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AdWords Keyword Tool, It Was Nice Knowing Ya

AdWords Keyword Planner

Google is transitioning their keyword tool to AdWords “Keyword Planner”, which will be private to AdWords clients rather than have it open to the public. Granted, the tool will still be free – but to me it’s an attempt to capitalize on their popularity. I don’t really agree with their decision, but there’s no real loss.

Alternatives to Raven Tools Rank Tracker SEO Tool

Raven Tools
Even successful people have the capacity to make irrational decisions.

Raven Tools Rank Tracker
Raven Tools SERP Tracker

Raven Tools is a popular internet marketing tool that allows you to track your website metrics. I signed up for Raven Tools’ $99/mo service strictly because of their sophisticated rank tracker. But Raven Tools announced that they were going to shut the tool down. I highly recommend that you not only read the announcement, but a very zealous comment right after the post. As a lot of you may have heard in the SEO world, Raven Tools had failed a site audit by the Google AdWords API team. They were forced to decide to comply to Google or get blacklisted.

I will be pulling my subscription to Raven Tools on January 3rd, 2013. I simply cannot justify the cost. I think Raven Tools really screwed up here as a company. It really sounds like it was a political thing because most (if not all) of Raven Tool’s customers signed up for the rank tracker. Now they pull the rug out from under us and we are forced to decide to stay or go.

Clients want to see results. They deserve to because they are paying you to improve their rankings. Reporting results to your clients is important to any successful marketing campaign.

SEOmoz has a SERP rank tracker, but they are very expensive – even for marketing agencies. Here are some alternatives to Raven Tools

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That was a pretty good list for me, but i found an alternative - ColibriTool - i'm using it for…

Favicon Generator Tool

Favicon Generator Tool Example

I wrote about creating your own favicon using Photoshop a few weeks ago.  Since then I found a very useful alternative from a website called Dynamic Drive; they host a free online favicon generator tool.  All you need to do is upload a picture from your computer, and it will convert it to a .ICO extension.  From there, you download the file, then upload it to your root folder.  Lastly, you add the following code to the <head> section of your web page:

<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="/favicon.ico">

Easy as pie.

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online favicon generator

you can use to generate favicons online.

Favicons & Photoshop

Favicons have become increasingly popular in the web development community.  Professionalism seems to be this years trend and favicons are one way of helping your site visitors another way of remember your website.

Branding your website is not necessarily an SEO strategy.  It falls out of the category because favicons do not play any role whatsoever in regards to determining your search engine result pages on Google, Bing or Yahoo.

Nevertheless search engine marketers can learn something by acknowledging that every bit counts; and even a small pixelated image can make a difference between a sale or no-sale.  Here is a good video tutorial on how to get yourself a favicon.


Check out SitePoint’s favicon tutorial.  I guarantee you can have yours up within an hour.

Microformatting, An SEO Innovation

Microformat Logo

Well, I won’t lie, Microformatting is not that new of an idea.  However, Google has recently changed its algorithm to place more weight on hCard markup.  I interpret Google’s move to weigh hCards more as a way to replace META tags.  As you probably know, META tags are essentially useless for Google at least.  Other search engines may use them, but they aren’t significant enough to matter.  hCards are easy to make.  In fact, all it is is HTML.  Until you learn to write the code by memory, you can use the hCard generator tool to create your hCard.  Here is an example of what microformatting can do for you and your SERP’s on Google:

hCard Snippet

Not sure if Google is reading your hCard correctly?  Use the Google Webmaster Rich Snippet tool to make sure your code is read validly by its robots.  Microformatting is essential to optimizing your Google Places page, and any other location you want indexed by Google.

Do you use Microformatting tags?

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