Online SEO-check: Searchcowboys better than Searchengineland

Wed 8 April 2009 17:19, Bas van den Beld

Online SEO-check: Searchcowboys better than Searchengineland

There are many many tools to be found online which claim to tell you all about the status of your website when it comes to search. There are even more companies who will tell you how you rank and what you have to do to improve these rankings.

At first sight the service that Dutch Search company Lipperhey launched seems to be one of the many tools. However, Lipperhey is kind of special. Within minutes you can have a report which tells you the status of your website. It looks at hundreds of SEO-related points and tells you what your status is on those points. And it will put your site in a benchmark. Turns out Searchcowboys is better optimized than Searchengineland and Searchenginewatch. This must be a good tool ;).

Off course that's a pretty bold statement, so we took a closer look. Our conclusion: it's a great service which will provide you with a lot of information, but it's not the 'threat' for SEO's it may seem to be at first.

How does it work?
The service is very simple. You create an account on the website and you can do a quick analysis on your website. This is free of charge. Remarkably fast, within minutes, you get your results. When you are willing to pay for it you will get a big report (38 pages counted for the report on Searchcowboys).

The Lipperhey spider downloads all the pages of your website. It then gives you a rating for technical quality, SEO Score and popularity of the website.

Lipperty built the tool themselves. They take in account a lot of possible issues. They for example stick to the robot exclusion protocol, spider a page only every 1.000 milliseconds, don't download more than 240 pages, ignore images and files because of bandwith and don't read pages bigger than 147kb.

We took the test for Searchcowboys. Turns out the site is optimized pretty ok. We do need a lot more links, but hey, we just started ;). Other than that we get a SEO-score of 79% with a popularity rating of 8.0.

When we look at the report it generates, the report tells us everything about our site. At least, it checks everything. It tells us how the structure of the site is, how many (dead) links there are, if we are using frames (uhuh), how the urls are set up and many may more of this kind of information.

What it doesn't tell us is what we should improve. It tries to point out where to start improbing, but it doesn't give us the answer to everything or optimizes the website for us. To be honest, the tool is great and we get a lot of information out of it, but the 38 pages mainly consist of predefined texts leading up to the results of the test.

An inconsitency is the ratings we get. When doing a quick analysis the SEO score we get is 79%. If we do the big analysis it's 78% and when we do a benchmark to compare the site to Searchengineland and Searchenginewatch we score 84%. That itself is pretty strange.

Benchmark: Better than Searchengineland?
The benchmark Lipperhey offers is pretty nice. For ten euros you can see how you do compared to others. Again it looks at the sites you enter (maximum of three additional to yours) and gives back the most important results like incoming links, number of pages, link density etcetera.

We compared Searchcowboys to our 'mother site' Dutch Cowboys and the US-search sites Searchengineland and Searchenginewatch. According to this report we seem to be doing better then the other sites, though Searchenginewatch is optimized pretty well too. Searchcowboys gets a SEO-score of 84%, Searchengineland gets 69% and searchenginewatch 81%.

The biggest difference between us and the others are the incoming links. We definitly need to work on that, but looking at other parts we score pretty well. For example on the use of H1-tags, we get a score of 75% compared to 38% of Searchengineland.

But really, what do we learn out of this? Are we really better than Searchengineland? No off course not. Well, maybe on some parts we are, but this is just a measurement of mainly technical issues. What this service tells us that we now know where we can improve our SEO efforts. We do know where to put our first focus on.

And that is the main benefit of this service: within minutes you know where you're focus has to be when it comes to SEO. Therefore I see this tool most probably be getting used by SEO's to get a quick view on the status of all the different issues. It won't be a threat, it will be an addition.

The service is definitely worth checking out, there's only one 'but' to it: it's in Dutch. When they will be handing out the reports in English we don't know yet.

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