Frequenty Asked Questions

These FAQs are always expanding and gaining topics. We encourage you to ask an SEO question if it isnt already included. Just visit submit an SEO FAQ and we’ll respond to you and if it seems relevant to many we’ll add it here.

Mobile SEO (1)

Volume and because Google says it is.  That’s honestly the best answer…now for the why….

  • More than half of the searches on Google are from mobile devices.  If you only think in terms of searching from a desktop you ignore the majority of searches.  A mobile device usually displays content in a small limited width view, desktop pages are not appropriate for a good mobile experience.  Mobile’s load generally slower as they lack a physical connection to a network.  Pages need to load fast and thus need to be streamlined for the best experience, page load speed is therefore extremely important.
  • Mobile First – Is an initiative Google started in 2018.  The name is self explanatory.  If you don’t want to put mobile first you’ll ignore the greatest customer you have….Google.
  • Mobile Index – to address the disparity between the mobile experience and a desktop experience Google created a second index of results thats independent of the desktop results.  You could be the number one result in desktop but not listed in mobile.  Since we noted more than half of searches are on mobile devices you would lose over half the opportunities for reaching a visitor.

Ignore mobile devices at your own peril.  Your SEO efforts are doomed in my humble opinion.  I don’t work on projects I dont think can succeed so I’d bow out if working on a project ignoring mobile.

Here is an example …. searching “rental homes in louisville” you’ll notice that the results come in a different order.

desktop vs mobile search results

It appears while realtor.com is considered better for desktops, zumper.com has a better mobile experience.  Its likely better laid out and faster than realtor.com so it beats that site in mobile.  Who wins here?  Zumper as more searches on mobile than desktop.  You think well…whats the big difference its one position…the difference between 3rd and 4th or 2nd and 3rd is huge.  The difference between 1st and 2nd position is more than 50%.  If this is a billion dollar industry we’re talking about potentially hundreds of millions of dollars. 

And it IS likely layout and speed.  Notice in the desktop view realtor.com has a higher trust score and a higher domain score.  Realtor.com has a higher rank, advertises more, was a domain first ….. in almost every SEO metric realtor.com should be higher than zumper.com.  BUT in mobile it is not.

Hits: 12

SEO (3)

Domain Authority is a Moz.com metric meant to predict a domains ability to rank content on a search engine.  It relies heavily on backlinks and anchor text just like Google.  DA is a number between 0 to 100.  It is increasingly harder to increase your domain authority.  So a site may have 20 backlinks from 20 different sites and it earns a 10 DA but when that site has 40 domains linking to it its not going to have a 20 DA it might have a 15.

The Law Of Diminishing Returns is really easily seen in this topic.  Over a 4 month period a DA33 site increased its linking domains from 400 to 800 and its DA increased to DA40.  That was 7 points for double the domains.  This site on 2/1/2019 has a DA41.  A month ago this site had a DA40.  In the last 30 days this site added about 34 domains linking to it for a total of 854.  The other site previously mentioned had about 800 when it became a DA40 as well.

An indepth discuss is included in an article on the site.  Domain Authority, Why Should I Care?

Hits: 26

Category: SEO

What is the best SEO audit tool?

So thats like asking whats the best tool for building a house?

It depends.

Just like in building a house the right tool for the job is essential. So as an SEO, BSIT MBA MEd whos “top rated” by clients on Upwork and has tested in the top 10% there heres how I see it.

No automated free audit tool is really that much better than another because they cant accurately audit the 200+ signals that we suspect Google uses, because of course Google does not publish that. These tools are usually just lead generating gimmicks intended to gain your contact info so someone can actually follow up with ya. Now they are useful …. in like a heart monitor is useful. They cant diagnose the problem but they can be an indicator of something catastrophic.

I divide audits into groupings and each has a tool set.

  1. User Behavior – The most important factor…this includes bounce rate, how many pages they view, if they return, whats the CTR in Google Search Console…these are the most important signals. And it makes sense….if a page doesn’t include a phrase on the page but every time Google lists it first for a specific search everyone clicks it and stays on that site for an hour …. its safe to assume the site is relevant to the user’s search. So in this one I think the best tool is Google Search Console and then Google Analytics. You can combine the data in Data Studio for free.
  2. Backlinks and Mentions (What others think of the site) A Little less important than user behavior but a heck of a lot more important than meta tags and keywords are the off page signals. For this Google Search Console is a good tool again. Now if you’d like a site that breaks this into more then you have to consider that SEMRush .com SEOProfiler .com Moz .com and HREFS .com all crawl the web on their own. They are always going to have a smaller sample size than Google. So all of them are only as good as how fast they can crawl the web and start all over again. With that said I go with SEMRush .com and SEOProfiler .com as they are reasonably priced and I always use at least 2 because of the smaller sample size. You notice the often disagree on what site has how many backlinks and that’s fine I just average them in my head… I also like Monitor Backlinks for just monitoring backlinks.

A couple notes here … DA Domain Authority is no more accurate than Citation Flow or Trust Flow they aren’t accurate. Neither can fully predict Google’s algorithms and focusing on any one of these is as effective as chewing gum to treat a heart attack. Taken together they become more accurate…so know all three and SEMRush offers you DS with LIS from SEOProfiler so there are plenty of measures that eyeball it … but don’t get fixed on anyone. Its like looking over your three credit reports and trying to come up with a FICO score.

  1. The least important part is the most thought of part and the one that gets too much attention…the on page audits of a site. Any of the tools already mentioned with audit the site for broken links and error pages…so just use anyone of them. I use SEOProfiler then SEMRush’s audit but I also like WebSite Auditor as its available offline. On page though is the least accurate indicator to the relevancy of a page to a search. I’d give it maybe 30% of a site’s signals.
  2. Finally the often forgotten but important … especially in the world of mobile. ( Don’t forget over 50% of searches are mobile and Google has a separate index for them ) is Technical SEO. How long does the page take to load. GTMetrix .com is the tool I use for that.

Hits: 3

Categories: SEO, SEO Audits

Well so DA or Domain Authority is a proprietary guess by Moz dot com as to a domains ability to rank for a relevant keyword. It attempts to mimic Google PageRank, which is also proprietary so no one knows what’s exactly in it. We know it has 200 ranking factors and I’ve actually done an article on this on my own site but to be quicker …

its primarily a measure of the number of domains that link to your site, how old your site is and how much social buzz there is … now DA is just one measure. DR DS AS CF TF all are made by someone else but all try to mimic Google PageRank which is not publically shared.

There are hundreds if not thousands of free sites that give out DA. The just have to be linked up to Moz to pull the number they assign. There are also many bulk DA lookup tools out there for free.

I personally use Domain Detailer by Domain Hunter Gatherer. (I don’t work with or for them, I honestly just like their product) its great cause it gives you DA but in a useful way. DA by itself is worthless…only has value if you believe it too, cause its just their guess.

Domain Detailer also gives you Moz Backlinks, Majestic Backlinks count, Majestics Domain count, Majestics IP addresses count, CF TF Moz Rank, Page Rank and more…auto does it all…does it in bulk and you buy credits ahead of time. I think I paid like 30 bucks and can use it 10000 times or something.

Learn more about these SEO Metrics in these two articles:

SEO Metrics: DA DS DR DT CF TF DP AS and domain authority ranking.

Is A Site Low Level? DA vs CF vs TF … DR, DS, AS, TS and more!

Hits: 5

Categories: SEO, SEO Audits

SEO Audits (3)

What is the best SEO audit tool?

So thats like asking whats the best tool for building a house?

It depends.

Just like in building a house the right tool for the job is essential. So as an SEO, BSIT MBA MEd whos “top rated” by clients on Upwork and has tested in the top 10% there heres how I see it.

No automated free audit tool is really that much better than another because they cant accurately audit the 200+ signals that we suspect Google uses, because of course Google does not publish that. These tools are usually just lead generating gimmicks intended to gain your contact info so someone can actually follow up with ya. Now they are useful …. in like a heart monitor is useful. They cant diagnose the problem but they can be an indicator of something catastrophic.

I divide audits into groupings and each has a tool set.

  1. User Behavior – The most important factor…this includes bounce rate, how many pages they view, if they return, whats the CTR in Google Search Console…these are the most important signals. And it makes sense….if a page doesn’t include a phrase on the page but every time Google lists it first for a specific search everyone clicks it and stays on that site for an hour …. its safe to assume the site is relevant to the user’s search. So in this one I think the best tool is Google Search Console and then Google Analytics. You can combine the data in Data Studio for free.
  2. Backlinks and Mentions (What others think of the site) A Little less important than user behavior but a heck of a lot more important than meta tags and keywords are the off page signals. For this Google Search Console is a good tool again. Now if you’d like a site that breaks this into more then you have to consider that SEMRush .com SEOProfiler .com Moz .com and HREFS .com all crawl the web on their own. They are always going to have a smaller sample size than Google. So all of them are only as good as how fast they can crawl the web and start all over again. With that said I go with SEMRush .com and SEOProfiler .com as they are reasonably priced and I always use at least 2 because of the smaller sample size. You notice the often disagree on what site has how many backlinks and that’s fine I just average them in my head… I also like Monitor Backlinks for just monitoring backlinks.

A couple notes here … DA Domain Authority is no more accurate than Citation Flow or Trust Flow they aren’t accurate. Neither can fully predict Google’s algorithms and focusing on any one of these is as effective as chewing gum to treat a heart attack. Taken together they become more accurate…so know all three and SEMRush offers you DS with LIS from SEOProfiler so there are plenty of measures that eyeball it … but don’t get fixed on anyone. Its like looking over your three credit reports and trying to come up with a FICO score.

  1. The least important part is the most thought of part and the one that gets too much attention…the on page audits of a site. Any of the tools already mentioned with audit the site for broken links and error pages…so just use anyone of them. I use SEOProfiler then SEMRush’s audit but I also like WebSite Auditor as its available offline. On page though is the least accurate indicator to the relevancy of a page to a search. I’d give it maybe 30% of a site’s signals.
  2. Finally the often forgotten but important … especially in the world of mobile. ( Don’t forget over 50% of searches are mobile and Google has a separate index for them ) is Technical SEO. How long does the page take to load. GTMetrix .com is the tool I use for that.

Hits: 3

Categories: SEO, SEO Audits

Well so DA or Domain Authority is a proprietary guess by Moz dot com as to a domains ability to rank for a relevant keyword. It attempts to mimic Google PageRank, which is also proprietary so no one knows what’s exactly in it. We know it has 200 ranking factors and I’ve actually done an article on this on my own site but to be quicker …

its primarily a measure of the number of domains that link to your site, how old your site is and how much social buzz there is … now DA is just one measure. DR DS AS CF TF all are made by someone else but all try to mimic Google PageRank which is not publically shared.

There are hundreds if not thousands of free sites that give out DA. The just have to be linked up to Moz to pull the number they assign. There are also many bulk DA lookup tools out there for free.

I personally use Domain Detailer by Domain Hunter Gatherer. (I don’t work with or for them, I honestly just like their product) its great cause it gives you DA but in a useful way. DA by itself is worthless…only has value if you believe it too, cause its just their guess.

Domain Detailer also gives you Moz Backlinks, Majestic Backlinks count, Majestics Domain count, Majestics IP addresses count, CF TF Moz Rank, Page Rank and more…auto does it all…does it in bulk and you buy credits ahead of time. I think I paid like 30 bucks and can use it 10000 times or something.

Learn more about these SEO Metrics in these two articles:

SEO Metrics: DA DS DR DT CF TF DP AS and domain authority ranking.

Is A Site Low Level? DA vs CF vs TF … DR, DS, AS, TS and more!

Hits: 5

Categories: SEO, SEO Audits

Volume and because Google says it is.  That’s honestly the best answer…now for the why….

  • More than half of the searches on Google are from mobile devices.  If you only think in terms of searching from a desktop you ignore the majority of searches.  A mobile device usually displays content in a small limited width view, desktop pages are not appropriate for a good mobile experience.  Mobile’s load generally slower as they lack a physical connection to a network.  Pages need to load fast and thus need to be streamlined for the best experience, page load speed is therefore extremely important.
  • Mobile First – Is an initiative Google started in 2018.  The name is self explanatory.  If you don’t want to put mobile first you’ll ignore the greatest customer you have….Google.
  • Mobile Index – to address the disparity between the mobile experience and a desktop experience Google created a second index of results thats independent of the desktop results.  You could be the number one result in desktop but not listed in mobile.  Since we noted more than half of searches are on mobile devices you would lose over half the opportunities for reaching a visitor.

Ignore mobile devices at your own peril.  Your SEO efforts are doomed in my humble opinion.  I don’t work on projects I dont think can succeed so I’d bow out if working on a project ignoring mobile.

Here is an example …. searching “rental homes in louisville” you’ll notice that the results come in a different order.

desktop vs mobile search results

It appears while realtor.com is considered better for desktops, zumper.com has a better mobile experience.  Its likely better laid out and faster than realtor.com so it beats that site in mobile.  Who wins here?  Zumper as more searches on mobile than desktop.  You think well…whats the big difference its one position…the difference between 3rd and 4th or 2nd and 3rd is huge.  The difference between 1st and 2nd position is more than 50%.  If this is a billion dollar industry we’re talking about potentially hundreds of millions of dollars. 

And it IS likely layout and speed.  Notice in the desktop view realtor.com has a higher trust score and a higher domain score.  Realtor.com has a higher rank, advertises more, was a domain first ….. in almost every SEO metric realtor.com should be higher than zumper.com.  BUT in mobile it is not.

Hits: 12

Technical SEO (1)

Volume and because Google says it is.  That’s honestly the best answer…now for the why….

  • More than half of the searches on Google are from mobile devices.  If you only think in terms of searching from a desktop you ignore the majority of searches.  A mobile device usually displays content in a small limited width view, desktop pages are not appropriate for a good mobile experience.  Mobile’s load generally slower as they lack a physical connection to a network.  Pages need to load fast and thus need to be streamlined for the best experience, page load speed is therefore extremely important.
  • Mobile First – Is an initiative Google started in 2018.  The name is self explanatory.  If you don’t want to put mobile first you’ll ignore the greatest customer you have….Google.
  • Mobile Index – to address the disparity between the mobile experience and a desktop experience Google created a second index of results thats independent of the desktop results.  You could be the number one result in desktop but not listed in mobile.  Since we noted more than half of searches are on mobile devices you would lose over half the opportunities for reaching a visitor.

Ignore mobile devices at your own peril.  Your SEO efforts are doomed in my humble opinion.  I don’t work on projects I dont think can succeed so I’d bow out if working on a project ignoring mobile.

Here is an example …. searching “rental homes in louisville” you’ll notice that the results come in a different order.

desktop vs mobile search results

It appears while realtor.com is considered better for desktops, zumper.com has a better mobile experience.  Its likely better laid out and faster than realtor.com so it beats that site in mobile.  Who wins here?  Zumper as more searches on mobile than desktop.  You think well…whats the big difference its one position…the difference between 3rd and 4th or 2nd and 3rd is huge.  The difference between 1st and 2nd position is more than 50%.  If this is a billion dollar industry we’re talking about potentially hundreds of millions of dollars. 

And it IS likely layout and speed.  Notice in the desktop view realtor.com has a higher trust score and a higher domain score.  Realtor.com has a higher rank, advertises more, was a domain first ….. in almost every SEO metric realtor.com should be higher than zumper.com.  BUT in mobile it is not.

Hits: 12

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