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A tool developed for FireFox users giving them access to Google Toolbar and Alexa Rankings. It can be downloaded and installed free of charge.
A big thanks to developer Craig Raw for a great tool, free of charge, for those of us who want to use something that isn't powered by Microsoft and that has all advantages of FireFox browser.
WebAlerts You're doing your link-building, you're writing articles, or you just want to see what others' are saying about you. Do you really want to run searches for yourself and for your articles every few days?
Set up a Google WebAlert for a phrase from an article you've written, for your company name, for your competitors and/or for a phrase from description you're using in your link exchanges and let most powerful servers in world do work for you.
Beanstalk On Tools ...
There are definitely some very useful tools out there as noted above. What must be understood is that these tools alone won't get you top rankings any more than a map will guarantee you a good vacation if you don't know how to read it and you don't know where you want to go.
The single most important thing anyone hoping to attain (and maintain) top positioning on search engines can do is to keep himself or herself educated. While we noted a few great resources in last article on monitoring here are some of key resources I uses to keep up-to-date on what's going on in SEO world.
This is definitely most obvious. Run periodic if not daily searches on your keyword phrases and a few others. Don't just look for your rankings but look at who's in top positions and look at their sites and who's linking to them. Watch for changes and look for what's different in sites that are now on top.
Don't kill yourself trying to figure out every single engine. Google, Yahoo! and MSN are three biggest and just following these three is more than enough work. Generally I've found that meeting requirements of these three will generally result in solid rankings on most of other "secondary" engines.
I can't speak highly enough about forums. When you're looking for up-to-date information this is where to go. The challenge on forums however is in deciding who knows what they're talking about and who doesn't. Further, you'll need to be able to figure out which members follow your code of ethics when it comes to SEO. Business owners seeking long-term rankings with minimal maintenance should not be taking advice from Black-hat SEOs.
I mentioned a few forums on last article. A few additional forums worth watching are:
Search Engine Watch Forums - There's not much to say about this one except that it's a must-see. Tons of great information, many members so a wide variety of opinions to draw from.
IHelpYou Forums - Managed by SEO Doug Heil this is an interesting one. While I can't say I agree with everything Doug has to say I will give him credit for ethics. If you want to make sure your tactics are squeaky-clean then here's where to get advice. My recommendation: take info with a grain of salt. Doug tends to occasionally make blanket rulings on tactics that have their place but if you go in knowing this he can be a great source of some solid information.
High Rankings Forums - Managed by SEO Jill Whalen, this one has some great discussions. Sticking with my belief in giving credit where it's due I have to advise to pay attention to what Jill says. She knows her stuff and while she definitely falls into category of white-hat SEOs, she's willing to discuss a variety of tactics, their merits, and judge them based on their use and worth. Open and honest discussion - that's what forums are about. Mentioned last week but worth mentioning twice.
The other forums mentioned last week and which are worthy of note are: Web Pro World SEO Chat Search Guild Li'l Engine
So here we are, end of it all. 17,000 words read (thank you) and, if you've been following program, many MANY hours spent optimizing your website.
Will it be worth it? If you have followed these steps, keep yourself updated on changes, and keep working on building your links, creating quality content, and insuring that you're always putting in 10% more than your competitors then it certainly should be.
I would like to take a moment to thank those of you who have worked through these past ten articles and to wish you very best of luck in your online promotions. As always, you are welcome to contact me with any questions you might have. Our goal in this series has been to provide you with information and resources to do it. I hope we have done just that.
Dave Davies and Beanstalk offer guaranteed search engine positioning. Dave is available to answer any questions that you may have about your website and how to get it into the top positions on the major search engines. Read Dave's other search engine positioning articles.