Does Alexa, Compete, Google PR and inbound links matter?

I’m wondering is there any correlation between the following elements:

  • Alexa rank
  • Compete rank
  • SEMrush rank
  • Google PR
  • Compete visitors estimate
  • SEMrush visitors estimate
  • Inbound (backlinks) links according to Google
  • Inbound (backlinks) links according to Yahoo
  • Number of Twitter followers
  • Number of Facebook (fans) likes
  • Website grader score
  • Actual website traffic
  • Business $

What elements matter to Google and other search engines? What are the true indicators of a website’s relevance, influence and ability to rank … and most importantly, convert traffic into whatever your website is supposed to achieve.

I took a peek at WebsiteGrader and SEOmoz. Both companies are in the SEO and online marketing business. So, you’d think they would be pretty optimized at their own game with good indicators to compare. So, lets see the data…

Search engine ranking indicators

 
Websitegrader
SEOmoz
Alexa traffic rank
2,049
1,703
Compete traffic rank
8,519
76,306
SEMrush traffic rank
4,417
12,804
Websitegrader rank
117,968
2,429
Google PR
6
8
Websitegrader score card
98
99
Compete visitors estimate
228,197
26,161
SEMrush visitors estimate
494,000
173,000
Inbound links (backlinks) acc. Google
704
1,710
Inbound links (backlinks) acc. Yahoo
34,921
207,596
Twitter followers
38,696
15,542
Facebook fans (likes)
15,542
3,023

Alexa

The best score you can achieve is 1. What this score means is that of all the millions of websites around the world, which ones are getting the most (or least) amount of traffic. I’ve seen sites ranking over 4 to 5 million. If your site ranks less than 1,000,000 then you are at least on the radar. Alexa doesn’t really start keeping close tabs on sites unless they are in the top 100,000. If you are in the top 10,000 then you are really on Alexa’s radar. If you are in the top 1,000, you are red hot. Top 100, on fire. And if you are in the top 10, then your site is probably worth over $1B.

In this case, Websitegrader and SEOMoz rank almost identically. They are both about 2,000 +/- a couple hundred. In perspective, they are about in a dead heat. But, SEOmoz did squeek out a better Alexa rank.

Score: Websitegrader: 0, SEOmoz: 1

Compete traffic rank

Like Alexa, the best score you can achieve is 1. In this case, the disparity is huge and remarkable. In fact, the disparity between the Alexa and Compete rank makes me start to suspect the accuracy and integrity of either Alexa or Compete – I just don’t know which one is off base.

In this case, Websitegrader smashed SEOmoz. SEOmoz ranked 9 times worse than Websitegrader. When you look at the estimated visitor traffic, it appears that Websitegrader is clearly dominating the web traffic over SEOmoz.

Score: Websitegrader: 1, SEOmoz: 1

SEMrush traffic rank

Similar to Alexa and Compete traffic rank, SEMrush estimates traffic and compared to all of the other websites in the universe, it ranks websites from 1 to 1 billion where as 1 is the most highly trafficked site on the Internet. In this case, Websitegrader came ahead of SEOmoz but it didn’t necessarily smash it like it did with Compete. In this case, SEOmoz ranked only 3 times worse than Websitegrader, compared to 9x with Compete. This definitely makes me think that Compete traffic rank is way off base. Similar to Compete traffic estimates, according to SEMrush traffic estimates, Websitegrader clearly dominates SEOmoz.

Score: Websitegrader:  2, SEOmoz: 1

Inbound links (backlinks) according to Google

Links have been know to be the Holy Grail of SEO. It’s all about the links, they say. Some SEO professionals claim that inbound links (or backlinks) are more important than anything – even the content on your site. In this case, SEOmoz has more than twice as many inbound links at Websitegrader.

Score: Websitegrader: 2, SEOmoz: 2

Inbound links (backlinks) according to Yahoo

Many SEO professionals say that Yahoo has a more accurate, in fact THE most accurate gauge of backlinks. While this may be true, Yahoo doesn’t discriminate. For example, if a website has 100 pages and on each of its 100 pages, it has a link to my site, then Yahoo will count all 100 links individually. Whereas with Google, it will likely only count 1 link from that other site to mine. So, while Yahoo may be technically accurate, Google focuses more on link quality and link diversity. In this case, you can see how SEOmoz has worked hard to develop tons of inbound links (backlinks). There is an enormous disparity, which makes me suspect the integrity of Yahoo’s calculation. While it may be accurate, it may not be a good indicator.

Score: Websitegrader: 2, SEOmoz: 3

Twitter Followers

This metric represents a few different concepts, namely; How much importance a website owner has placed on social media, How much influence a brand has on its social media profile and perhaps, How interesting or valuable are a brand’s social media content. In this case, it appears that the folks at Hubspot (owners of Websitegrader) have placed a great deal of emphasis on their Twitter page. They are outpacing SEOmoz by over 2:1. So, I wonder if all of these followers converts to traffic and dollars.

Score: Websitegrader: 3, SEOmoz: 3

Facebook Fans (Likes)

Like the Twitter example, the number of Fans or Likes you have on your Facebook page is an indicator of How aggressively are you promoting your pages, How important social media is to your brand and How enthusiastic are your followers such that they become fans or likers of your Facebook page. Like Twitter, Websitegrader smashed SEOmoz but this time, by almost 5:1.

Score: Websitegrader: 4, SEOmoz: 3

Websitegrader scorecard

I’ve always wondered if Websitegrader’s scorecard actually has any real indication of who well your site is optimized for traffic. In other words, if I score a 99 on Websitegrader, am I getting more and traffic than the website that scored a 50? Is a website with a Websitegrader score of 95 inherently more likely to have a higher PR than a website with a score of 49?

There is one other element to Websitegrader’s algorithm. In addition to the website scorecard, they also offer a rank based on all of the other URLs that they have processed. So far, Websitegrader claims to have processed over 1,000,000 URLs. So, if you have a Websitegrader rank of 1 then you have scored better than 999,999 other websites. Conversely, if you have a rank of 1,000,000 then you suck and 999,999 other website have a better score than you. Interestingly, even though Websitegrader has a score card of 98 and SEOmost has a 99, they are not really that close. In fact, SEOmoz absolutely smashes Websitegrader on its own ranking algorithm. Indeed, SEOmoz ranked almost 50 times better than Websitegrader using Websitegrader’s own ranking system.

In this case, Score: Websitegrader: 4, SEOmoz: 4

Woorank

There is another SEO and website analysis tool out there that assigns an overall score or grade to your website. It’s called Woorank. And, while I’m not sure if I trust it’s algorithm, it is at least another indicator of SEO potential. In this case, Woorank gave SEOmoz a score of 82% and Websitegrader a 63%. This is somewhat inline with Websitegrader’s own score in that it doesn’t appear to be nearly as optimized for search engines as that of SEOmoz. It is strange that a company that specializes in grading and optimizing websites for search engines is not as “perfect” as it could be. Kind of like the shoemaker’s children have no shoes.

SEOmoz comes out on top and the tie is broken, for now.

Websitegrader: 4, SEOmoz: 5

Search performance:

  Websitegrader SEOmoz
SEO analysis tool
5
> 10
Website analysis tool
6
> 10
Website seo tool
1
> 10
SEO tools
> 10
4
Free seo report
2
> 10
seo software
> 10
> 10

* > 10 – Theoretically, if you are not on the first page of Google then you might as well not be there at all. Some statistics indicate that 80% of all search engine visitors click on only the top 3 results. However, if these web visitors do not find what they are looking for and/or if they are really obsessive with their research, then they will often click several pages deep. In general however, I would say that if you don’t appear above the fold, i.e., in the first 7-8 positions on the first page of Google then your chances of getting found (and clicked) quickly diminish. For this reason, if a website did not rank in the first 10 positions then I did not invest time trying to discover the accurate position for that search term.

Forensic SEO Analysis

  1. Websitegrader is clearly dominating search engine results pages compared to SEOmos – ranking on the first page of Google 4 out of 6 times, versus SEOmoz ranking on the first page only 1 out of 6 times (for the keyword search terms that I thought these two websites were about).
  2. While both SEMrush and Compete believe that Websitegrader is taking the lion’s shae of traffic, their traffic estimates are grossly off one another. Compete thinks that Websitegrader gets 228k visitors while SEMrush thinks Websitegrader gets 494k visitors. Meanwhile, Compete thinks SEOmoz gets 26k visitors while SEMrush thinks SEOmoz gets 173k visitors.
  3. Ironically, Websitegrader has a GooglePR of 6 whereas SEOmoz has a GooglePR of 8. Wondering if PageRank is over-rated and irrelevant.
  4. Likewise, SEOmoz has significantly more inbound links (backlinks) than Websitegrader. However, all those backlinks don’t appear to be giving SEOmoz any distinct advantage. What would be interesting would be to study the quality of the backlinks going into SEOmoz. Wondering what is the anchor text of those backlinks. Perhaps, SEOmoz is trying to optimize for keywords that I seem to be missing. Regardless, if you look at the estimated traffic from Compete and Alexa, it seems pretty clear that despire those hundreds of thousands of backlinks, Websitegrader still outperforms SEOmoz by a large margin.
  5. I don’t have enough data to tell, but if you compare the ratio of Facebook fans (5:1) and Compete visitors estimate (8:1), there may be a better correlation between Facebook fans and website traffic than many other indicators. So, if you want to get found on Google then maybe you should start by building up your Facebook fans.
  6. Of course, there is one more indicator that is not on any of these charts. According to Crunchbase, Websitegrader and SEOmoz were both companies started taking venture capital around 2006/2207. Yet, Websitegrader (Hubspot) has won $33.5M in venture capital whereas SEOmoz has only won $1.25M in venture capital. Possibly, Websitegrader invested a ton of this money buying traffic, buying Facebook advertisements and sponsoring some other form of brand awareness campaign. Could be that Websitegrader has just outspent SEOmoz and that is the reason for the high traffic estimates.

More search engine results data

Search term: seo analysis tool

Rank Google Bing/Yahoo
1 seoworkers seoworkers
2 spydermate spydermate
3 reactionengine reactionengine
4 searchengine-analysis webuildpages
5 websitegrader seoreporttool
6 trugroovez seomoz
7 mozilla ehow
8 w3optimizer yoast
9 webseoanalytics w3optimizer
10 pearanalytics googlerankings

Search term: website analysis tool

Rank Google Bing/Yahoo
1 websiteoptimization websiteanalysistools
2 sitereportcard ironspider.ca
3 ironspider.ca websiteoptimization
4 seocompany.ca sitereportcard
5 visible.net websitegrader
6 websitegrader seoscores
7 Google analytics websiteanalysistool
8 seoworkers freewebmasterseotools
9 submitexpress sitesolutions
10 thecounter seogeeks

Search term: website seo tool

Rank Google Bing/Yahoo
1 websitegrader websitegrader
2 webconfs seoscores
3 seobook seochat
4 seochat webconfs
5 seocompany.ca website-seo-tools
6 seotoolset seobook
7 seoscores seocompany.ca
8 webmaster-toolkit ehow
9 googlerankings further.com.uk
10 iwebtool askapache

Search term: seo tools

Rank Google Bing/Yahoo
1 seobook seobook
2 seochat seochat
3 seocompany.ca seomoz
4 seomoz.org webconfs
5 webconfs seocompany.ca
6 link-assistant seorankings
7 linkvendor seotools
8 seobook seobook
9 iwebtool seocentro
10 freeseotoolnet iwebtool

Search term: free seo report

Rank Google Bing/Yahoo
1 thefreeseoreport refreshweb
2 websitegrader submitshop
3 w3optimizer networkstrategics
4 seorush frontdeskseo
5 bloomseo serpslogic
6 seochat thefreeseoreport
7 frontdeskseo seorush
8 spydermate theeasyseoreport
9 thefreeseobook freeseoreport.com.au
10 refreshweb websitegrader.com

Search term: seo software

Rank Google Bing/Yahoo
1 link-assistant seoelite
2 seoelite link-assistant
3 trendmx trendmx
4 seosoftware seosoftware.net
5 bruteforceseo seoadministrator
6 seosoftware.org lotusjump
7 webceo sheerseo
8 seoadministrator seosoftware.org
9 skyhighlinker webceo
10 sheerseo seosoftwaresuite

Adwords for SEO products

It’s interesting that a company that does SEO and provides tools for SEO professionals has to pay to get on top. So, I thought I’d just list the companies who are paying money to get to the top rather than actually doing SEO:

Adwords: SEO tools

  1. seotool.com
  2. seomoz.org/tools
  3. jasonmcdonald.org/seo-tools
  4. conductor.com/seo
  5. sitesolutions.com

Adwords: SEO analysis tool

  1. conductor.com
  2. powermapper.com
  3. majesticseo.com
  4. seoinc.com
  5. increasevisibility.com

Adwords: free SEO report

  1. exagoinc.com
  2. pentaho.com
  3. pivotlink.com
  4. winwardreports.com
  5. powermapper.com

Keywords used in the title tags

Since it is pretty well known that the Title tag is one of the most important pieces of real estate you have on your website in terms of the “signals” that search engines use to determine the relevancy of your website, I have listed some of the Title tags they these top ranking website use in the SEO tools and SEO analysis space. You can see that many times, a company will try to brand its company name as well as its search terms in their title tag…

  • 136 SEO TOOLS – The Tool Place – Free SEO TOOLs – All In One Place!
  • Best SEO Tool | Online SEO Analysis | Free SEO Report
  • Free SEO Report | The Bloom SEO Company
  • Free SEO Report/Analyze of my website – SEO Chat
  • Free Seo Tools – Web Development – SEO Analysis Tools
  • Free SEO Analysis & SEO Tools | SpyderMate™
  • Free SEO Tool – SEOrush
  • Free SEO Analysis & SEO Tools | SpyderMate™
  • Free SEO Tool | Learn More About Our Free SEO Tool
  • Free SEO Tools & Search Engine Optimization Software
  • Frontdesk SEO – Frontdesk SEO
  • Get a Free SEO Analysis – Pear Analytics Website Analyzer
  • Google Website SEO Scorecard Analysis Tool Online – Beta 1.6: About
  • LinkVendor – Professional SEO Tools
  • Lipperhey improves the quality and searchability of your website
  • Metrics, KPI, Balanced Scorecard Designer to measure and control …
  • Search Engine Analysis – The comprehensive SEO Analysis tool
  • Search Engine Optimization Resources | Internet Marketing Tips
  • Search Engine Optimization Analysis | Free SEO Score Sheet
  • Search Engine Visibility Scorecard, Website Score, SEO …
  • SEO Score Card
  • SEO Scorecard | SEO Checklist | SEO Peformance | SEO Tips
  • SEO Site Analysis: Knowing the Score, Part 1 | ClickZ
  • SEO Tools – Search Engine Optimization Tools
  • SEO Tools – Search Engine Optimization, Google Optimization
  • SEO Tools | SEOmoz
  • SEO Workers Web Page SEO Analysis Tool :: Add-ons for Firefox
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Metrics …
  • SEO Book.com ~ SEO Training Made Easy
  • SEO Tools, SEO Analysis, SEM/Online Marketing Blog – Web SEO Analytics
  • SEO Workers Search Engine Optimization Analysis Tool
  • The Most Effective SEO Software – SEO PowerSuite Tools
  • The Reaction Engine: a Free Online SEO Analysis Tool
  • The Free SEO Report
  • The Free SEO Book – Download the free SEO ebook
  • Visibility Scorecard – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Webmaster Tools & SEO Tools
  • Website SEO Tool | Website Grader