I've been searching for some current review without luck .....
Hopefully there is a good reason for there not being
any reviews! One would be they are mostly spam
machines, their robots are a nuisance to SE and do
not obey Robot.txt.
IMO, if you use these programs you **are**
spamming the engine because they are ignoring the
protocols meant to control access to the resources.
If a SE has Robot.txt then they don't want access
in that manner. An SEOs need for that info doesn't
make it right to get it in this manner.
Contrary to the **nudge and a wink** mentality it
is not risk free to use these products on Google it is
contrary to their Terms of Service. Google is
reasonable but they don't have to be, using these
remote programs is taking on added risks that aren't
necessary. I would also be careful about going the
round about way through Yahoo! or AOL.
A second would be they basically spit out **useless**
position information that only tells you what you should
already know. Namely, the site was submitted to the
engine and may or may not be doing well. Why not go
to the SERPs and see the results the way the SE meant
for them to be reviewed. Note some I've looked at do
have slightly incorrect data because they are dependent
on keywords in "" which does skew the results to a small
I can hear the loud moans already from SEOs who
believe customers want this info so they know the quality
of work you have done. My feeling is it doesn't provide
info that is truly a yardstick for quality. It is better to
use log analysis and other tools that:
1. Indicate the **real quality** of the keywords chosen
2. Indicate the quality of the site design and IA/LA (SE
friendly, what is indexed)
3. Indicate quality of traffic (raw traffic numbers for each
term and its conversion rate are useful info that can be
used to develop strategy and new content)
Giving the client what they want isn't always acting in their
best interests. Educate them about how useful this info
really is. Educate them on the need for "real traffic analysis"
to direct and manage the campaign effectively. In the end it
is a revenue stream that doesn't dry up when the client
realizes they've been paying money for an SEO to do what
they can just as easily do themselves.
The truth is a #1 ranking doesn't necessarily mean the
optimization campaign was successful. Anyone should be
able to easily place a company for its name or brands unless
the brands or company are also generic "keyword terms". A
lot of unconverted traffic is just a waste of bandwidth and
these reports do not give a real indication of visibility (what
a search engine has indexed) or the quality of your IA
(Information Architecture) and LA (linking architecture).
I would advise anyone buying SEO services to stay clear of
companies that use these types of programs to measure
success or campaign effectiveness. Never pay for these
reports they provide useless information that is not really
useful in fixing or identifying problems **that matter**.
Sure they do tell you pages aren't placing but beyond that
tell you zip. You will often end up going to the engine
anyway to find the real reasons for not placing.
SEOs should be analyzing SERPs and logs not position
reports. I've found studying SERPs provides information
that a position report doesn't. I sometimes pick up
indications of possible changes to results formatting,
ranking algos and general info on the engine. Log analysis
is simply a goldmine of information which identify problems
and possible solutions, new content opportunities and
the effectiveness of keyword choices. Position reports
seldom if ever provide this sort of information which should
be the basis for most SEO decisions.
The fact is that many of the add ons are just machine
generated spam and a general nuisance to SE. You can
often tell a good tradesman by the tools they choose to
Lastly, if you see the need to use these programs evaluate
the company as closely as the tool. If they propagate spam
techniques then are they really worthy of receiving support
by purchasing their products?