This article is based on the "Internet Search Optimization and Site Promotion" report (15-16th of November, 2007). .
There are many tools offered nowadays to make the work of search optimization specialists easier, they differ from simple scripts, solving some certain task to multifunctional program systems.
As a rule the search optimization tools intended for solving specific tasks: the text analysis, the link text creation, position definition and so on.
Alongside this there are not so many public accessible products which allow the process of budget cost evaluation for site search promotion to be automatized in different search systems. This is connected with the fact that to adequately evaluate the promotion cost is difficult due to the following problems:
- The cost definition of the search optimisation work. The payment for this job differs from one company to another, sometimes the cost is up 10 times higher.
- The link cost definition for the given site. Many factors influence the link cost and the automated account is sometimes impossible or complicated.
- Obtaining and creating of the working links list for the given search system. At present none of the Runet search systems have a full-value working operators for obtaining the list of link forwardings to the site. By the way one shouldn't forget the fact that not all the links are equally useful.
So, to define the exact size of the budget for site search promotion is impossible but with all that there is a possibility of its approximate evaluation.
The problem of the promotion cost evaluation
The evaluation of link budget is the most difficult and complicated stage in the evaluation of the promotion cost. A whole lot of uncertainties arise carrying out just the task of defining the link budget cost.
Methods and approaches to the link budget evaluation
When evaluating the link budget the following methods, approaches and strategies apply:
1. The direct analysis of the forwarded links.
2. The analysis of the search system.
3. Expert evaluation of the link budget.
4. Promotion without the link budget evaluation.
5. Site promotion without purchasing the link.
The link budget evaluation based on analysis of forwarded links
The following method of evaluation is based on obtaining forwarded links from any search system, calculating the cost of each link and then the total amount on the relevant link mass.
- The possibility of automatized evaluation.
- The high quality of evaluation accuracy.
- The possibility of additional analysis of forwarded links. For e.g. having studied the competitor's site promotion strategy.
Cons and realization problems:
- The problem of obtaining the actual list of forwarding links. Taking into account the fact that in Russian internet segment 60% of searching traffic accounts for Yandex, this problem didn't exist till recent times (before closing the "link" operator by the Yandex search system). At present none of the Russian search systems shows the list of actual forwarding links to the given site, and the western search systems are often giving either the out of date data or a very limited amount of information.
- The faultiness of link evaluation cost is connected with the fact that the link cost is defined by such formal parameters as Google PR, Ranking Index of Yandex and so on. The figures obtained by this evaluation sometimes differ from the market prices. This is because the calculation formulae of the link cost are based on the approximation of the average market prices during a definite period and they don't take into account the supply and demand and the speculative market character.
- High traffic consumption and low work speed are connected with the fact that the text should be defined for each link ("ankor"). The link text is defined by means of downloading HTML-code of the forwarding page, i.e. while analyzing 2000 forwarding links they would have to get HTML-code of 2000 pages (approximately 60 MB of traffic).
The described above method is unique and can be applied both by an amateur people (getting fuller data), and by professionals (checking and clarification of obtained expert data):
- To get the maximum accurate evaluation of the link budget in any kind of topic.
- To study the competitor's strategy of site promotion ( link texts, type and quantity of linking pages and so on)
Link budget evaluation based on the search system statistics
The following method of evaluation lies in link budget evaluation based on popularity of queries and also on the cost of their context advertisement (as a competition measure). This is connected with the fact that:
- The competition indicators in the context advertising and in the search results of the same search system with other equals correlate with each other very much.
- The indicators of popularity queries coincide (because the entries being done by the same audience).
So for e.g. the following formula of the link budget evaluation (for the 1st entry) is used:
S = N P K K K K, where
N - Quantity of queries a month according to the search system statistics,
P - Click cost in the context advertising system for entering the guaranteed positions,
K1 - The "clicking" factor in the 1st 10 search results (as a rule is 0,5),
K2 - The regional belonging factor of "clicking" in the 1st 10 search results (for e.g. 0,7),
K3 - the seasonal query factor (for e.g. for the subjects without seasonal dependence would be 1),
K4 - the deduction factor (the SEO services cost is lower than the cost of context advertising ranking), as a rule it is approximately 0,3.
- Low traffic consumption, no extra requirements for the internet channel.
- High speed.
Cons and realization problems:
- Rather high fault possibility when calculating link budget. This is connected with the fact that there are different calculation mechanisms for defining the competitive indicator in the context advertisement and search promotion. For e.g. in the context advertising system the click cost by key phrase "doors" (the competitive query when doing search promotion) and "beautiful doors" (non-competitive query) would be commensurable or totally similar. So, the following method is more effective when evaluating one-word query.
- The difficulties of automated calculation. Many factors of the given above formula are defined (calculated) in the automated regime.
The described above method can be applied by amateur people for rough evaluation of the promotion cost following the given list of queries. Unfortunately, this method is more effective only when evaluating one-word queries; in other cases the link budget will be faulty defined (calculated).
Link budget evaluation by experts.
To evaluate the link budget experienced optimizators can avoid using additional tools making its expert evaluation (based on their experience and other successfully finished projects).
- No other additional tools required.
- High speed of link budget evaluation.
- Low evaluation accuracy. When using this method the accuracy of evaluation depends on the expert qualification (on his experience of site promoting in the given subjects).
- The conscientious "margin for faultiness" emerging when evaluating competitive promotion by the expert who has a small experience in the studied subjects.
The following method can be applied by professionals for the approximate evaluation of promotion cost by the given query list in case that this expert has the search promotion experience in this subjects.
Site promotion without evaluation of the budget cost
Site promotion without evaluation of the budget cost implies a certain agreement relationships between the customer and the executor. With this work-scheme all expenses are vague and understood for both parties:
- The charges for the optimization service
- The link budget amount.
- No necessity of link budget evaluation.
- Budget reduction by omitting the point of "reserved (fixed) expenses".
- The possibility of budget increasing in case of the growth of competitors.
- Uncertainty (including for the client) in the budget size of the project at the fist stage.
- All stages of site promotion and the scheme in whole should be understood by the client because the budget increase for links is not always justified.
The following method can be applied both by professionals and amateur people.
Site promotion without the link purchase
Some optimizators are practicing the site promotion without the link purchasing. Surely this approach to optimization has the right to exist but it's not topical if dealing with a big amount of projects and besides it becomes more complicated. In any case when using this site promotion strategy the budget evaluation is required but not the link one.
- The payment is only for finished work.
- The possibility of working not for "ranking" but for "a number of visitors".
- This promotion scheme requires a lot of work if the executor lacks his own internet platforms for arranging links (to get free links from other resources requires a big scope of the work).
- The customer's uncertainty in the result, guaranties and deadlines.
- There is practically no possibility to decline free links (or change their text and address) in case when the promotion strategy of internet resource is changed.
The described above method can be applied by professionals who have the skills of getting free links and have their own internet platforms for link arrangement at their disposal.
The comparison of methods of link budget evaluation
On the example of two projects (two queries in each one) the link budget evaluation was carried out using the described methods. The results of this experiment and evaluation errors (the real link budget was known in advance) you can see in Table 1. In the column "expert evaluation" you can view the average figures when four experts were questioned.
Table № 1. The comparison of methods of link budget evaluation
The faultiness of link budget evaluation using different methods
- Reverse links---Evaluation by statistics---- Expert evaluation
Picture 1. The faultiness of link budget evaluation using different methods (based on Table1.)
Optimisation tools: solving problems
Having analyzed the main stages of site optimization one can point out a list of standard tasks solved by optimisator:
1. Creating the semantic core.
2. HTML-code analysis.
3. Estimate the competition and link budget amounts.
4. Creating the link text.
5. Registration in free site directories.
6. Link selection for purchasing.
7. Link verification and their analysis.
8. Site ranking (visibility).
From this list the most difficult task is evaluating the amount of link budget.
The review of multi-purpose programs
It would be logical to presume that in existing multi-functional SEO-tools there is a function of competition analysis with the possibility of link budget evaluation. Let's review the most well-known tools:
1. Site-Auditor (SA), a multi-functional program, free for distribution, www.site-auditor.ru
2. AllSubmitter (AS), a program for registration in catalogues, distributed on a paid basis, www.webloganalyzer.biz
3. PagePromoter, a multi-purpose program, distributed on a paid basis, www.netpromoter.ru
4. Semonitor (SM), a multi-purpose program, distributed on a paid basis, www.semonitor.ru
5. Smile SEO Tools (ST), a multi-purpose program, distributed on a paid basis, www.smile-group.ru
6. CS Yazzle (YZ), a multi-purpose program, distributed on a paid basis, www.yazzle.ru
Let's compare the capabilities of these SEO programs (see table 2)
Table 2. The site promotion capability of multi-purpose programs.
In whole, the functions shown in Table 2 except the link budget evaluation are available in many specialized free on-line services. Besides, many of them can be done manually. In connection with this let's just point out the fact that from the optimizator's point of view the most functional appeared to be such programs as Page Promoter, Yazzle, Semonitor and Smile SEO Tools.
Unfortunately, the functions of link budget evaluation are offered only in CS Yazzle and because of this let's add to our review online services (scripts) allowing which carry out the same kind of evaluation and compare the budgets for active projects calculated in them.
The Link Budget Evaluation Tools
- According to Table 2 out of all multi-function programs only CS Yazzle allows to evaluate the link budget (to calculate the approximate cost of reversed links without the work cost) for site promoting on the given search queries. The cost evaluation in CS Yazzle is based on the direct analysis of the reversed links of competitor's sites.
- To evaluate the promotion cost (with the work cost) is also possible using the "Secret Laboratory" site of Konstantin Kashyrin. The promotion cost in this service is based on two indicators: the popularity of the given query with the visitors and the competitiveness in its promotion. All of the other details of the algorithm, unfortunately, are concealed but having studied this service one can presume that the algorithm is based on the analysis of the statistic data of the search systems.
- Till recent times for calculating the link budget there were two free online services - SeoMozg and Niklab. The two services worked by means of the reverse link direct analysis principle. Unfortunately when "Link" operator was closed in the "Yandex" system these online tools stopped working.
- It goes without saying that besides the named above tools there is quite a big number of closed corporate services which work principles and effectiveness is not possible to study due to the understood reasons.
The tool comparison of link budget evaluation
Table 3. Link budget evaluation by different programs and scripts.
Summary or five perspectives for the nearest future
Each of the existing approaches to the link budget evaluation has its own pros and cons. From the presented methods of evaluation in this report only the reverse link analysis and the evaluation based on the statistic data of search systems can be automated to an extent. Unfortunately, even taking into account the fact that in Ru.net there is a very small amount of public programs and scripts presented which allow the automated link budget evaluation with the total amount at the end.
For the past year there is a tendency to combine many tools in one product (for e.g. the substantial widening of the functional possibilities in such initially highly tailored SEO-tools as Allsubmitter, Smile SEO Tools, CS Yazzle).
The fundamentally new algorithms
Obviously the new resistance trends of search systems and optimisators raise more and more activity of tool developers for SEO. In connection with this in the nearest future one has to expect program and online services appearance which based on the new algorithms.
Integration with link exchanges
Due to the link (SAPE, XAP and so on) exchange popularity growth there is a clear tendency of exporting their data into the subsidiary programs and scripts with the purpose of following analysis.
In the long-term from the highly developed exchanges one should expect tailored interfaces for accessing data (fro e.g. XML) and the appearance a number of tailored programs for working with this data.
Alternative methods of budget evaluation
In the nearest future the alternative methods of link budget and one link cost evaluation will be presented. One can identify the following feature of this tendency:
- The "Link" operator is closed by the "Yandex" system.
- All the signs show that PR and Ranking Index (RI)
- Inadequateness of the link cost evaluation by formal RI and PR indicators.
- The growing necessity to start promoting sites according to "visiting".
The work tools with social networks
First of all it is a matter of tools working with blogs and the network blogs. The first similar products have already appeared in Ru.net ("Blogoferma", "Blogbaster") and everything seems to indicate that their popularity is just growing.
Besides, from recent times the following novelty appeared in Ru.net such as site promotion in social networks (SMO). Today there is a tendency that in future SMO will be intersected with SEO. Such symbiosis perspectives are obvious.
Last projects: Contact lens, Ekaterinburg