Benjamin Estes's Posts

Getting Started With The Free Linkscape API

When they released Open Site Explorer, SEOmoz gave SEOs a powerful, free tool upon which many now rely.  But did you know that all SEOmoz members have access to the just-as-free and perhaps powerfuller Linkscape API?  This API uses the same data set as OSE, but you can use it to make large numbers of queries which might be cumbersome with OSE.

Linkscape is a web based API.  Your query looks like a URL, and requesting that URL will return the data you need.  We mention the API from time to time on the Distilled blog.  Will Critchlow wrote a post a while back with a bash script that accessed Linkscape data.  What I want to do here, though, is just take you from zero to fifty-five in a few easy steps.

There are, of course, many query types to choose from.

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Wait... which way is my traffic trending?

Our Will Critchlow delivered a presentation at ProSEO Boston this year which interested many and baffled many more. One of the cooler (and more esoteric) tools he brought up was R, which is a statistical computing program.  Working with it feels a bit like working with a Python prompt, but awesome specialized results are even closer at hand.

My goal for this post is to walk you through a first R project inspired by the pretty (and seriously useful) charts that Will showed off in his presentation. His idea was to properly assess the seasonality of traffic (whether year over year or week over week). Fortunately his solution wound up requiring about two lines of code. Check these out:

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ProSEO Boston Recap

It’s been a week now since our first Boston ProSEO conference kicked off.  Our video presales are turning out to be very popular, and we are proud to finally announce that our #linklove videos for London and NOLA are all available to watch now!  Pre-sales are on now for our Boston ProSEO Conference videos which will be released by June 20th.

Commemorating the one week anniversary of our conference, we’d like to give you all a glance at the knowledge that got dropped, the secrets unsecreted—everything, in short, that you will be able to watch in full with our Boston ProSEO Conference videos.  Thanks to everyone who went, and especially those who have already posted recaps of their own!

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Changes of Domain

Domain changes can be worrisome from an SEO perspective.  This is only natural as we spend our time building up the strength of particular domains so that they can compete with others.  Will Google recognize the old site at the new domain?  Will all of the link equity carry over to the new domain?

By considering the problems involved with a change of domain before you execute, it is possible to alleviate many concerns.  There is no guarantee that everything will go perfectly, but a little preparation will go a long way to making your transfer as successful as possible.

URL Mapping: Where are we going?

If the change of domain is the only action occurring, then it is likely that a one-to-one redirect, page-to-page, will be sufficient.  This may not be the case, though, if the structure of your site will be simultaneously changing with the domain.

URL Mapping

Architecture Adjustment

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Google Analytics is the Cat’s Pyjamas, Announces Multi-Channel Funnels

Most PPCers and SEOs (myself included) go crazy for analytics numbers.  After all, how else are we going to quantitatively justify the qualitative recommendations we make?  PPCers need to design proper ad copy, SEOs need to be able to execute on-site optimization strategies.  Often we find ourselves relying on Google Analytics.  It’s free; it’s winning.

And it’s about to get winninger.

Introducing Multi-Channel Funnels


Analyzing conversions is one of the most powerful uses for Google Analytics, especially in eCommerce or social sites.  By measuring where users drop out of the conversion funnel, the path to conversion can be optimized through user testing or other methods.

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