SEER Interactive. The Search Church. Chris Le. Wil Reynolds. A trend? Total ballers. These folks are the OG’s, and they proved themselves last week to be even more bad ass than previously foretold. I am a sucker for transparency, and I go weak in the knees when I get to use new tools – especially Google spreadsheets (ImportXML is delicious). So, they were like, “hey, why do we not just share one of our coolest tools ever with the public because we are legit like that?” And they did. What I intend to do here is come up with a list on how a link builder can use the SEER Interactive SEO Toolbox. Spoiler alert: a majority of the toolbox is primarily useful for on-page and Analytics, but some of the efficiency hacks make it useful for everyone so they will be mentioned. Also, note: even though I might say something does not have “practical use,” that means that I would not use it when I am link building; it might work for you in some other capacity.
Press “Make a Copy” Before Collecting $200
Make a copy of the SEO Toolbox here: http://www.seerinteractive.com/seo-toolbox/. Click the big blue “Get Started” button. File > Make a Copy. Name it whatever you want (e.g. Handy Man’s Rad Toolbox, SEO All in One Spreadsheet Toolkit, Yes These Are Real Spreadsheet of Awesome, etc.). When you have your own copy, go to the Settings sheet. In the Settings sheet, you are going to put in all API keys that you need for the document. The instructions on the SEO Toolbox page are more than enough to get what you need here, and, frankly, if you cannot get past finding and putting in API keys, the tool is not for you.
Feature by Feature I Will Be Your Teacher
What you will find with the Google Analytics function is nearly all reporting hacks. I could not find any practical uses for link building.
Use this to find Twitter targets for your outreach. What you do is grab a copy of the doc here http://www.johnfdoherty.com/link-prospecting-with-twitter-tools-and-apis/. Go over to Followerwonk and grab a whole load more of influential people. Now that we have extra metrics in Followerwonk, we can cross reference with the Klout metrics. If you would like the extra metrics, you have it, and you can create your own measurement for what types of people you want to target.
Another way you could use the Klout is to use the built-in Google Scraper (see below) and use site:twitter.com with your related keyword. From there just use the Klout function to get maximum exploits.
I used the Majestic functions, and I could not even blink before the data was before my eyes. If it is not approaching the speed of light, it is beating sound for sure. At the moment getMajesticBackLinks is acting a little wonky for me so I will come back and fix this paragraph once I have it working. But, if I had to guess at what it will show, it is going to give you a list. Combine your list of Majestic data with Linkscape data and do all of the magical de-duping that you can from there. Pull desired metrics, and reduce your lists even further. Chills. Super chills. I love link building!
GetMajesticindexItemInfo is working perfectly for me though, and it is fantastic. If you ever need the fastest snapshot ever of what a competitor or your client’s site looks like in Majestic, you have it with this function. What I will probably end up doing is building a mini-report out of the function because it is so easy and scalable to use. Basically, the function is going to save you a trip from Majestic and pull all of the linking information about that URL, root domain, or subdomain.
The Raven functions are nearly all about rankings and grabbing keywords from a page. I could not think up any uses other than a quick scrape for where your Raven data. If you are in a pinch and dying to know what anchor text would be decent for you, you could check rankings in the spreadsheet.
Holy (insert obscure noun here), Batman! GetLinkscape is here, and you are loving it. There have been other places where you can scrape Linkscape data, but the reason why I think people should do it here is because it is all in one place. You will not have to toy around with too much. GetLinkScape basically grabs it all. As I scream, shout, and prance about later on, you will be able to curate which columns show up so you do not end up pulling obscene amounts of unneeded data. Being able to grab Linkscape data at faster speeds means less time waiting on reports and more time cleaning up your prospect lists. Imagine a world where you throw in a list, and you can instantly apply your qualifying and quantifying rules – you will have much nicer lists.
The getTwitterSearch function could be extremely useful if you are building links for a client who publishes fresh content. Say, for example, they published a blog about the meteorite crashing down into Russia soon after it occurred. Pull up a list of people talking about a topic with the getTwitterSearch function, and you might get a list of prospects for your content. You could get clever and use more specific columns like “geo” to find prospects only located in specific areas.
As if the stalking presentation from Wil Reynolds was not enough, we have another way to find out more about our prospects using getTwitterUserLookup. Using getTwitterUserLookup feels like using the Facebook Search Graph. If you need to find some people with exactly what you are looking for, put in as much information and as many columns as you need, and you will finld exactly who you are looking for… the link givers.
Here we go! One of the winners of the bunch for linkl building, and it shines so beautifully to me. The GoogleScraper pulls up 10 pages from the SERPs at a time. You can specify which TLD you would like and where in the SERPs you want to start. You could pull up quite a decently large list if you type in your functions correctly. Once you have that sexy list of prospects, do some quantifying with the data functions you can do with OSE and Majestic! LINK BUILDING, FUCK YEAH!
Not really too much use for link building here. The functions in the toolbox include telling you the text, word count, and code on the page.
Need a quick rewrite for your .htaccess file? You can write it out with speed using the createHtaccessredirect function. Not entirely useful for our link building efforts, but it is nice to have around like… a cat.
If you use Google spreadsheets and list out a lot of URLs, use the getDomainName function. It works every time and is crazy good because it pulls out easy to read root domains.
If you have subdomains and you want to keep them in a list of URLs, stripURLScheme is another fun hack so that you can maintain the subdomain. Another useful attribute of using stripURLScheme is that it can save a bit of time because text to columns does not always make for nice looking work in Excel.
Arrays and Cells
When you have nasty looking data and everything is in different columns, combineRange is disgustingly powerful. CombineRange pulls data from a table and combines it vertically or horizontally; the function has lots of potential when messing around with huge lists that might not be so attractive.
filterColumns is the MOST important function in the toolbox to use it effectively. Using all of the APIs is so tasty, but, holy shit, do you need all of that data every single time? No, you do not, and, if you think you do, you might be a little mad or get too happy (see: data boner) about the numbers. filterColumns allows you to pick and choose which columns you pull from. For example, if you are using getLinkscape to pull SEOmoz data, you can limit the output to the title, mozrank, and page authority data. You save time and money. Both are as nice as pie. No cake. The cake is a lie.
removeFirstRow is going to be extremely helpful when working within this document because several of the APIs populate the headings. Whenever you do not want a heading to appear, you can use the removeFirstRow function to remove it and combine it more easily with other data.
I will be honest in that I do not have the fullest clue about what the hell this even means. After reading up on hash tables, I cannot see any immediate use for it in link building unless I am completely out of the loop.
Put Your Hand On That Wall, Trooper!
Spread your arms, stretch out a bit. Feel good. Fingers back on the keyboard… ready, steady… go, go, go! As with any tool that comes out, your mileage may vary. Take it and use it however you can and will, but I think there are gems in the spreadsheet that are useful for everyday use even if just for the productivity hacks. All credit and gratitute to the Chris Le and the great people at SEER Interactive. We are the lovers of links, and we will do anything to satisfy, Lady/Dude (whatever tickles your fancy) Linkalot.