I love it when I see competing poker webmasters discussing the various SEO tools they’ve bought to use to analyze their poker site’s SEO. Mostly because I know that I’ll be able to compete with them more effectively. Most of what you need to know about your site and Google can be discovered using Google. And going to the source, instead of to some other tool that may or may not look at things in the same way Google does, is always going to make more sense than using some tool. Here are some ways to use Google to analyze your poker site.
- searching for URL’s
related: If you want to get an idea of what neighborhood your site is in, try typing related:www.yourexamplesite.com into the search box in Google to see what you find. If you’re doing things right, then the related sites you see will be similar in topic to yours, and you’ll be in a “good neighborhood”. This is also a good idea to do before trading links with a site. (Here is the related query for this site.)
allinanchor: If you want to get an idea of how aggressively your competitors have optimized for a particular term, you can use this search operator to restrict your results to just those sites using the keywords in anchor text somewhere. If you find a query where fewer than 10 results come up in an allinanchor: search, then you’ve found something that’s VERY noncompetitive. This can be a very effective tool, especially when you combine it with information you get using some of the other tools.
allintitle: This limits your results to just those pages which actually use the phrase in their title tag. It’s another great way to determine whether or not a query is competitive or not. Very useful when combined with the allinanchor tool. If very few sites use a particular query in the title tag, then it’s going to be easy to rank for that phrase.
allintext: This isn’t nearly as useful as allintitle: or allinanchor:, but it still comes in handy sometimes. It limits the results to those pages which actually use a phrase in the actual text on the page. I’m often amazed at how many webmasters don’t use their target keyword phrase in the actual text of what they write.
site: This shows you how many pages is indexed. You can also use it to determine which pages on a site are most relevant to a particular phrase, in rough order. This can be handy when looking for places to link to/from a page on a similar topic.
link: Some people think that this operator doesn’t show any useful information because it’s incomplete and random, but I disagree. Incomplete and random information from Google about your site’s backlinks can be useful when figuring out what Google knows about your poker site and what Google thinks about your poker site.
searching for URL’s - One way to get an idea of where your site is being mentioned is by searching for the actual URL in Google. If you really like what a page has to say about your site, and they’re linking to you, then telling people about that page from your site can be a useful thing to do from multiple perspectives. Statbrain has a cool page up about our site here. So does Quantcast and About Us and Website Outlook. Telling people and search engines about those pages can be amazingly useful, and I’ll leave the reasons why for you to figure out.
Lots of folks use other sites pretty well for analyzing their poker sites, but if the purpose of your analysis has to do with getting more poker traffic from Google, the best tool is still Google itself, hands-down.