FirstPlace Software, creators of popular web site marketing software WebPosition Gold, recently announced forthcoming release of long-awaited version 2 of their product. WPG v2.0 is already available in Beta format (see link below) and boasts an impressive number of new features to help web masters ensure their web sites are spider friendly, ranking highly and submitted to most appropriate search engines and directories worldwide.
I decided to review BETA version of new software and share my findings via this article. I have limited my review to new features and enhancements provided for options I use, rather than concentrate on all features of product. For ease of reference, Iíve also listed my analysis of new features under same headings used by WPG here: http://www.webposition.com/wpg2upgrade.htm .
1) More Engines
Support for an additional 60 search engines and directories is probably most newsworthy feature of WebPosition Gold 2.0 and a major convincing factor influencing existing users to upgrade to version 2.0 and non-users to become customers. The added support for regional search engines in Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, Latin America, Russia, Italy, China, Japan, Scandinavia and Netherlands is a major selling point because it allows users to check their rankings on, submit to and design their web pages for search engines and directories in these countries.
Over time, WPG has probably lost significant market share to TopDog, reporting software that offers support for over 200 regional search engines. But this WPG enhancement, combined with existing features, makes WPG more attractive than ever before. A few observations: BETA version of WPG v2.0 does not yet offer support for New Zealand or Mexican engines, despite listing above. Iím hoping these will be added in time for full release. Also claim that search engines of Spain and Latin America are covered is a bit misleading because BETA version only covers three Spanish language engines under Spain/Latin America rather than country specific engines. Also there appears to be a Scandinavian engine Passagen lumped in with Spain/Latin American engines - obviously a temporary glitch. Also, some countries are represented more fully than others, for example, 10 engines are listed for Germany, but only two for China and Russia. Hopefully these numbers will increase with future updates. †
2) Easier Engine Management †
Now you can quickly choose search engines based on location, importance or personal preference, thanks to new drop down lists. Search engines have been divided into global and regional sections, then categorized by country and importance - primary or secondary. You can also set up your own preferred list, selecting only those engines you consider important. This preferred list can then be quickly selected for multiple mission files. For someone like me, needing to run between 10 and 15 missions per week, this feature is very convenient.
3) Vital Statistics †
Now when selecting which engines to include in your Reporter missions, a box appears listing important statistics about that engine, such as URL, link popularity and a brief description. † 4) Better Help †
I havenít had to use it lately, but FirstPlace Software claim their WPG help file has been greatly improved and expanded. Certainly index seems at least twice as large in v2.0.
5) Better File Management † You can now define a default mission directory to make file management easier - a logical improvement.
6) Faster Downloads †
Updates now tend to download extremely fast, meaning your mission is not interrupted and you get access to latest WPG version almost immediately. While updates to program may download faster, I did not notice any difference in time for report completion in new version. I tested this twice by setting up identical Reporter missions and timing how long each took using WPG 1.60.5 and WPG v2.0 BETA. Each time I ran test, mission running on WPG v2.0 finished in 5 minutes, while mission running on older version finished in 4 minutes.
7) Powerful Multi-tasking †
Another big feature of v2.0 is ability to run more than one instance of WPG at a time. This means multiple reporter missions can run concurrently - a huge advantage for persons needing to run ranking reports for multiple clients. I havenít used this feature very much in BETA version, worried that running more than one mission at a time would overload my flimsy dialup connection. But few times Iíve tried it (running two small missions together), it worked just fine, with both missions finishing within seconds of each other. The other nice thing about this feature is ability to set up new missions while running others. You can also work with other parts of WPG, for example using PageRank in one WPG window while running one or more reporter missions in another. Perfect for those of us who are born multi-taskers. † Reporter Enhancements
1) Reduced Disk Space
A long awaited option in V2.0 BETA is ability to conserve hard disk space by selecting box marked 'delete actual results files after reports are generated to save disk space'. Selecting this box ensures detailed search pages downloaded by program are automatically deleted once information from them has been extracted for your reports. This particular feature has already saved me countless hours spent deleting detailed search engine results that tended to eat up my free disk space via old version. A very sensible (and much appreciated!) enhancement.
2) Advanced Browser Emulation †
In response to a growing lack of support for automated querying software by some search engines, new version of WPG includes an option to slow searches down. It is claimed that this makes it more difficult for engines to detect you are using automated software.