Monitor Your Visibility in Google, MSN, and Yahoo with these DIY SEO Tools
This is the second part of an article series in which you'll find many tools that you can use to monitor your site's search engine position and see how your do-it-yourself search engine optimization efforts are coming along.
The following tools are for monitoring your search results in the three major search engines. It isn't an all-inclusive list, but rather a highlight of some of the tools you can use. (I'll point you to one of the master lists when we get into more general tools in part three.)
Using Your Google Site Information Page
I've covered this in an earlier article, but just in case you missed it, we'll go over it again briefly here. (If you need more help following along, you can listen to one of my recent podcasts for a convenient audio walkthrough.)
Open up your browser and go to Google's home page. Type in info:yoursitenameandsuffix. So if your site was ExactSeek.com you'd type info:exactseek.com. You can also use site:yoursitenameandsuffix to find out which pages have been indexed by Google's search engine spider.
This search will tell you pages that Google considers similar to yours. It will also show sites that it considered linked to you, and show sites that carry your full url, hyperlinked or not. It's not 100% accurate as far as telling you all the sites that are linked back to yours, but what you can learn from this is which backlinks matter.
From here you can also see the last day Google spidered your home page.
To see this in action, click on the first group of information links, "Show Google's cache of yoursitename.com" If you look next to the word "cached" one the first line, the date is expressed also.
Sometimes it seems that the cached time for yoursitename.com and www.yoursitename.com are different, so be sure and check both.
Finding Information About Your Site In Yahoo
This document will tell you how to find out what sites are linking to you, give you the results for how many pages of your site are in Yahoo, and more. Once you get to the results page, you'll be able to view your cached pages, etc.
Discovering Your Site's Status on MSN
As the page in the help section states, you can use site:www.yoursitehere.com to find out if a document at your site has been indexed. The results page will also give you the date of last caching.
You'll need a free Google API key for this one, and the site has the direct link telling you where to get one. You'll have to enter this key in order to query the site for information on Google.
With Google Rankings, you'll be able to see where you rank within the top 40-1000 results in Google for a given keyword. I recently noticed that it also displays results for MSN and Yahoo, with links to each search engine.
They also have some other tools that will track your keywords over time, as well as one they call the "Ultimate SEO Tool" that will measure your site's keyword density.
Google Backlinks Checker
LilEngine.com's Backlink Checker will measure the number of links you have pointing back to your site against competing sites. Handy if you just want a quick comparison of how many links you have versus others, though how much getting more links back will help varies, depending on other factors.
Yahoo Search Rankings
From the same folks who brought you Google Rankings, using Yahoo Search Rankings, you'll be able to see where you rank within the top 1000 results in Yahoo for a given keyword. If you just want to see your Yahoo rankings, it's quite helpful.
You can find more Yahoo tools that use the Yahoo Web API at their developer's site : http://developer.yahoo.net/wiki/index.cgi?ApplicationList..
In the next part of the article, we'll take a closer look at other tools that give you more specific information about the links pointing back to your site, keyword research, and more.
Tinu is a website promotion specialist who can teach you many do-it-yourself ways to bring more traffic to your site in addition to DIY SEO. Subscribe to her ezine at http://www.freetraffictip.com/thebook/ for more details.
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