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The Coolest Tool & Why

Discussion in 'Products & Tools' started by john_loch, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. #1
    I've seen plenty of talk (and repurposed code/layouts) where "tools" are concerned, built in order to attract linkage. So now I'm thinking about it.

    Tell me - what would be the coolest tool you could think of.

    ie it would be portable (a freebie script for webmasters), and of course dependancies OK (ie Google API) - and not necessarily search related.

    Oh, and it needs to be of significant genuine advantage to webmasters, not a duplicate of the thousands of tools already out there.

    No need to be technical - just ideas/concepts. If you have a need, nows the time to explore it :)

    Anyone ?
     
    john_loch, Apr 15, 2004 IP
  2. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #2
    digitalpoint, Apr 15, 2004 IP
  3. Foxy

    Foxy Chief Natural Foodie

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    #3
    It needs to be a tool that takes the BS out of the spiel I hear

    It needs to be a tool that loves real people

    So here we go:

    Give us a rating or tool or method on this site

    http://www.barbecue-online.co.uk

    and how you can beat it in the Serps using

    "Weber BBQs" or "Weber BBQ"

    in under two months

    :D
     
    Foxy, Apr 15, 2004 IP
  4. Mr T

    Mr T Guest

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    #4
    Analysis of top 100 pages for a keyword. Including use in title, heading tags, body, backlinks. also return PR for pages. plus maybe more stuff as I think of it...
     
    Mr T, Apr 15, 2004 IP
  5. hulkster

    hulkster Peon

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    #5

    http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/

    NOT kidding! ;-)


    Seriousely, I'm not sure some "monolithic tool" that "does it all" is the way to go and/or is feasible. Maybe I'm brainwashed in the UNIX mentality where tools are designed to do one thing, do it very well, and accept input/output from other tools. But it seems to me that there are different facets of SEO, and one needs to be able to drill down to each ... and also understand why a particular tool may be appropriate ... or not.

    Another facet of tool development is support/upkeep/reliability/scalability/etc. For instance, when was the last time that Shawn's tools did NOT work (incidentally, I saw some strange DNS issues earlier today with forums. digitalpoint.com, but think our Corporate DNS Proxy may have burped). Bottom line is they are pretty much always there ... and they work.

    Also, Shawn's tools are "lightweight" - they load quickly and have a simple interface - I find user interface stuff REALLY hard - you gotta somehow make it understandable to the newbies, but also without dumbing it down too much for the power-users.

    One more final thing I'll mention is support - Shawn has an an entire forum about the keyword tracker to deal not only with questions (some repeats of his well-written FAQ), but also to entertain feedback/suggestions on the tool itself. In fact, I dropped one in there today - looks like he doesn't think it is going to "make the cut" (which is fine), but even so, I don't think (?) he minds me suggesting some possible implementation ideas if he changes his mind and does decide to do it down the road.

    I think it is some of those "boring implementation issues" that make the difference between so-so and great tools - just some misc. afternoon rambling,
    alek

    P.S. Foxyweb: hopefully doesn't sound like I am "attacking" your suggestion - not my intent - more suggesting a focus on POINT solutions, although the idea of an "integration tool" that combines those various point tools might not be too shabby either. I did look at your Weber BBQ site in your signature - lotta external links on that site, with not too much content one level down (?) - I wonder if you reversed that if it might pull you up in the rankings (?)


    PPS. Mr. "T": That does sound like an interesting integration tool - seems like it might take a few minutes to run (for each keyword) since you are analyzing a fair amount of stuff.
     
    hulkster, Apr 15, 2004 IP
  6. john_loch

    john_loch Rodent Slayer

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    #6
    Yes !

    Though I should add the one clause that I omitted last nite. It needs to be unique but with minimal processing overhead.

    I like the feedback so far.. keep the ideas coming !!

    I spose the best way to look this additional consideration is "would you run it on your own box, given the implied overhead" - and would the author be likely to support it (a very good thought BTW Alek) :)
     
    john_loch, Apr 15, 2004 IP
  7. Foxy

    Foxy Chief Natural Foodie

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    #7
    Ha - well done - you were not supposed to go there!

    I just started putting together the site and opping it and putting some substance down because it has no substance at the moment!!!

    None at all - you were very kind to state "with not too much content one level down(?)" - euphemistic indeed.

    So I changed my signature here as I was here and I will put some down next week :D
     
    Foxy, Apr 15, 2004 IP
  8. Foxy

    Foxy Chief Natural Foodie

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    #8
    So here is an even bigger comeuppance!

    Go here

    http://www.mcdar.net/dance/index.php

    put in

    "Weber bbqs"

    and look at number 11 on the "new" [that is 64 database] !!!!

    Into BBQs Shawn? :D
     
    Foxy, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  9. mcdar

    mcdar Peon

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    #9
    Foxy,

    That is a perfect example of SIZE DOES MATTER! Shawn's website has ~14,600 pages and a high PR. The mere mention of something on this site can get his site to come up in the listings.

    If you do a search for Ledge Sleeping Bags, this forum comes up in position #3.

    Mind you, there are no anchor text to or from the site with that phrase and the pages that the phrase appears on are themselves PR0.

    THIS is EXACTLY why .edu, .gov, etc. have so much power! NOT because Google singles them out as being "better" that .coms BUT, by their nature they are enormous websites.

    Caryl
     
    mcdar, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  10. hulkster

    hulkster Peon

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    #10
    Good points Caryl - I continue to think that Google will try to do "something" about blogs/forums to reduce their weighting versus "regular" web sites, since as clearly shown in this example, they can overwhelm them.

    BTW, if you quote the search phrase "weber bbqs", this page is #4 on Google, yet, I'm sure we can all agree there is very little actual information about weber bbqs in this thread.

    A simplistic solution would be having the search engines key off of "forum.DOMAINNAME", but that's easy to beat. I gotta believe they have a few "skunk works" type projects going on to try to handle these types of cases. I read somewhere an interview with the gigablast folks basically saying that "search engine spam" is a BIG problem.

    Just to clarify, I don't believe this is "direct spam" (I don't think Shawn has intentions to grab BBQ related words - I hope not - he'd squash me like a bug!) but just a ripple effect from his excellent forums - all the power to 'ya Shawn!
    alek
     
    hulkster, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  11. mcdar

    mcdar Peon

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    #11
    I do not wish to derail this thread any longer but I will add that this is precisely why travel, hotels, etc. are having a difficult time. The sheer size of the local governments, schools, yellow pages, chamber of commerce, etc. push these sites to the forefront just because the location is mentioned and maybe the search term in passing.

    Caryl
     
    mcdar, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  12. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #12
    I doubt Google would ever eliminate content from forums. There are many times I was looking for something specific, and the only place I could find the answer to my question was via a forum spidered in Google. So they do have some value to the end user.

    Plus, even if they did... it wouldn't be terribly difficult to regurgitate the existing content into pages that didn't look like a forum. For example this:

    http://forums.digitalpoint.com/archive/index.php/t-351

    (which is stock, but since it's all database driven, it would be easy to spew it out however you want.

    - Shawn
     
    digitalpoint, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  13. hulkster

    hulkster Peon

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    #13
    I didn't mean to imply Google/whoever would eliminate forum content - simple reduce the weighting ... or better yet, better characterize it - i.e. theming.

    For instance, this forum is a discussion of SEO concepts, so if it was truly properly characterized/themed, then it would not rank so high for "weber bbqs" which I think we can all agree is probably a "poor" search engine result. However, if you are looking for SEO help, this forums should absolutely rank up there with the best as it often returns very relevent results.

    If I worked at Google, this is absolutely an area I'd say we need to be looking at and try to "figure out", but it's a tough problem.

    alek

    P.S. BTW Shawn, you've claimed for sometime that you are "just a coder" ... but as I've said to you a few times, I think your marketing and just plain business savvy is exceptional. The "weber BBQs" example is a great one - while some of us are off chasing links and adding keywords/content one by one, you have setup a forum that as can be seen by the results smokes everyone, is scalable for all sorts of keywords, and us rabid posters even contribute content for 'ya! ;-)

    I said this somewhere else (can't seem to find it), but you are doing SEO the "old-fashioned way" - create content/tools/forums so useful that people WANT to use 'em - totally the way to go IMHO.

    I haven't head much recently about your DMOZ bustin', but I can envision that working out quite well, plus it's for a good cause.

    You are operating on a level above us - dang interesting to watch - would be great MBA/B-school case study.
     
    hulkster, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  14. Foxy

    Foxy Chief Natural Foodie

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    #14
    Alek I think he runs on pure liquid oxygen :D
     
    Foxy, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  15. GuyFromChicago

    GuyFromChicago Permanent Peon

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    #15
    Let me be difficult just for sake of being difficult for minute :D

    I think that if one of these pages came up as a result for the BBQ search it would be very helpful to a user. They see the page with a clear link to a site about BBQ's. Just food (toss it on the BBQ) for thought.

    Also, I fully agree with Shawn - more times than I can count I've found the information I needed to answer a question in a forum after a Google search. Hell, half the time forums have more up-to-date and useful information that regular web pages.
     
    GuyFromChicago, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  16. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #16
    I currently edit for nine categories, and greenbust for two more:

    http://dmoz.org/profiles/digitalpoint.html

    I gave up some of my previous categories since I can edit them from above now.

    - Shawn
     
    digitalpoint, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  17. hulkster

    hulkster Peon

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    #17
    As the BBQ guy, I gotta respond and beg to differ! ;-)

    Ignoring my spammy signature (there actually is quite a bit of content in those pages BTW), even Foxyweb admitted her pages were a bit skinny on content. And ignoring those, I think there is actually very little content/links that are useful in terms of "Weber BBQ" information in this thread. I don't disagree that forums often have useful information, just that search engines need to better catagorize 'em - i.e. a forum about BBQ's would be obviously much more likely to have true information about weber bbqs that a forum about search engine optimization.

    My two hamburger patties! ;-)

    alek

    P.S. Again, as a techie, if I were employed by Google, this thread (which ranks number #4 for "Weber BBQs") would be a great example of what we are doing wrong in Search Engine stuff ... the hard part would be how do we "fix" it.
     
    hulkster, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  18. Foxy

    Foxy Chief Natural Foodie

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    #18
    Oops

    I'm a 280 pound 6ft 2inch ex rugby and rower married a few times with 5 kids from my wives

    Do I put across that impression?

    Ye ha! :D
     
    Foxy, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  19. hulkster

    hulkster Peon

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    #19

    Yea, ooops - sorry 'bout that ... hey, it coulda been worse, if I wasn't an old-fart married family man with kids, just imagine if I had started flirting with you! ;-)
    alek
     
    hulkster, Apr 19, 2004 IP
  20. Foxy

    Foxy Chief Natural Foodie

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    #20
    The mind Boggles!!!

    Hehehe :D
     
    Foxy, Apr 19, 2004 IP