Stompernet Site Seer – Ripped Apart

Stomper Site Seer is totally free, other than requiring registration. Is it worth handing over your email address?

Comparisons are bound to be made with the many free tools available from SEOmoz and SEObook, some of which are purely online services, and others are browser plugins. Many of the SEOmoz tools also require registration, and some are under the hood of their paid membership, especially tools which provide long term analysis of both your own site, and that of competitors.

How Far Will Stompernet Move The Free Line with Stomper Site Seer?

Brad Fallon and Andy Jenkins are among the most astute marketers I have ever come into contact with. They want your email address, they are going to use it for marketing their products and select partners, and they are going to a lot of effort to get you to give them permission to do so.

My hope is that they will continue development of Site Seer to make it more useful, and thus retain as many referrals as possible. I am a Stompernet affiliate, by referring my readers to them I want them to provide incredible value even in their free material.

So far Stompernet Site Seer shows promise, but is certainly not without its flaws

So on with this review…

White on Green

The reports are quite small white text on a green background. Whilst my eyes aren’t perfect, I have never needed glasses, but I found the current design hard to scan & tiring on the eyes.
The easy solution was to switch off CSS using the web developer toolbar.

With or without the CSS I found it hard to determine what each section was really about.

One Page

When you setup a report, you provide a domain, plus a number of keywords.

My home page isn’t really intended to rank for anything highly competitive, in fact this whole blog ranks well in both the main Google search results and blog search whilst doing almost every factor other than page titles totally wrong.

Just an immediate example are current results for Site Seer.

Site Seer Google Search results

Site Seer in Google Blog Search

I gain quality links on a regular basis, and ensure juice flows to the parts of my site that need it, but so far I am not optimizing this site extensively in a traditional manner.

Thus I provided just a few keywords, and expected Site Seer to do the following:-

  • Scrape each search engine for current rankings for each keyword
  • Scrape top ranking pages for each keyword
  • Compare various on page and off page factors of my pages compared to competitors
  • Monitor various ranking factors of my site over time, and that of my competitors

Unfortunately Stompernet Site Seer isn’t currently as sophisticated as I had hoped. When I entered andybeard.eu as my domain, and a few keywords, my home page was analysed based upon purely my home page.

Presence On Various Sites

The first section of site analysis are various links to perform site searches. Fairly basic stuff. As well as various search engines, there are also links for various other useful sites such as PRWeb and Ezine Articles.

There is actually a bug in some of these links. WWW is being prepended on any domain, thus whilst search engines can cope with that to a greater or lesser degree, it doesn’t work at all for PRWeb and EzineArticles if you decided to make your canonical URLs without www.
It is actually interesting that for some reason Google is no longer treating www.andybeard.eu and andybeard.eu the same for site searches. The site:www.andybeard.eu command comes up with no results. This might be a by product of them switching site searches to use Google custom search, but I had though that was only when you use Adsense for search.

This section also has 8 free videos – I must admit I haven’t watched them all yet.

On Page SEO Analysis

The first section is a site analysis using Google’s Adword’s API

This is an interesting and sometimes surprising report for many site owners. We analyze your page through the Google API and determine what “topics / silos” Google thinks your site is about.

The results from the API are effectively the same as can be obtained manually using the Google Adwords External Keyword Tool

It is actually very useful, for landing page keyword research, as you can see in this video from Ryan Deiss a couple of months ago.


Google Sneak attack

How valuable is this for SEO?

The important thing to remember is this is not really related to siloing. The Adwords tool gives you keywords related to the page, or if you so instruct, also including related words to the pages linked from a page.
It is more useful in competitive analysis – this information will allow you to quickly spot which keyword terms they are aiming for, and which ones they should be aiming for

If you want to be really sneaky, and they have an affiliate program which you can track at keyword level, try joining their affiliate program and throw some traffic at various landing pages on your competitors site to test various keywords they are using before you even build your own.

Unfortunately what this doesn’t really do is give you “topics / silos Google thinks your site is about

Why?

First of all, for on page it is only dealing with a single page, or at best a page, plus pages linked from that page – that doesn’t cover your whole site. When I point Site Seer at my home page, it doesn’t come back to say my site is about lifestreaming, blog widgets, Mybloglog, Blogcatalog etc, but most of my readers are aware that I cover those topics, and it is more than the occasional mention.

This might be due to bugs currently in the Adwords keyword tool. On Friday night / Saturday morning there was an Adwords tool update of some kind. The results from Site Seer that I obtained were quite strange…

Leather Belts

Those are the top level groupings, with other keywords displayed as…

Site Seer Adwords Results

Secondly, the tool cannot take into consideration topical authority based on external SEO factors - whilst you can claim your content to be on a certain topic, for Google it is important to take into account the “status” your site holds within both your area of topical authority, and references from sites of high authority of more general importance.

Thirdly, there is internal linking – this can add as much or more weight to a page than links from external sources, especially for pages that tend to be more sales related, and less likely to generate natural linkage. On product specific promotions within the internet marketing niche, I can rank highly without any SEO effort – no link building required, because of built up authority, and the power of internal linking. Sometimes I even get quite notable links for which I am very greatful for, though because of the short term nature of many promotions, the link equity is more useful for future promotions.

Lastly, the Google Adwords API will return results for a page even if it hasn’t been indexed. To prove this point I grabbed the start of this article, pasted it into an HTML page, even without any meta data, and pointed the Adwords Keyword tool at the page – it returned tons of related, albeit generic keywords.
It didn’t return product specific terms such as Stompernet. Want to see for yourself? Here is the page (nofollowed)

Thus whilst I am sure the Stompernet guys are aware of this, after all people using PPC can get great quality scores on totally new domains which haven’t even been indexed, the description is a little ambiguous.

Meta Analysis

I have nothing really to object to regarding the meta tag analysis – they provide a good deal of instructional information.
They did forget to mention blocking DMOZ descriptions

I am currently a little bit of a maverick regarding meta descriptions. I have used them on this site in the past, but there is a major problem. Some of my more popular posts have so many trackbacks on the permalinks, that invariably even when I used a unique meta description, Google in its wisdom used part of a trackback. They did that even when half the trackback was in Chinese. The reason is that trackbacks often have the title of the link to post in them. Thus at the end of each page is always a fairly high occurrence of whatever I included as the title of my article, and Google seem to pick that content up no matter what I do to try to correct it.

Stomper Analysis of your Meta Keywords
# Your site has no description. Indicated to have one!
# You have included too many Meta Keywords
This page has 107 meta keywords.
# Your Meta Description is too short.
It is 0 characters, it is suggested to expand it to at least 150 characters.

Stomper Analysis of your Meta Keywords Continued…
Meta Keywords: Of the keywords that you entered, here is a list of what is included / missing:

1. wordpress seo INCLUDED in meta keywords.
2. niche marketing NOT INCLUDED
3. linking structure NOT INCLUDED
4. pagerank update NOT INCLUDED
5. seo siloing NOT INCLUDED

I am obviously a failure… but other than the niche marketing keyword the pages ranking for the terms generally have the term in the meta keywords. It is just they have applied my home page to all.

Currently I just have a load of tags being added automatically depending on what is on my front page. As and when I switch to a more formal front page, I will probably change that and keep it to core categories.

Headings Analysis & Image Alt Text

They spot what h1 h2 and h3 headings you use, and which images are missing alt text. It seems to work.

Sitemaps

Apparently they check to see if you have a sitemap. Here is my sitemap which they found. The observant among you will notice from the headers being sent that that page returns a 404 not found.

This feature currently gets a 0/5 as it is clearly broken.

The Off-page Value Report

This is mainly quite basic stuff, pulling numbers from Google and Yahoo site explorer. Of note is that my number of indexed pages has been jumping around quite a bit in recent days, maybe they are picking up more tag pages again.

Yahoo seem to be reporting a lot more backlinks than they have in the past.

The tool found me in DMOZ, not in Yahoo (no I am not paying $300 for a link I don’t need from a dubious reviewer) and Alexa well bleh…

Social Media

The social media results rely on APIs, and it is possible they haven’t included error checking

No returns from Technorati or Delicious – this is most clearly a blog and I do have a reasonable listing in Technorati, and a few people have bookmarked various pages on Delicious.

Note: if you fancy bookmarking a few of my posts, this one on WordPress SEO is worthwhile, and people are still making these linking gotchas, and linking mistakes.

Keywords

The keyword analysis is of course quite telling. I rank for all kinds of things that people are not searching for, including the keywords I entered into Stompernet Site Seer.

SEO Myths

The reports finish off with 10 common SEO myths which many will find valuable, though they weren’t presented very clearly

Stomper Site Seer – Long Term Potential

When one of my competitors jumps ahead of me in the SERPs, wouldn’t it be great to know it was because of a number of new links they received, or because they changed something in their site structure.

I don’t want this on just one page, I want it on multiple pages, though a few good landing pages to start

How feasible this level of monitoring is in practice is another thing

  • On page not too hard
  • Position in the SERPs again not too hard
  • Incoming links – very hard to do with any reliability
  • Internal linking structure – possibly hard depending on site – every time I use the SEO tag more than 100 internal links change.

The guys at Stompernet have the financial resources and the geeks to do this kind of thing, and probably the desire as well. Whether they will give the full thing away is another matter, but even a cut down version would be nice.

I don’t want to spend time micromanaging stats, even though I am a stats junkie – Google only seem to tell you what they want you to know.

Summing Up Stompernet Site Seer

  • It provides some very easy “lazy statistics”
  • It can currently be used for 5 websites… or pages – it can already be used to keep tabs on competitors
  • You gain access to 23 new instructional videos explaining every step of the site evaluation
  • The Stompernet faculty is made up of people I consider as mentors – these guys are good – whilst you should always look for alternative point of view, they know what they are doing.
  • It is 100% free of charge

My personal opinion is it is well worth signing up. Just being on the email list and experiencing product launches is a huge learning experience.

I have been enjoying looking at my referral stats at this end, even though they are a little disappointing. One reason I like promoting Stompernet are the affiliate tools, totally custom made.

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Comments

  1. says

    I was totally unaware of this tool Andy. Found the link at the top of your post after reading through and trying to get a grasp on everything you explained. Checking it out for myself. Thanks!

  2. says

    Excellent analysis Andy

    Very thorough as usual. I was also surprised that SSS analyzed
    the home page only. I have resubmitted other pages separately.

    I also know that the social bookmarking stats are not correct.

    Overall though super proffessional lead up and presentation. The Stompernet guys are top-notch.

  3. says

    I only watched the first video so far “The LOST Video” and i found it pretty helpful in explaining eye tracking and helping with a pages overall conversion rate.

  4. Duane says

    After all the hype I thought it was a very poor effort and not exactly ground breaking stuff. Basic SEO and it needs a huge upgrade.

    • says

      Duane I am looking on it as a useful free bonus that has potential if they carry on working on it.
      Lots of people swear by the tools from SEOmoz and when they introduced some tools to monitor SERP positions, people were oohing.
      SEObook has a serps monitoring plugin for Firefox and the seo for firefox toolbar which does some of this, but guess what? You forget to use it – it takes time to use it.

  5. says

    I am always looking for good SEO tools, this one seems like it is worth checking out. Regarding metas, my experience has been that they are near worthless, although I always make sure mine pass basic seo tests ;-)

  6. says

    I was eagerly waiting for the Friday release to write about the same…In the meantime as you said, I did give my email address and got a one page free report that was pretty useless :)

    Not sure how the whole product is. Do they still have the $1 offer?

    Ajith

  7. says

    Once again a wonderful post. This is my first time responding but I just needed to after this post. I love all the tools you suggested and I WILL be using them!

  8. says

    Andy

    Your Stompernet Site Seer – Ripped Apart review is spectacular! And the Google Sneak attack video TIP is HUGE.

    I am in the pre-launch phase of a new online digital photo prints and digital photo memory expression gift items business and I am pleased to report that Google sees me they way I am and that I have a LOT MORE work to do :)

    Cheers

    John

  9. says

    Thanks for the review Andy!

    We’re pretty excited about SSS Revision 2 – and now that we’ve got the scalability bugs worked out and the queuing working flawlessly, we’ll start to turn on the intermediate and advanced tools over the course of the next few weeks.

    In terms of the “basic analysis” that’s offered, one thing that I’d like to point out is, according to our constant surveying of our members and subscribers, 70% of IM’ers self-identify as newbies in the Traffic and Conversion space.

    Thats why we aimed this tool at their skill level, understanding that more intermediate and advanced users would be very familiar with the information that we aggregate with the tool.

    We thought, “They are not even going to UNDERSTAND a LSI report, let alone know what to do with the data…”

    Again, as Jerry pointed out in the end of the video, our roll out was to be staged – and this is stage 1. Stage’s 2 and 3 will not only provide the analysis that the upper 30% of our subs desire, the nature of the staged roll out will help us educate them correctly about the advanced features use and functions.

    Hope the clarifying our position helps assuage any or all vitriol that may be created because of mixed expectations.

    Best,

    Andy Jenkins

  10. says

    Andy,

    Thanks for taking the time to do the review Andy. Seriously, much appreciated – even the bad stuff. :-)

    Let me go over some of your comments and findings …

    – Small Text … white text on green background. Yeah, eye strain. We’ll work on a “printer friendly version” of the page. Did you at least click on my affiliate link for 1-800-CONTACTS?!?! ;-)

    – Being clearer what each section is about is dead on too. I’ll work on improving the descriptions of each section. While Andy and I did that in the video, it didn’t make it into the text portion of the report. It needs to be there.

    – “Your Expectations”. Those types of features should be available in the future versions. Seriously, we didn’t want to get into too much with the first roll out as we had no idea the servers were going to be able to handle the volume. It had a few hiccups, but its done nearly 10,000 reports since Friday, which is good in my book.

    – Removing the “www” from the site query. You’re exactly right and this one was completely my fault. I don’t how it slipped past me. You would think with 10 years of software testing under my belt I would have seen this one. Thanks for pointing it out.

    – Sitemap error. This is due to the system finding the sitemap.xml file but linking to the sitemap.xml.gz file. I found that one earlier and it is getting fixed right now.

    – All the “off page” checks are coming in a future version. Obviously we couldn’t do it in the first rollout due to huge demand we’d put on Google and Yahoo!.

    – Also, a few people had concerns how we were checking EzineArticles … just looking for the domain name, and most link back with targeted anchor text. Most don’t know that EzineArticles is one of the most heavily scrapped sites out there – and if you articles get scrapped do you think your links will stay in tact? No. So, include a text version of your domain name, that way if they do get scrapped they are easier to track down and plus, you have a solid way of seeing how many text references there are to your domain.

    Lucky for me, most of the fixes are minor, so I may avoid the “Iron Maiden” for now.

    Jerry West

  11. says

    Thanks Andy for the very detailed review. It made me glad that I didn’t spend a bunch of time with it. I watched their pitch video, and even gave them my email address (whoops), but I probably won’t end up trying it out. thanks.

    • says

      Justin I think the features you will be most interested in are still to come. There is noting wrong with giving the Stomper guys your email address, I have been on their list for over 2 years and have never thought they abused it.

      In all honestly, I look forward to them promoting something, either their own, or someone else’s because that is almost a guarantee I will learn stuff that you won’t find for free on forums.

      Brad and Andy constantly give me a reason to be on their email list, whereas many in the SEO field constantly give me reservations about why I should stay.

  12. says

    An excellent review which matched my thoughts when I tried it when I came back off holiday. Freat to see Andy Jenkins and Jerry West add their comments.

    I have huge faith in StomperNet but I must admit that I expected a more comprehensive analysis from the build up.

  13. says

    Awesome article…I had use the Site Seer, the same day it launched…but I totally forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me.

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