Todays date: Jul 17 2019
Last blog entry: 7/27/2004
Last Article entry: 12/4/2003

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I've been searching for some current review without luck .....
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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 degree.

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 use.

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?

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