Saturday, September 04, 2004

Search Engine Madness

This is stressin' me out...

I've been on the search for something - anything - that I could use to organize my SEM projects. Research, organization, keywords, ranking, tracking, improving... the whole she'bang. I've been doing it all manually up to this point - which means I research the keywords, do the competition analysis, create & optimize the page, implement link strategy, put my search term in the SE's periodically to monitor ranking, tweak a bit, check again later, etc.

Obviously I cant stay on top of it all like that. Certainly not for every single page I create (across several sites). As if I can even remember every single page - gimme a break! LOL I'd have to document as I go, and the paperwork on that would create a full-time job for somebody :p

I've looked around, and I've tried some of the more popular tools. Most of them are web-based, and you get to do one query at a time. There's that problem of remembering every page - and entering it - to get the results. And the maddening part of it all?! None of the them give the same results :\ They dont even match what I pull up manually by using Google or Yahoo. What good is that?? Some of them only give results for Google - they dont even offer tracking of Yahoo, MSN, etc...

I gave up and created a spreadsheet... and figured I'd just sit down and try to figure it all out this afternoon myself. So I've got: the name of the webpage, the search term I'm optimizing for, the # of daily searches for that term, where that page ranks on google/yahoo/msn, number of backward links... and a notes section. I figured it'd be a good start.

Rude awakening!

Search terms I optimized pages for last year now get ZERO daily searches. There's even a new page I just added *last month* that was getting over 100 searches a day for the term... now Wordtracker is showing none. Great - and I rank #1 for that one. LOL. Okay - so we start keyword research all over again, right? Fine.

Yahoo has me scratching my head. Top 10 in Google SERPs, not even in the top 100 on Yahoo. What's up with that? I havent checked Yahoo in forever, but I never imagined their results would be so different. So now we have to figure how to rank well in Yahoo SERPs. Okay - fine.

(I'm suckin' wind in Yahoo all the way - it's pretty sad)

I've only looked at 9 of my pages so far (which took over an hour, by the way) and I'm ready to throw in the towel. There has GOT to be a better way to monitor all of this!

Dare I say.... web position gold ? NO! DIE DIE DIE - That software will curse you!! Okay, already. I've been looking at WPG for over a year now, and every time I venture out to peek at the reviews, I always crawl back with my tail between my legs. Google says, loud and clear: No Automated Querying! This is the main complaint with WPG, but I'm not sure how it differs from the other services that *are* recommended. But okay. Fine.

Not to say that I'm not tempted to shell out the $149 and just keep reaaaal quiet about it (shh!) - but knowing me (the tracking & tweaking freak that I am), I'd run queries all day and night and get my site banned forever till the end of time!

You should have seen me when I first got my hands on Adword Analyzer and Keywords Analyzer - heh - I practically exhausted the contents of the English Dictionary! :p

Well... back to square one. What's a webmaster to do? Go back to the spreadsheet? Yeah - by the time I complete that, all of the results will be outdated... LOL

Hmph. I'm ready to scrap the whole site and start over!