Performancing Metrics

Sunday Morning SEO: Using The SEO Toolbar to Evaluate a Site’s Authority

The SEO Toolbar is easily one of my favorite tools. Franky makes a great point that the best SEO tip is simply create great content. But once you’re creating quality posts on a regular basis, you can boost your rankings by intentionally getting links from authoritative sites. This tactic is especially useful for blogs that don’t have a lot of traffic and subscribers. These blogs can get stuck with poor rankings because they don’t have the big audience that generates natural links.

The SEO Toolbar allows you to quickly tell how much link authority a site has. The more link authority, the more benefit you’ll get from their link.

To use this tool, you’ll first have to download the free Firefox browser since it’s a Firefox add-on. (Firefox should be your browser anyways. It’s more stable and secure than IE and it doesn’t have the privacy issue of Google’s Chrome.)

After you install the program, you’ll see the toolbar at the top of Firefox. Every time you surf to a new new page, you get SEO stats for the page and domain you’re visiting.

For example, here’s a screenshot of the toolbar when I visited the BloggingPro homepage.

There’s a lot of info and I don’t want to make this too complicated, so I’ll just hit the basics. If you want to learn more about the tool, feel free to leave a comment.

The main things to look at are the following:

1. PageRank

PageRank is one of Google’s metrics to determine their rankings. It used to be more important but Google gave it less weight by adding more factors to their algorithm. Still, the top sites typically have better PageRank than the average site.

2. Links to the domain (based on Yahoo)

Sites that have a lot of backlinks are usually great sites to get links from. You can click the stat to see the specific links on Yahoo.

2a. Links to the page (based on Yahoo)

You normally won’t need to look at this unless you think you can get a link on a specific page. This stat shows you how many links are pointing to the page. Again, you can click the stat to see the specific links.

Also, you can check this stat on your own posts to see if they’re getting links.

3. Links from unique domains (from Majestic SEO)

This stat is based on the number of unique domains linking to the site. I like this metric because some sites especially blogs have inflated link counts. They have a lot of links because they are on sitewide blogrolls. But Google gives more weight to sites with links from many different domains.

So for instance, two sites have 100 links. Site A’s links come from 50 domains whereas Site B’s links come from 5 domains. Site A will usually have more authority.

4. Age

Google loves links from old sites. The older, the better.

5. Traffic from popular keywords (from SEMRush)

SEMRush has a database of rankings for 40 million popular keywords. They use the database to estimate how much traffic a site is getting from Google. A high traffic number means that Google trusts the site, so it’s good to get a link from them.

Categories: Blogging Tools
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  1. Nimit kashyap ) says: 1/24/2010

    I would also like to mention two addons here more one is “search status” and other is “SEO for firefox” which is also from SEO book. SEO book also has a amazing keyword tool that is also very good.


  2. Rinaldi Syahran ) says: 1/27/2010

    Hi Dee,
    Another post again about SEO toolbar, but i think it’s cool anyway how you make someone to understand about it work.


  3. Amgad says: 2/1/2010

    I tried the toolbar on a friend’s computer. I think its cool too, but you could get the same info from a website or a Firefox extension that will not add a toolbar to the browser.


  4. Seoways ) says: 2/21/2010

    Thanks for sharing it


  5. Antoony ) says: 6/7/2010

    The toolbar like this is very helpful in doing research on how competitive a keyword phrase I am interested. I can discover the number of backlinks should I get up to beat my competitors. Although the number of backlinks is based only on Yahoo, not on google.

    However, I do not use this toolbar. I’m using SEO Quake for Firefox. Its function is very similar to the toolbar that you recommend above.


  6. guncel blog says: 7/1/2010

    Although the number of backlinks is based only on Yahoo, not on google.


    • Ann Krebber says: 7/2/2010

      Absolutely you are right, buddy :-)

      All of tools that I know so far is only based on Yahoo links. Because google will not ever tell us the real number of backlinks of a blog or a site. Only the webmasters themselves can figure out the real number of their backlinks at their google webmaster tools account. Even though when we type “link:” at, we will not get the real descriptions.


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  8. Hugh Axelsen says: 1/21/2011

    No, it is up to you to drive up your traffic and create high quality backlinks the search engines will respect you for. But you can’t just start going around to any and every site you see and start posting your links. This is spam. This is bad. Search engines will not like you for it and you risk getting banned. Besides that, it is time consuming at best. There is a way to create backlinks this way, just keep it relevant to the sites you are posting on and don’t go nuts with it.
    Backlink builders are a far easier way to create your backlinks, but you must be careful of the program you use. Some are nothing more than an automated form of the previously described spam, but because they are automated the damages could be severe. Backlink builders such as the Automatic Backlink Creator Plugin have a proven reputation and focus on getting your backlinks placed on high quality, highly ranking sites and this is something search engines will reward.
    You can use your backlink software to both create and monitor your backlinks. This will streamline the process for you and you can rest easy knowing that you are getting the high quality backlinks you need without waving a red flag to the search engines that you are spam.


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