If your business is Google dependent, go ahead and read ‘How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results’ published on Viper Chill. Glen Allsopp delivers fascinating insights on how certain companies are ruling Google, practically leaving people like us with small businesses in the lurch.
The vastness of Internet economic world creates a strong analytical demand to understand business growth strategies. With online businesses employing various marketing and client conversion strategies, frustration with Google rankings is a common ailment.
A common denominator binding all Internet business owners is the linking profile or backlinks profile. Links are an important assessment tool to measure online business presence.
For years, we have heard Google suggesting that marketers should avoid focus on building links but a new study from Moz proves what we always knew – ranking on Google without links is rare.
In their biannual correlation study, Dr. Matthew Peters and team examines top 50 Google search results for 15,000 keywords and finds that 99.2% of all websites had one external link at a minimum. In other words, there were no sites ranking without an external link.
Analysis of the data says few things about Google rankings:
- Competitive searches always have external links.
- Individual pages can rank without links if the main domain has substantial number of external links.
- Higher rankings correlate with higher number of links.
In short, we need high influence / authority external connections linking to our websites, to survive the Google-world.
The Problem I Faced & How CognitiveSEO Helped
Even though mine is a content development and marketing company with high number of repeat clients through referrals and personal branding, the company website (esmeenetwork.com) seem to particularly lack in getting business leads.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I rank the website 4.5 in lead generation whereas it should be 8+ at the least.
First, I needed to have a comprehensive idea of how my website is placed in search engine and among competitors. Only with a clear picture could I understand and proceed toward building robust business growth strategies.
CognitiveSEO is an old name in the industry. They rank among the best in recommended SEO tools.
I signed up with them.
In the rest of the post, I will outline the learnings after using CognitiveSEO tool and necessary actionable steps.
I am sure online small and medium businesses will find the CognitiveSEO tool informative.
CognitiveSEO Review: The Game of Links
CognitiveSEO is a suite of SEO tools that helps to increase traffic. As their website says, in 2015 alone, they helped over 11,000 SEO professionals and agencies to recover and improve rankings of 36,000+ sites.
Their SEO dashboard is ultra-comprehensive. Sometimes it gets difficult to understand every widget section but play along, you will understand.
CognitiveSEO suite offers the following services:
- Backlink Analysis
- Penalty Recovery
- Rank Tracker
- Content Visibility
- Marketing Reports
These are too broad terms. I will endeavor to make them clear.
The tool is accessible without signing up but the details are restricted. Anyways, the Site Explorer draws a clear picture of a website’s backlink profile.
You see a list of Referring Domains and the frequency of links, Number of Links, Dofollow vs Nofollow ratio, Fresh Links discovered, Anchor Text cloud, Website Ranking in 24 countries like Germany, India, USA, UK and others, high value and ranking Pages plus a list of Broken Pages.
Screenshot 1: A representation of dofollow and nofollow link cloud. The cluster deepens as the number of links increase.
Screenshot 2: Links created and lost in the last couple of months.
Screenshot 3: The frequency of domains linking to your website.
An in-depth analysis of the company website data is surprising because we do not engage in any kind of link building campaigns.
Still, the data shows the website is referred by various top authority blogs which is due to the nature of quality content published on our blog.
This is the first time I was looking at the link landscape of my business in SERP and even if not exactly satisfactory, it was not disappointing either.
The Page analysis shows the top 1000 pages of a website. It indicates a clear picture of how a website is perceived by search engines. If a certain page is your priority but it is not ranked ideally, it needs to be worked upon.
CognitiveSEO Dashboard lets you create two kinds of campaign.
The Recurring Campaign is recommended for continuous monitoring of the website/s as opposed to One Time Snapshot which scans the website once and generates a report, which I feel is similar to the report generated by Site Explorer.
To unleash the full potential of CognitiveSEO, choose Recurring Campaign – it is a real-time and updated assessment tool which continuously tracks Inbound Links, Website Rank and Content Visibility.
There is Penalty Recovery option but I cannot comment on its effectiveness as my website didn’t need the tool. However, you can read their exhaustively detailed penalty recovery case studies.
CognitiveSEO Recurring Campaign
Connect the Google Analytics account to see its metrics on the dashboard. You get access to huge data sets. I cannot show them here as the data is business sensitive but you need to use the tool to believe.
The Inbound Links analysis shows:
- Link rank
- Referring domains
- Links analyzed
- Link velocity
- Visual link explorer
- Unnatural link detection
- Top linked pages
- Anchor text history
- Anchor text distribution
- Link influence
- Domain influence
- Site-wide links
- Content links
- Link target
- Referring IPs
- Referring countries
- Deep link ratio
- Deep backlink ratio
- Webpage type
- Link positioning
- Link visibility
- Website category
- Webpage language
- TLD distribution
- Domain and link trustworthiness
- External inbound links
- Outbound links
That’s a lot of data to process. It is one of the most comprehensive link data analysis tool I have ever used!
It is very feature rich.
The Rank Tracking tool auto detects top ranking keywords of a website and shows results. You can plug in more keywords and track them in real-time. You will see their current position as compared to previous ranking. There is a Declined option that shows which keywords lost their position over a period of time.
The Content Visibility presents data as seen in social media. It analyses all the website pages and summarizes total social shares. It is anti-noise technology enabled.
It shows a data of most shared pages along with social distribution channels. You have Facebook Total vs Referring Domains, Google+ Shares vs Referring Domains, LinkedIn vs Referring Domains and Pinterest vs Referring Domains.
It is a concentrated tool to determine social influence.
Lastly, you can compare your website results with competitors. You can ‘spy’ how the competitors are performing well and maybe, take one or two cues to implement the same on your business.
To amplify and view centralized data, use their Widget option.
Choose a widget, customize and view it in its designated space.
CognitiveSEO is all about data analysis. Any online-based business needs to strongly depend on data growth and analysis.
The tool helped me to understand the current SERP presence of the website and to enhance the SERP and its various facets, I need to implement strategies and improve the existing statistics.
CognitiveSEO is a fully functional suite of SEO tools that complements all our SEO monitoring requirements.