on this SEO tip. We are always looking for new ways to improve our SEO research methods.

Sitemaps for Websites are Automatic

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 |

As of April 11th there is no longer a need to manually submit your sitemap to search engines. Last fall, the major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and MSN) agreed on a sitemaps format. You can now add a simple line to your robots.txt file and let the engines know where your sitemap file resides.

Include the following line in your robots.txt file:

Robots.txt has been used to instruct the search engines how to crawl your site – where not to go on your site. This latest sitemaps implementation of robots.txt will now tell the spiders where to go when indexing your site..

Sitemaps are important, especially for new sites, will help improve your website visibility in search results.

What is a xml sitemap?

Get to Know Google Services – SEO Tip Week 11

Friday, March 16th, 2007 |

52 SEO TipsGet to know Google. What would an SEO Consultant’s life be like without Google? An interesting question but one we are likely never to have to answer. Google is the new Microsoft and will affect our lives forever more in ways we don’t even realize yet. Don’t believe me? Do you think Google just does web search? Think again.

I’ve listed many services that Google offers and I’m sure you may be a bit surprised at how many different pies the search giant’s thumb is actuall in. The list is growing so please contribute if you know of any I may have missed. I have bolded the Google services I view important for SEO purposes. (more…)

Comprehensive Article on Linkbaiting

Friday, February 9th, 2007 |

Well, I was going to write a post on linkbaiting and while doing some research I came across a thorough linkbaiting article already. The author, Andy Hagans does a masterful and clever job of outlining the types of linkbait, the methods of linkbaiting and the reasons to use linkbait. He even goes into social media bookmarking for good measure.

He notes that page titling is extremely important, but not just for SEO purposes, but to attract attention. He references Copyblogger’s 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work as a starting point when trying to create linkbait. I like the list so much I am adding it to my blog too. When creating titles for your linkbait here are some title templates to start with or a cheat sheet, if you will.

Copyblogger’s title cheat sheet:

  1. Who Else Wants [blank]?
  2. The Secret of [blank]
  3. Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank]
  4. Little Known Ways to [blank]
  5. Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All
  6. Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]
  7. Now You Can Have [something desirable] [great circumstance]
  8. [Do something] like [world-class example]
  9. Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of
  10. What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]

I won’t go into this any further, but visiting Andy Hagans’ Ultimate Guide to Linkbaiting and Social Media Marketing would be a worthwhile use of your time.

Links To Your Site: Google Backlinks Reveals All

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007 |

Google has posted about a new webmaster tool. It will allow webmasters to view backlink information which will show who links to your site, which pages are getting the links as well as both internal and external. This will certainly be helpful for webmasters and I applaud Google for allowing us insight, but I’m still bothered by this statement made by Google: “(Note that this may not be 100% of the external links to this page.)”

Oh, well. Better than nothing and a step in the right direction.

I believe Google wants cooperative partnerships with webmasters and ethical SEO companies and this is at least a nice gesture toward that goal. Time will tell, but the future looks a little brighter.

As of Feb. 6, 2007 the Link tab was not yet showing in my Webmaster Tools, we’ll assume it will show up soon.

Keyword Research Tools – SEO Tip Week 2

Friday, January 12th, 2007 |

52 SEO TipsIn hind sight, I should have put this SEO Tip first but better late than never. You must do keyword research before you start optimizing your site, that much is obvious, but what tools should you use?

There are two excellent keyword research tools that I can recommend as professional tools. They are Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery. Both are great and both are different. At Big Oak we started with Wordtracker and move over to Keyword Discovery after a year or so. We felt KD had an easier interface and liked they way it worked us. This is not to say Wordtracker didn’t do a fine job for us, because it did. It was really just a matter of preference. You may find Wordtracker better for your method of research.

If you are just getting into the game you may want to try something else that is free to do your initial research. You can use Overture’s keyword search tool, but it is limited to one month of keyword searches and often isn’t working because too many people are trying to use it. You’ll want to move to the pay-for-use programs quickly if you are truly serious.

In any case, do not overlook this important step and don’t assume you know how people are searching for your product or service. If you optimize a site with the wrong keywords you may end up with a high ranking site but won’t convert your traffic! Correctly identifying the best keywords and search terms using a keyword search tool will help your odds of success and give you a fighting chance to target prospects who are more likely to turn into clients.

My colleague, Holly Rodriguez has written about choosing keyword research tools on her SEO copywriting blog, Check it out if you would like more information.

Six Strategies for RSS Feed Promotion

Thursday, December 7th, 2006 |

With so many strategies in the SEO world, using RSS Feeds can often be overlooked. This article on RSS Feeds can help you understand how effective RSS can be towards the SEO and Internet Marketing of your site.

Top 6 Strategies To Put Your RSS Feed Promotion On Steroids

As I wrote in one of my previous articles, the orange revolution has begun. RSS is here and it has taken the internet by storm. The number of webmasters becoming a part of this online revolution is growing on a fast pace.

The reason is, RSS feeds have proved to increase traffic in a big way. And creating your own RSS feed would surely be a step towards tapping in a new source of traffic.

However, just publishing your own RSS feed and waiting for miracles to happen won’t work. In order to get those most wanted subscribers, RSS feeds need to be promoted and marketed in the right way. With a good dose of quality traffic directed towards your feed, long term subscriptions will definitely start pouring in.

The following 6 ways will not only help you get the word out about your RSS feed but also help you retain a fresh flow of targeted visitors to your website.

Strategy #1: Create an individual webpage for your RSS feed

The most important part of your promotion should be creating a webpage dedicated to your RSS feed. Since RSS is still new to most of the online users, you can give your readers an introduction and explain how beneficial it is to subscribe to your RSS feed.

You can also have a small FAQ section about RSS here answering any questions and doubts your readers might have. Most of the time, the key here is to give your potential subscribers more than one option to add your feed. Different subscription options like “My Yahoo!” “My MSN” and “Newsgator” allow your visitors to add and subscribe to your feed with their own convenience. (more…)

Linking Strategies: Myths and Truths

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006 |

There are two camps in the world of directory-to-directory reciprocal linking, and each have a distinct approach to the work.

One camp treats linking as a branding function of the business, as well as a way to provide a genuine resource directory for their site visitors. It’s what I call “traditional” reciprocal linking, because that’s all there was to it in the pre-Google days. There were no “games” to play. Many practitioners of this method of linking have been going grassroots web marketing work since the mid-1990s, and they understand it, at their core. Others have learned from these masters, usually by following their successful examples. Their strategy is not very complex, but their approach and methods are very thorough, and they’ve enjoyed some phenomenal search results for a long time. So why change what has always worked? The answer is, they don’t.

The second camp is comprised of people who are absolutely certain that, with the right “tweaking” of their websites, that they can rocket to the top of the search engines. Branding is not the goal. Search engine placement is the over-riding concern, which causes them to pursue all manner of complex strategies and theories, in hopes of “gaming” the search engines. Having read much of this complex theory over many years, and reviewed it against hundreds of real world examples, little of it holds any water. Beyond that, it adds layers of complexity, cost, and work to a process that needs no more. (more…)

Sitemap support from MSN, Yahoo and Google

Thursday, November 16th, 2006 |

google has really done a great job making sitemaps integral for any true SEO company and now it seems as if the other big two are following suit.

You can read more about it from, the homepage for this new initiative:

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.

Will this be widely employed? Check out the big 3 and see: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft

Meta Search Engine Provides SEO Tool

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 |

ZippyZippy was launched in September by the seasoned SEO Dave Naylor, and provides some valuable tools for site optimization.Zippy’s design is similar to Technorati’s new design, with a minimalist white background and lots of bright colors. The site is pretty easy to use, and has a slick feel with the help of some ajax. It took only a few minutes worth of playing around to really get a grasp on the functionality. However, a tutorial or features page, would be nice to help introduce the functionally to a new user.

The basic search functionality for Zippy queries Google, Yahoo!, MSN and Ask and mashes the results together. It then ranks the results among the four.

Zippy is a new meta search engine that queries other major engines and returns results in a format most suited for Webmasters and SEOs. Read more.

Google Blog Alerts

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 |

Post from Read the full article.
A coworker noticed that his Google Alerts now contained a new “Google Blogs Alert” within his email this morning. Sure enough, you can see the new Google Blogs Alert. My guess is they’re using their Google Blog Search, which already finds new blog posts and then sends the alerts.

Now the only question is “will Google add blogs to the main Google News”? And would you be for it or against it? After all, there are a lot of poorly written blogs out there and right now the Google News is a useful resource. Perhaps Google can take the Top 10000 blogs out there based on a combination of Google PageRank, Technorati Ranking, etc.

Google Alerts beta page now lists blogs, webs, groups, and comprehensive in the drop-down box.

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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