Analyzing Your Competitors Metatags Quickly

If you’ve ever wanted to do a little competitive analysis, you’ve probably had the misfortune of having to view the page source of many pages on a particular website. Searching meta tags isn’t the best way to find the right terms to target for your own website, but it’s a good indicator of what other people are targeting and it’s a perfect start for your keyword research.

You’ve probably done this before, and realized how tedious and boring checking pages of one site can be, so after searching the web for something more automated and not finding anything, a coworker mentioned a program called GSiteCrawler. It’s works fairly well actually.

Note: If you are using Microsoft Vista, you have to right click the program file and choose “run as administrator” or the program won’t work properly.

Here’s how to set it up:

a.) Set up a new project by clicking the “Add” button on the bottom left corner of the screen. Use the New Site Wizard and hit Next on the next screen.
GsiteCrawler Screenshot

b.) Enter your website URL and give your project a name and click Next.
GsiteCrawler Screenshot

c.) On this screen, you can leave everything as is, or you can choose the check box next to “URLs are case-sensitive” if you’re on a Linux server. Change anything else if you wish, but I left the rest the same. Click Next.
GsiteCrawler Screenshot

d,) This program was created to be sitemap generator so the next step offers to upload the sitemap file to your website via FTP. Just skip this and click next.
GsiteCrawler Screenshot

e.) You can read through all of the options on the next page, but I just checked them all. Click the finish button and the program will begin to scan your website.
GsiteCrawler Screenshot

There are lot of cool things this program can show you, but for the purpose of this tutorial, we’re only going to look at the Titles and the Meta tags of the website.

Once the scanning is complete, you can navigate to the “URL list” tab on the main screen and then click the “Refresh List” button to show all of the URLs that the program found.
GsiteCrawler Screenshot

You can click on any of the URLs and it’ll show you the URL, Page Title, Description, and Keywords for that page. The one downfall is if the Title, Description, or Keywords fields are too long, it’ll just cut it off, so you won’t be able to see the whole thing on some sites, but it’s still a good tool for some quick analysis.

Google Suggest Out of Beta, Now On Google.com

Google Suggest

Have you been to Google today? If you do a search, you might notice that once you begin typing, Google automatically starts providing real-time suggestions, as well as how many results each of those keywords have. This option, Google Suggest, was previously available as a Google Labs opt-in but it’s now gonna be default for all of your Google searches. According to the Official Google Blog, everyone might not have this functionality yet, but it should be available within the week. It shows up for me off and on right now.

If you notice the results they provide though, they seem to be only showing very popular queries. Will this hurt sales coming in from long-tail searches? I guess it depends on how closely searchers look through the list, but I’m leaning towards yes. How much traffic it really takes away from a site though will probably be minimal. It’s a really helpful service to searchers, though, I have to give ’em that. I like it.

The Day I Was Attacked on Sphinn

I’m gonna start with letting you know, that I know,┬á I probably should have let this go, but that’s just not who I am ­čÖé Anyway, the other day, a friend of mine, Troy, who I used to work with sent me an email about a new site he just launched. He mentioned that he put a post up on Digg and if I was interested in Digging it, he’d appreciate it. I thought the site was cool, so I had no problem helping him out.

Basically the site was created very similar to the famous Million Dollar Homepage, only Troy’s was focused on helping the environment. Visitors to the site can donate $2, one of which goes directly to the Arbor Foundation to plant a tree, the other goes to paying for a spot on the main page, which is designated by placing a virtual tree in the space payed for with a link back to the owners site.

I figured that since it was for a good cause and website owners could get a link out of it, Sphinn (“Digg” for Internet marketers) users might also be interested, so I posted the site in the Link Building category. This may have been the worst idea I’ve had in my history of working in the SEO industry, because the Sphinn community went into assault mode on both Troy and I.

I’ve decided to speak out on a few of the comments and get my thoughts out. Since the Sphinn community didn’t want to listen to anything Troy or I had to say and had already basically labeled me a spammer, I decided to do it on my blog instead of in the comments section, so here we go.

2 dollar backlinks sphinn post

DarkMatter: “if I were the admins I would delete this. it’s been done before and there’s no value for search marketers here.”

How is there no value here? You get a link back to your website.

NickWilsdon: ” This is just another take on the MillionDollar Homepage, it shouldn’t be advertised on the front page of Sphinn.”

Hmmm, and Digg, I mean Reddit, I mean Sphinn is completely original, huh? What’s wrong with taking an idea and reworking it?

Gab: “Nick Wilsdon clarified that this was an advert. We don’t need ads going hot.”

So Nick Wilsdon knows all now? He clarified it, so it must be true.

There were also some comments about Troy using the environment for his own greed, taking advantage of people who really want to help, etc. Well the fact is, he was trying to help. Even if he is making money off of it, any possible way to get people to help donate to the Arbor Foundation is helping. A few people even decided to protest my post on Sphinn and directly donate to various charities. Would they have done that otherwise. I’m betting no. Not to say that it was mine or Troy’s doing that got those people to donate, but people need inspiration to donate and that’s what Troy’s site is trying to do. He’s not forcing people to put money in his pocket either. If you want a link, donate $2 and plant a tree, and go to the Arbor Foundation and donate $10 more. It’s as easy as that.

That’s pretty much the jist of it, but there were somewhere around 40 more comments.┬á I wanted to pull out some more of them, but the post was removed from Sphinn, so I could only work off of a cached version on Yahoo. Anyway, everyone had a similar comment and just wouldn’t let me or Troy get a word in. Once it was “clarified” everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

To the people who DID Sphinn my article, thank you. I think anyone who Sphunn it, knows who I am and understands that whatever the commenters of the post said wasn’t true. I have never been a spammer and don’t ever plan to be one, so that wasn’t my intention.

I’ve told the entire truth in this article, and after everything is said and done, you can believe what you will. Basically, I was just trying to help a friend out. If there’s anything I’ve learned from this experience though, it’s that I’m no longer comfortable at Sphinn and I’ll just continue using it as a resource and not a social community. I’m guessing the users over there would prefer that anyway.