Last week I was researching free website monitoring services for this blog and other websites. In doing so, I came up with a nice list post of what I found and it was posted on Mashable. I did not think it would be a terribly active post, but I thought it was a good list of services to share. What I did not realize was that a lot of people had something to say, with 25 comments so far. The other interesting part of the comments was that there were several good services listed that did not make the published list. You may be asking why this happened, I know I did. So I retraced my steps.
One of my first steps was to get some recommendations from the FriendFeed community. There was some initial confusion on what I was looking for, but I did get some good information. Another important step was searching Google. I searched for “free website monitoring” and looked at the resulting list. Based on the list of the first 20 results, I started reviewing services for my personal use. The important thing here is that I only looked at the first 2 pages of search results. This is fairly typical of a standard internet user as well. The Mashable article is already in the top 20 results for the search. One tool that was not in the top 20 was Trendics. The reason I mention Trendics is because someone commented about them. I reviewed their service and decided to keep it as one of the two monitoring services I will use moving forward. Trendics had a better solution than most of the services I had reviewed. But they were not on the list. Why? They were not in the top 20 search results for my query. The other service I am continuing to use is Mon.itor.us. They had a solid feature set, and were in the top 3 search results.
The other reason I find this interesting is the people have been calling SEO dead for years. Over a year ago, ClickZ declared that SEO is Dead. Earlier this summer, ShoeMoney said that SEO has no future. Obviously, it is still early to declare ShoeMoney wrong, but I think the continuous proclamations of SEO’s death are highly exaggerated. Based on my simple case study, SEO and search page rankings are still very important. As another example, my blog has seen a significant increase in search engine traffic. At the beginning of May, search engines were only 9% of my overall traffic. Since that time, search engine referrals have increased steadily to 24% of my overall traffic. I am not a keyword stuffer, but I do put appropriate keywords and descriptions on each blog post. I am not attempting to be an SEO expert, I just followed some standard advice and the search traffic has started to trickle in.
So, until Google decides that SEO will die or become something completely different, read some good SEO blogs. To get you started, these are a few that I read and probably provide a good starting point:
- Michael Gray at Graywolf SEO Blog
- Matt Cutts at his blog
- Aaron Wall at SEO Book
- Ann Smarty at SEO Smarty
Don’t be afraid to try some new things, and don’t forget to keep doing the old things. Everything seems to run in a cycle, so yesterday’s advice may fall out of favor but it could come back as good advice in a year or two. By the way, don’t forget to check the search results for some of your related searches, are you on the first page?