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

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.

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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Increase Your AdMob Revenue Rate: It’s About eCPM Rate

Admob Revenue

Admob is still a relatively new advertising network. That didn’t keep Google from purchasing them in 2009. Admob is completely taken care of financially, which means everybody wins at the end of the day. Focusing on mobile traffic primarily, Admob is continually providing publishers like you and I with tools to increase our AdMob revenue. The most important metric you should pay attention to is your eCPM (i.e, the amount you earn per 1,000 impressions).

One of the best ways to manipulate and hopefully increase your admob revenue is through the use of AdMobs ad filters. Once you have an accepted mobile website in the Admob publisher program, you will see Reports, Setup, and Tools links on your Admob dashboard homepage. Click ‘Tools‘. On this page you will be able to manipulate a series of filters that ultimately determine which advertisements are displayed on your mobile website. Many people disagree with “Age-Orientated Ads”, which is why it is turned off by default. But that didn’t keep them from having the Gambling or their own Affiliate Ads from showing up by default. Personally, I like to remove any categories that would not seem relevant to my website to any degree. I recommend that everybody turns image ads on.

Be careful not to go crazy filtering your Admob ads, however. Though it might makes sense to remove categories that have nothing to do with your website, you would be surprised the kind of products there are in the free market that might interest one of your visitors.

At the end of the day, the advertisers through Admob determine the value of your mobile traffic. By filtering categories, you are telling certain advertisers that you don’t want anything to do with them. Your ultimate goal is to deliver the most relevant advertisements to your mobile visitors and increase clicks and your revenue. And since you own the website, you typically know what your visitors want.

Need help or have experience increasing your AdMob revenue?

Do you have any Admob tips or tricks on how to increase revenue?  Feel free to comment.  I may start a list if I get some quality contributions.  I’m not trying to promote Admob; just dish out ideas on how to make more money :P

DropBox: Your answer to file backup and sharing (free invite)


Dropbox is a relatively new online file backup service tool.  It allows you to create shared folders so you can universally share files across any internet device.  Say for instance you wanted to outsource a programming job to a programmer in India.  You and your employee can both have dropbox installed, and share a folder on your computer that contains all the database and web files needed for the job.  Dropbox gives you the ability to give shared file access to you and groups.


Dropbox is handy for webmasters for two reasons: 1. it gives you the ability to easily share large files (of any type) with others. 2. it gives you peace of mind knowing that your valuable files are backed up on an independent, third-party server.

Yes it’s free.

Yes it works really well.