As seasoned practitioners know, SEO is all about the details. I’ve been using the SEOmoz Pro campaigns and tools for awhile and along the way have noticed minor quirks and details that raised some questions beyond those answered in the FAQ section.
Thanks to much help from the SEOmoz support team and a little research I’ve found the answers to some of these questions and hope that these solutions will give all SEOmoz users a better understanding of the tools and data available to them.
SEOmoz Q and A
Q. How does Rogerbot (SEOmoz’s spider bot) treat canonical tags?
A. Rogerbot honors all canonical tags and when calculating technical site errors for a campaign removes these pages from the Duplicate Page Content and Duplicate Page Title counts. Rogerbot crawls every site set up under a campaign once a week; once a new canonical tag is implemented wait for the weekly crawl and you will see these pages drop from the duplicate content counts.
Q. How does Rogerbot treat ‘NoFollow’ links?
A. Rogerbot is not able to crawl links with the NoFollow attribute. NoFollow links are indexed as being a part of the page they are listed on but unless the content of these links can be reached by an alternative, followable link the contents of these pages will not be indexed by the SEOmoz spider.
Q. Are there any restrictions on the type of site I can track in a campaign?
A. While the SEOmoz spider is well adept at crawling even the most complex sites, there are a few technical restrictions that may stop you from adding your site to a campaign. At this time Rogerbot is not able to crawl URLs that return the 302 HTTP status code. However, SEOmoz can follow through 301 redirects and crawl the links on the other side. The SEOmoz toolset is also not currently set up to support the HTTPS protocol as a campaign.
Q. In several of the tools SEOmoz measures whether or not a specific keyword is used in a URL or a Page Title when grading on-page optimization. How does the SEOmoz tool determine this keyword usage?
A. When measuring on-page keyword usage SEOmoz looks at the phrase as a whole and looks for the presence of each actual word from the phrase, or a variation of each of the words. In an example provided by SEOmoz, let’s look at the phrase ‘3M Tape’. When determining whether the keyword is used in the URL http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3M_Industrial/Tapes/ the SEOmoz tool would count the keyword as present as both the words ‘3M’ and ‘Tape’ are found somewhere in the URL. However, when looking at the URL http://www.3m.com/ SEOmoz would not count the keyword as present in the URL since neither the word ‘Tape’, nor any variation of ‘Tape’ appear anywhere in the URL.
Q. I’ve noticed several of the reporting tools now pull back Social Signals related to my URL, where is SEOmoz getting this data from?
A. When it comes to obtaining data on Facebook activity SEOmoz uses Facebook Query Language, an SQL type query interface that returns information on a variety of different URL-based statistics, including the number of times a specific URL was shared or the number of times a post containing a certain URL was liked. Many have found FQL to return more accurate data than Facebook’s Open Graph API. Information related to Twitter comes from Tweetmeme, a real-time, searchable collection of popular links shared via Twitter, and information on Google Buzz comes directly from the Google Buzz API.
Q. The SEOmoz support team sounds great! Are there any questions they won’t be able to help me with?
A. In my experience the SEOmoz support team has been extremely helpful and has even gone out of their way to answer technical SEO questions for me. However, when it comes to their toolset unless the tool is actively being developed and maintained (unlike the Lab Tools for example) the SEOmoz team is not able to offer support or troubleshoot for these tools. However, don’t fear SEOmoz’s tools are constantly being updated, retired and replaced by newer better versions so if you’re experiencing trouble with a decommissioned tool there’s a good chance the tool and the metrics it provides will be revived in other ways.
As always head over to SEOmoz if you want to utilize their SEO tools.