[photo] Mark Jeftovic

easyDNS CEO, Career Contrarian & AntiGuru

Forget Ajax, a look at two good blog tracking and SEO tools

Yesterday I blogged about AJAX, and other uses aside, how I don’t think it’s useful as a selling feature and mentioned MyLongTail.com as an example, and then I mentioned MyBlogLog.com as another site in a similar niche.

First, as I’ve commented before (somewhere), the speed at which search engines and specialty filters index and disseminate has reached the point where it happens in near real time, as the comments to yesterday’s post illustrate. MyLongTail’s Mike Levin left a couple constructive comments within hours and I woke up this morning to find a third comment from MyBlogLog’s Eric Marcoullier . Both of these guys no doubt do what any savvy website operators do nowadays, and monitor for mentions of their services via sites like technorati or google alerts. I’ve found these services to be invaluable for tracking references to my business and my band. On one notable occasion it helped me head off a complete misunderstanding which could have easily snowballed into a PR debacle.

Mike Levin posed the question “Do I get it?” with regard to what MyLongTail actually does, and Eric Marcoullier hoped I would give MyBlogLog a try and it became clear to me I didn’t do either of them justice in the original post: I already use both services:

MyBlogLog: is a great tool if your blog resides on a third party server like Blogger or Blogware, like mine did until the weekend. Because you don’t have access to the server logs, you get some overview type stats from within the blogging app itself, but MyBlogLog gave me the fine detail on exactly where the hits where coming from, and where the outbound clicks were going (more on this in a second). So I wasn’t a hard sale after the three day test period to become a paid subscriber at the premium level ($3 a month, via Paypal)

So then I moved the blog onto one of my own servers for various reasons and I thought I wouldn’t need this service anymore. But on a lark, I plugged the code into my new blog and things got even more interesting for me because of the outbound link tracking. Most of my blog posts contain very few outbound links, so before the move, these statistics weren’t terribly interesting for me. But under the new blog setup (using Seredipity with all the third party bookmarking and tagging links enabled), I was surprised to be able to see a nice breakdown of the tagging and bookmarking action around my posts. So I’ll happily keep my premium subscription here and will likely add another for the easyDNS company blog.

MyLongTail: The value proposition behind MyLongTail is that is analyzes every inbound hit and search hit and looks for keywords that reside “in the long tail” where it thinks you may have some underdeveloped potential and makes recommendations. The underlying premise is if you write more about those underdeveloped phrases you will incrementally improve your organic search traffic, I hope Mike Levin doesn’t mind me hotlinking his graphic to illustrate his point:

Everything I said about AJAX aside, MyLongTail uses it to display the inbound hits to your site in realtime, which is interesting for my company site, which, accordingly to MyLongTail analytics, gets 46.5% of its search engine traffic from our top-10 keywords and the rest (53.5%) from within the long tail.

But for my personal blog, watching inbound hits in realtime would normally be about as interesting as watching paint dry. Usually it only gets a smattering of visits per day.

But owing to fact that today is 06/06/06 TEOFTWAWKI day and as I mentioned over the weekend, a blog post of mine from last year comes up #1 in google’s organic search results for various “June 6, 2006” phrases, MyLongTail is getting a nice workout the last few days. 1000+ uniques on saturday, 2400+ sunday, over 8500+ yesterday to what I expect to be a blow-off high today, there is lots of fresh data going into MyLongTail to analyze and I was expecting it to be heavily skewed by this 06/06/06 hysteria. So out of all this, it has so far recommended “sovereign individual” as an under utilized search term for me. Well done. This is a topic near and dear to my heart and something I’d have no problems writing more about. I would have never thought to target it as a phrase specifically.

So I see value in both of these tools. MyBlogLog is a sneeze at $3/month andMyLongTail is still in a free beta, but all indications are I’ll stick around once it goes over into a pay service.

1 Comment to Forget Ajax, a look at two good blog tracking and SEO tools

  1. October 9, 2006 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and colleagues!

    Discovered your blog early this Thanksgiving morning via the following route:

    [1] Digg story relating to dodgeit.com
    [2] Google search on Dodgeit and one link took me to your company where you had registered dodgeit.ca
    [3] Google search to find reviews regarding your company and your services
    [4] More searching and by some (unknown to me) method discovered your blog.
    [4] Google search to find more background info on you.

    Benefits to me:

    [1] I have learned that your company provides a very realiable and credible service. Thus, when I’m ready, I’ll deal with your firm.

    [2] A number of your blog posts are both informative and interesting, especially with respect to your business experiences in the Internet/Technology space, and relative to technology services and products that you deem useful.

    I have bookmarked your blog and will visit frequently!

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