When attempting to check their website’s indexing status and search engine visibility, it’s natural for webmasters to assume that Google Webmaster Tools is the premiere solution.
Google is, after all, the largest search engine in the world and a hugely important factor in any web site’s SEO worth. Google Webmaster Tools also provides data straight from the source; it’s hard to trust anyone else more when it comes to your website’s search traffic on Google.
Still, there are some enticing alternatives to Google Webmaster Tool that webmasters should consider:
Moz Analytics and Pro Web App
Anyone familiar with Google Webmaster Tools will likely feel at home with Moz’s Analytics and Pro Web App, which emulates many of the features found in Google and Bing Webmaster Tools. “One of the major intents behind our app was to replicate the experience of Webmaster Tools with some of the key functionality we felt was missing,” Moz’s CEO and co-founder, Rand Fishkin, said. The app offers features like improved crawl errors, unique link data and a link-in with Google Analytics that allows webmasters to view an individual ranking of each of their site’s pages. Used alone or in conjunction with Webmaster Tools, Moz’s analytic and Webmaster tools features are recommended.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Google remains the king of web search, but Bing’s presence continues to grow. Webmasters that like to keep one step ahead of trends should sign up with Bing Webmaster Tools, so they can monitor their site’s performance and visibility on Bing. As an added bonus, Bing is currently offering $50 in advertising credit on the Yahoo! Bing network for anyone who signs up for Bing Webmaster Tools. Offering many of the same features as Google Webmaster Tools, it provides yet another option for webmasters to increase their web site’s performance on search engines beyond Google.
Blekko SEO Tools
An emerging Webmaster Tools-like program by the name of Blekko SEO Tools is still in beta, but its features look very promising. Blekko provides the basics such as notifying of duplicate content and the number of inbound and outbound links, in addition to features like SEO report cards and full link reports. The report card is especially useful, and similar to Google’s PageSpeed Tools, in grading a web site for its speed and SEO effectiveness. Search engine analysis is also helpful for identifying keywords your site should hone in on. For instance, if you were receiving steadily increasing impressions for the keyword workers’ comp, Blekko can suggest incorporating the keyword workers’ comp more frequently in your site’s content.
In addition to these Webmaster Tools replacements, webmasters should consider trying a variety of analytics services to see what suits their site best. Statcounter is a long-time reliable and free option, while Piwik provides one of the most comprehensive and interface-friendly solutions for web site analytics. By using a variety of Webmaster Tools and an established analytics service, webmasters will have the upper hand in knowing how well their web site is doing on specific search engines.