Friday, July 30, 2010

Using Google Advanced Search to diagnose your website


Using Google itself, with knowledge of some of the advanced search features, will enable you to achieve an insight into your own site in regards to SEO.

Firstly, check to ensure that your site is free from any filtering issues by using: search [yourdomain.com] in Google; if your sites comes up #1 for this query, you are doing alright. If you see other sites mentioning your domain ranked first, that could be a bad sign.

Next, check for duplicate content problems. Search for a pretty long extract of text from your site (exact match, i.e. in quotes). Blogs, for example, have a good chance of seeing the category page (summarising the post) instead of the corresponding post page.

Determine how many links or URLs from your site have actually been indexed by Google by using: search [site:yourdomain.com] and then “dig deeper” into the search results by searching [site:yourdomain.com/subdirectory1] and then, [site:yourdomain.com/subdirectory2] and so on, as the “deeper” you dig, the accuracy increases.

It is worthwhile checking to see if your site has canonical problems where a non-www. url reference may be listed, if you had determined to focus on www. displaying primarily. Do this by searching [site:yourdomain.com -inurl:www] and see if any non-www URLs are picked up.

The following are search queries to use in identifying the more powerful pages of your site:
[www site:yourdomain.com]
[tld site:yourdomain.tld]
[inurl:domain site:yourdomain.com]
[domain site:yourdomain.com]

Leading on from this, you can then identify the most powerful pages of your website (keyword-dependent) by using the search query: [site:yourdomain.com inanchor:keyword]

To then determine sites with the most potential for promotional opportunity use:
[site:yourdomain.com inanchor:”key * word”]
[site:yourdomain.com intitle:”key * phrase”]

To assist you to find the most relevant pages of your site, lending them to additional promotion for a specified term use the search query [site:yourdomain.com keyword] or [site:yourdomain.com key * phrase].

Crawl and index frequency by Google can be determined using the search query [site:yourdomain.com] then play around with “date range” advanced search option.

Check who, and also what, your site is associated with in the SERPs by using the search query [related:yourdomain.com]. This will help to identify your site co-citation, or who your promoters also link to as well.

Review your competition's backlinks by using the link domain command. [linkdomain:competitor.com -site:competitor.com]

To narrow this down further and to see who links to all of the competitors you're targeting, you can use a search query such as: [linkdomain:competitor1.com linkdomain:competitor2.com linkdomain:competitor3.com].

Probably worth refining this query to exclude your own site to something like: [linkdomain:competitor1.com linkdomain:competitor2.com linkdomain:competitor3.com -linkdomain:yoursite.com].