Blog Post

Website grader Frequently Asked Questions


We had an awesome Webinar yesterday to cover our new website grader, backlink and keyword exploration tool. You should give it a watch if you want to know more about how the free website grader tool works. Here are the questions that came from audience during the webinar: What are the criteria to be on the website list? We bought a list of 2,000,000 websites from all different industries. We were hoping to get a representative sample of many different verticals as we eventually want to allow people to benchmark to specific websites in their industry. We are only about 200,000 websites through the list at this point. So we have not yet enabled the industry benchmarking feature for backlinks and rankings.

Do websites have to have a domain authority of over 20 to be shown? On the initial render, this is a true statement. However, we've given the end-user control over this filter. If you scroll down to the bottom, you will see that you can change the value of the Domain Authority filter. Is there a typical score range we should quote as "Good"? No there really is not. Let's review the calculation of our traffic value score again. First we grab your search engine rankings. For each keyword, we ask Google Adwords to tell us how many month searches there are on that keyword. Then we divide the monthly searches / your rank in Google. This value is multiplied by the CPC for that keyword. Here is the math: SUM [ (monthly search volume) / (your position in Google) * CPC ] For all Rankings The result is a type of "traffic value estimate". Because the value of a conversion varies so much from product to product, we can't really say there is any one "good score." But we have added a graph for you to benchmark your score against others in our database. What are the x and y axis on the blue graph at the top of the website grader? The x axis is the number of Root Domains linking to your website. The y axis is the number of websites in our database who have this number of Root Domains linking to them. This is a class frequency distribution and is a great visual tool for figuring out how you stack up against a large database of other websites. What are the numbers under YOU, COMP1, COMP2, COMP3? These numbers represent your rank in Google on the specific keyword listed on that line. For example, if you have a "6", it means you are on page 1 for that term - about half way down the page. A value of 31 means that you are on the top of page 4 in Google. Can you export this data to Excel for further manipulation? Currently, you can't. But that's a great request. Please post a feature request on our blog and we'll add it to the list for discussion. When will the website grader be available in our private label portal? We have not announced that release date yet, but we know you want it. Many resellers have indicated that this would be a helpful reseller sales tool to help close SEM business. UPDATE: The private label web grader was released in January 2012 and is now available in each reseller's private portal. Can the keyword comparison chart be used to reverse engineer our way to the top of the search engine rankings? Yes, we believe so. One big risk in keyword research (speaking of SEO here) is that you may pick target keywords that don't really convert well for your business. For this reason we often recommend running PPC first. However, this can be a problem too as many businesses refuse to explore PPC. You can use our keyword comparison tool to see what your competitors are working on as a way to "reverse engineer your way to the top." Is this data saved permanently so we don't have to type in the URL and competitors each time we want to compare rankings? Not currently. Today the tool is more of a research tool intended for a snapshot view. However, if you move these URLs and competitors into a paid search, social media or SEO campaign, we will track all of this data and present the trends over time. The score only seems to mean something if you have something to compare it to? This is sort of true. We believe the whole value of your monthly traffic value is actually meaningful in the absolute. However, comparing your value to that of your 2 or 3 closest competitors is an excellent idea. Particularly for SEO resellers using this in the sales process. You should be able to close business with this as a presentation tool. Will this website grader tool be made available to our clients or is it only available through the HubShout website? This is currently only available on the HubShout website. However we've had many requests for it to be visible in the private label portal to be used as a sales and account management tool for the SEO reseller team. We're currently discussing that feature. If we are looking at Root Domains, wouldn't the quality of that domain be very important? Yes indeed. I think you'll find as you study the distributions that this is, in fact, the case. For example, if you look at the plot of ROOT DOMAINS LINKING vs MONTHLY TRAFFIC VALUE, it is not a straight line. There is a relationship, but it is not a straight line by any stretch of the imagination. I believe the reason for this is the quality of the root domains linking. It's been said many times before, so I won't go deeply into this - but quality matters. One of my initial thoughts is that you call this a web grader but you don't get a specific number or letter that says "This is good" or "This is bad" on a quick look basis. We need a tool that says "You suck, call me." Good point. We have been thinking about this issue quite a bit. As mentioned above, we are having difficulty with absolute scoring giving the variation in CPC between industries and products. We may try one in the future, but for now we are trying to get people to look closely at the backlink profiles and keyword rankings of their closest competitors. Do you record these webinars in case we need to refer back to how something works in the website grader later? Yes, you can find all of our webinars on pretty much any page of our website on the right, or under Resources / Webinars. Isn't it more important to consistently add quality back links rather than just the amount of links to your website? Yes. I believe this is very important and have blogged about it before. See earlier posts on link building and the latest thinking about link building in a post-panda environment (2011). Is Domain Authority maxed at 100 and how high can the overall score be? Yes, SEOMoz uses a scale that tops out at 100 for Domain Authority. The monthly traffic value has no theoretical limit. And for very big websites, this number can be extremely high. As your rankings move up on valuable terms. How are the CPC values calculated? The CPC values are from Google Adwords. How does a footer link differ from other links? A foot link is just like a normal hyperlink except that it is located in the footer of the website. For many templated websites, this means that by placing the link in a single template, the hyperlink will be visible on hundreds (thousands potentially) of individual pages. This is why we like to look at Root Domains linking more than Total Links to your website as we believe Google discounts subsequent links from the same liking domain. What is a HEAD TERM? A "head term" is your big money keyword. It is the keyword that brings you the most volume or converts the best for your business. Every business should be aware of their head term (or perhaps know that they don't have one) and should be putting the most effort toward gaining high rankings on that head term. Is being further on the right of the top graph better? Generally yes.. But as stated earlier, not all links are created equally. So you will find situations where sites with fewer linking domains outrank websites with more inbound links. Where do we find this website grader tool? It is currently available on the HubShout website under Resources. There is also a link to it from most subpages and blog posts.

UPDATE TO THIS POST: On 1/19/2016, we switched from Moz to A h r e f s for domain metrics in the dashboard. Please see our Moz to A h r e f s system update post.