To help you understand how your site could improve its traffic over all (not just in search) Blackwater has released the Beta of its Site Health Calculator. It is a tool which we have used for sales pitches, site monitoring and just general scoping of the competition.

SEO is as much about knowing your size, and where you should rank organically as it is getting there. Blackwater will never tell a client who doesn’t make dog food that we can make them the top hit… (Though it is a space with less than stiff competition so we probably could beat Purina) because even if we did Google would likely “hand job” the results to put Purina back at number one.

http://www.blackwaterops.com/site-health/purina.com

Known Pages: 4229
Known Inlinks: 120033
Root Inlinks: 63185
Google Inlinks:
Google Indexed Pages: 1960
% of Internet users who visit site: 0.000044
Daily Page Views: 2904
Spam Likelihood:59%
Site Health: 96%
Desirability: 137%
Linkworthiness: 1%
Longevity 150%

Using several metrics we look at your traffic in terms of Views per Page, indexed vs unindexed pages, percent of pages getting traffic, and other metrics to assign your site values for Desirability, Linkworthiness, and Longevity of your content. Each of these scores can be 0-150% and we average those 3 Scores to get your current site health. While it is possible to get a 150% we rarely see a site excelling in all of these metrics.

SEO should help you get to your peak or a little above of where you should be organically, which is why Blackwater doesn’t JUST do SEO. By improving your user experience helping with Press/Public Relations, and helping you manage your marketing dollars we can build buzz which will increase your traffic both through search and referral traffic.

This week during the course of some discussions I was told “We do the same things eBay, and Amazon do” and I was too polite to say what I was thinking, but here’s why any SEO who tells you to do those things is not your friend.

In addition to eBay and Amazon being destination sites, not Search Landing sites by design, there are a lot of reasons you don’t want to be like them, at least not in the eyes of Google.

Starting with eBay as an example. Ebay is the largest Auto Auction Company in the United States on or offline. So you’ d think that if you did a quick search for Car Auction, Car Auction Online, Auto Auction, or some variant of that Ebay would be towards the top of results.

You’d be wrong.

http://www.blackwaterops.com/site-health/ebay.com

Known Pages: 230126702
Known Inlinks: 131748167
Root Inlinks: 25670473
Google Inlinks: 1120
Google Indexed Pages: 108000000
% of Internet users who visit site: 0.43491
Daily Page Views: 28704060
Spam Likelihood:14%
Site Health: 38%
Desirability: 24%
Linkworthiness: 69%
Longevity 22%

Because of the Link Scheme used by e-bay’s affiliate program detects to Google as Paid Links, eBay pretty much only ranks for searches for items which are an rare and only found in ebay’s auctions, user profiles which are unique to eBay, and searches which include the word eBay.

Amazon used to have these same problems with their affiliate program, but 3 years ago they sat down with Google to discuss how to undo that. The result was a change in their link scheme.

http://www.blackwaterops.com/site-health/amazon.com

Known Pages: 477186698
Known Inlinks: 342864639
Root Inlinks: 101787104
Google Inlinks: 6090
Google Indexed Pages: 107000000
% of Internet users who visit site: 0.20609
Daily Page Views: 13601940
Spam Likelihood:3%
Site Health: 62%
Desirability: 5%
Linkworthiness: 55%
Longevity 126%

One of the primary changes they made was converting most affiliates to using iframes for linking to them. This drastically decreased the number of duplicate links to their site. They also changed the onsite link structure to use Amazon.com/SOMEPRODUCTNAME/dp/AMAZONID where as links from outside Amazon go to Amazon.com/gp/product/AMAZONID?SOMSTRINGS

As to SEOing like Amazon… Anyone who has ever done a view source on Amazon’s pages would never consider doing this. Amazon has 60 of more lines of white space before the <html> tag, embeds their style sheets in every page, and doesn’t specify a document type. All basics of SEO best practices.

Feel free to play with this tool… It’s beta so it crashes every so often, or fails to parse results it is scraping from data sources and includes junk on the page… but it works 95% of the time with pretty good likelihood.

Spam likelihood is still being tweaked if you are below 75% you are likely safe. Sites that do a lot of Domain redirects may have a false positive like VE3d.com , Disney.com, and a few others.

Enjoy,

Brandon Wirtz

CEO BlackWaterOPs.com

510-992-6548

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