Skip to Content

Getting Feedback for a Web Site

This page is a list of freely available tools which help to get feedback for your web site. It's a mixture of freely available SEO (Search engine optimization) and ranking services. It's suitable for the typical enthusiast who's operating a low volume, non profit, least cost web site. 

Alexa.com

Example: www.scalingbits.com

Information provided

  • World wide traffic rank
  • Country specific traffic rank
  • time on site
  • pageviews per user

Assessment

Pro Contra
  • No registration required
  • Fast
  • Allows comparison with other sites (Don't rely to much on the absolute numbers, rate your site success agains comparable sites
  • tracks many sites. Alexa.com seems to be popular
  • No historical tracking for low volume sites
  • country specific ranking starts at a given threshold only

Comment

The site belongs to Amazon.

The tracking is based on a browser tool bar which has to be installed by users. All ratings will be based on this data. This means that the data tracked will depens a lot on the willingness of your target audience to install this tool bar. Low volume sites will most likely see strong fluctuations due to the small number of tracked users for a given site.

Netcraft.com

Example: www.scalingbits.com

Information provided

  • Site rank
  • The date the site went online
  • Uptime graph
  • Operating System of site
  • web server of site
  • hosting history

Assessment

Pro Contra
  • No registration required
  • Allows comparison with other sites (Don't rely to much on the absolute numbers, rate your site success agains comparable sites
  • Netcraft tracks fewer low volume sites. Tracking for a given site will have to be requested
  • Seems to track fewer sites compared to Alexa
  • Doesn't state on which time period the rank is based on

Comment

The site is focusing more on professional customers.

The tracking is based on a browser tool bar which has to be installed by users. All rating will be based on this data. This means that the data tracked depends a lot on the willingness of your target audience to install this tool bar. Low volume sites will most likely see strong fluctuations due to the small number of tracked users for a given site.

seitwert.de

This site is a german language site.

Example. www.scalingbits.com

Information provided

  • site rank (out of ~600.000 tracked sites) based on a mix of criteria
    • Google rating
      • Google page rank
      • back links
      • matching of page titles search results ranks
    • Yahoo links
    • Alexa rating including country information (3 month, 1 month, 1 week, 1 day rating)
    • Visibility for search engines
    • check for key words
    • check for meta descriptions
    • check for robots meta tag
    • WC3 Validation with html quality assessment of site
    • Social bookmarks
    • number of references from wikipedia
    • time the site is available on the web

Assessment

Pro Contra
  • most comprehensive feed back I found so far (for free)
  • No registrations, no tool bars needed
  • gives very good feed back on "unvisible" features of the web site like html errors, accessibility etc.
  • german language site
  • tracking criteria may be partially based on success of german language sites

Comment

It tracks the number of requests being made and blocks the free access after a dozen of queries (Understandable and accepted behavior, no complaints!).

seitwert.de is currently my preferred checking site.

 

Google Webmaster Tools

Information provided

  • Goggle queries which point to your site
  • Number of queries per day
  • popular pages (based on queries)
  • popular key words
  • website response times (web crawler response times

Services offered

  • Management of web site XML index (pages not be crawled, key words, recrawling frequency etc)

Assessment

Pro Contra
  • for free tool which helps to understand which Google queries lead to your site
  • provides feedback on web site response times
  • Allows to gather some information about user behavior without having to instrument your web site with javascript code
  • registration required

Comment

Valuable alternative to Google Analytics without the down side of Google Analytics (Google Analytics requires you to instrument your site in such a way that you run a program on your visitors browser. This program gives you information about the user of which he/she is most likely not to be aware of).

Google Webmaster tools are more relevant for sites which rely on Google queries. These will be most likely sites with longer lasting content. Blogging sites typically don't draw that many Google queries. They tend to rely more on RSS subscribers.

Google Analytics

is the mother of all analytical tools...

 

Information provided

  • how many users
    • watch which web page
    • move on to which web page
    • watch which page for how long
    • come from which domain
    • and much more...

Assessment

Pro Contra
  • freely available
  • very comprehensive tool to understand what your readers do on your web site
  • requires instrumentation of own web site which has to be made public

Comment

Google Analytics is probably the most popular and most commonly used tool.

I'm not using it for ethical reasons. The Google Analytics privacy paragraph in the license agreement states that the site will have to let the user know that the site is instrumented with Google code which sends back data to Google.



page | by Dr. Radut