SEOmoz Launch a Brand New Toy: Open Site Explorer

In the last hour, SEOmoz have launched a new tool Open Site Explorer, driven by the vast wealth of data collected by their Linkscape product. I’ve been playing with the tool and I’m already excited about some of the actionable insights the tool can deliver. Here are my tips for making the best use of Open Site Explorer:

Optimise your most authoritative internal links

With the tool, two new authority metrics become available. Domain authority, and page authority. Every page on your site has been assigned a page authority value by the tool. With the new metrics, you can answer questions such as: “what are the most authoritative internal pages on my site?”.  There’s potential therefore to see which internal pages can pass the most value by way of their overall page authority through internal links. By selecting “Only followed” and viewing ”Internal pages only”, you can work out a priority internal link realignment list to the page you’re analysing. Working down the list you can spot any sub optimal anchor text links and make changes where necessary.

Sort out any nasty internal 301 redirects

There’s no point 301 redirecting internal links (navigation, footer links, old links in ancient content before a redesign etc). Find them and fix them by choosing “only 301″ on “internal pages only”.

Get a quick snapshot of your most common inbound anchor text

Having an awareness of your most common anchor texts can offer a good insight as to why (or why not) you’re ranking for specific terms as well as giving you a view on your competitor back link strategy.

Get a good snapshot of your competitors best back links

Gone are the days where we’d hope nobody would be able to dissect your link strategy. Investigate your competitors best back links to work out what makes them rank.

Create a nice summary dashboard of your clients metrics for presentation fodder

Open Site Explorer has an extremely visually appealing interface – take screenshots of the dashboard to show your clients how successful your link building efforts have been.

*New – Spot if your competitors are using 301 redirected domains as part of their SEO strategy

This is the fastest way (I know of) to get a list of a competitor’s owned, 301 redirecting domains. As there’s still some argument to suggest that buying old domains and redirecting them can add some value to your search engine rankings, this report is very handy for getting under the bonnet of your competitor’s domain strategy.

Feedback on the tool

As with all things new, feedback is critical to new ideas. You can leave feedback on the Tool on the announcement post here.

The one thing that really stands out with this tool is the lack of an ability to track changes over time. With the dashboard, particularly, it would be nice to see the change in metrics over time. If SEOmoz aren’t developing this feature for a later release, I’ll eat my hat!

Comments

  1. Tom Nash

    I’m looking forward to seeing the Export functionality roll-out to see the kind of granularity available.

    Atm its a bit annoying to find X number of links have ‘No Alt Text’, without being able to drill down and get a list of those links…

  2. Tom Nash

    …Not to sound all ‘glass half empty’ about it – the 301 queries are really helpfull, as is the ability to filter between followed and no-followed links :)

  3. Tom Nash

    Because, presuming you have the ability to do so through your CMS, you would want to re-align the link as opposed to leaving it to redirect. Thereby preserving the maximum value and authority passed via that link

  4. josh

    But wouldn’t they lose the value that the original address had before you 301ed it? Also, there is a good chance that an external site could have linked to page that you are 301ing and by taking that away you would lose the link if you were unaware of it.

  5. jaamit

    @josh – the idea isn’t to remove the redirects – the 301 should stay in place to pass on link juice and as you say pick up on links to the old URL on other sites that you dont have control over. The point is I think to update internal links within your site to make sure you’re not linking excessively to old URLs that 301 to new ones – this can dissipate link juice I believe, plus you’re increasing the amount of work Google has to do to reach an internal page.

    Incidentally, anyone know whether there is a ‘dampening factor’ or evaporation on link juice passed via a 301 or do they cleanly pass it all on?

  6. Craig Broadbent

    Some good tips here.

    “Spot if your competitors are using 301 redirected domains as part of their SEO strategy”

    This would be even better if you could do the same with 302 redirects, and find any legacy domains that are redireting to client sites incorrectly…

  7. Rich Cowley

    Hi there, Is the OSE tool a long term replacement for linkscape itself? developed from the labs stuff? If so, I think there should be more domain metrics on the comparison dash, as there is on a linkscape basic report. currently there’s a level of detail by page not matched at domain level. If not, aren’t link tools getting a bit crowded and overlappy? Its a pretty nice & clear tool though!