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30 SEO Problems & the Tools to Solve Them

30 SEO Problems & the Tools to Solve Them

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Published by Vijay

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Published by: Vijay on Nov 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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30 SEO Problems & the Tools to Solve Them
Every day, SEOs are challenged in their jobs to solve problems big and small - some aretechnically complex, others are merely time consuming, repetitive and tedious. At SEOmoz, welove to build, use and recommend tools to help solve these issues. Tools and automation aren'talways the right answer, but for many of the challenges we face, they're a welcome ally in the battle for effectiveness and efficiency.In this first of the two part series on the subject, I'll be covering tools on SEOmoz. My nextsegment will focus on tools across the web.
#1: View Source Sucks
We've all had the experience of loading a web page, viewing the source code and sorting throughtrying to determine whether the H1 tag was implemented properly or if the <head> contains arel="canonical" tag or, worst of all, counting internal/external links manually. These are essentialelements of the SEO process, but they're a "Royal Pain In The Butt" (RPITB from here on out).
Solution: Analyze Page in the mozBar
Thankfully, the mozBar has this spiffy "Analyze Page" button that opens a visual overlay with critical stats like meta data, link counts, rel="canonical," Hx tags, and even counts of charactersin content areas. I've used this personally in a lot of live-review and client meeting scenarios and people are consistently impressed (and it makes us look like Pros).See tags and character counts without having to view source
Link counts and page attributes are visible at the bottom of the "analyze page" overlayGetting the data fast is awesome - looking professional and raising eyebrows while we do it isanother thing. I love tools that make SEOs look good - honestly, I'm focused on making more of SEOmoz's products in this vein. I wish we'd built more of our tools historically with the mindsetof ease-of-use and simple, obvious value (I sometimes worry that we've gone overly advanced in past tools that I've designed - hopefully Adam & the product team will keep us better focused).
#2: Determining a PageRank Penalty
Sometimes it's hard to know whether a drop in PageRank (or the PageRank score on a page youhaven't visited before) is due to natural factors or modifcation by Google's webspam team.Whether it's a review of a potential client's website, a look at a potential link partner or ananalysis of your own site, knowing what's happened with the PageRank score is an advanced, butsometimes essential piece of the SEO process.
Solution: Historical PageRank + PageRank vs. mozRank 
Thankfully, there's a very good system for solving this problem (or at least getting closer to theanswer). First up is a free tool we've had for a long time - the Historical PageRank Checker:
When PageRank has been lowered more than one point, particularly in a timeframe that doesn'tcorrelate with a standard PR update, you can feel relatively confident that some sort of PR  penalty was incurred. Next are the metrics mozRank & mozTrust from Linkscape. Since mozRank in particular is bothhighly correlated with PageRank (on average ~0.55 off from toolbar PR) and calculatedindependently, you can use the comparison between these metrics to help identify disparities.When PR is significantly lower than mozRank, particularly on the homepage of a website, there'sa potential that a PR penalty may exist (though it's also possible that PR simply hasn't updated -Linkscape recalculates metrics every month, while Google updates PageRank on a fairly randomschedule every 3-9 months).The metrics from Linkscape aren't perfect, nor are they a sure identifier, but they do provide analternate source for comparison and contrast. You can get mozRank via Linkscapeitself, or use thefree APIif you'd like to employ it on tools or in a more scalable fashion.
#3: Valuing a Potential Link 
It's hard to compare the value of links from potential pages, and yet this is an essential task in theSEO world. Managers need to know whether link acquisition is going well or poorly. Link  builders need to be able to judge the quality of the sites and pages they're targeting. SEOconsultants and analysts need to determine where good links are coming from, wherecompetitors have earned great links and what links might be spammy/low quality.

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