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!