SEO Audit Tool Highlights Flaws In Social Metrics

360i has released a search engine optimization tool that assists marketers in Web site audits, but says it also points to shortcomings in social metrics across Facebook, Twitter and Google +1.

In development for nearly two years, 360i released a scaled-down version of 360iTIGER that is free to marketers. The tool monitors social media shares supported by Facebook Likes, Twitter tweets and Google +1s.

Marketers can grab a bookmarklet from the 360i site, place it in their browser similar to Instagram or Pinterest, and visit the Web site to conduct the audit. The tool will crawl up to 25 pages at a time. It uses a Google spreadsheet doc to place the information, so the tool requires the user to use a Google Gmail address. 

The tool also requires marketers to use Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers, because the company says security settings in Internet Explorer are too "locked down." It takes two clicks on the bookmarklet to get the social media counters populated with numbers. One click starts the crawl, and a second from within the spreadsheet to replace the question-marks.

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360iTIGER collects public data; any user can go to any Web site and run an audit. Marketers can audit both their own and competitors' sites. The tool provides information on the title of the article, description, headers 1 and header 2, and PageRank, as well as social signals.

Despite 360iTIGER's ability to gives marketers free access to SEO audit data, the tool highlights flaws in social media counters, says Mike Levin, director of SEO strategy at 360i/Dentsu; and Adam Whippy, group director of SEO at 360i/Dentsu.

One imperfection is in the way social media calculates shares, Tweets, Likes, Google +1s. Take, for example, the way blogging platforms tie the URL too closely to an article's headline. One change to the headline resets social counters. Every URL has a history. By changing the URL, it changes the history, according to Levin.

"There's no such thing as a redirect on social media counters, yet," Whippy said. "It's a pain point, but it all has to do with blogging platform tying the URL too close to the headline."

In the social space, Facebook, Google and Twitter have not responded to changing URLs similar to Google PageRank, according to Whippy. 

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