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No. 1619
October 6th, 2008

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SEOmoz’s Linkscape Tool Will Change the Face of SEO

Doing my best Sarah Palin impression, let me reword that sentence a couple of different ways: SEOmoz’s new SEO Tool, Linkscape, will change the face of SEO. (Also, too, the face of SEO is bein’ changed by SEOmoz’s new Linkscape product, also.)

I could be more eloquent, but saying the same thing over and over to prove my point seems to be in vogue these days.

Linkscape creates an unbiased, unfiltered view of how important a page is, or how important a domain is, in the web ecosystem. No more worrying about whether Google is feeding you a load of crap about your PageRank. Now we have mozRank (mR) and mozTrust (mT) to give us an indication of how likely our pages are to rank for a given phrase. And we can even compare those to direct competitors, right on the same report.

Better than that, Linkscape offers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy more robust link data than Yahoo Site Explorer, which is was the best link tool I was aware of before this morning. You can see AND SORT BY such factors as ANCHOR TEXT, NOFOLLOW, mozRANK THE LINKING PAGE, 301 REDIRECTS, right in the main report.

Linkscape is basically Google- or Yahoo-grade search engine data without a search engine. Only it’s visible to everyone. Or at least SEOmoz PRO members.

Rand Fishkin’s full announcement is here. An excerpt:

As I noted a few weeks ago, the price for PRO membership is rising. Starting today, PRO membership will cost $79/month or $799/year. This increase is primarily to help us support the Linkscape project, which (as you can imagine) has been, and will continue to be, an extremely expensive endeavor.

I was taken aback at first by that price, which Rand says will likely rise to $999/yr in 2009. (All you existing SEOmoz PRO Members are grandfathered in, so don’t worry.) But the more I thought about it, it’s SOOO worth it, even at $100 a month for Linkscape alone. Here’s my thinking:

Assessing the Financial Value of Linkscape

Let’s say you run a small SEO shop. (Maybe even a one-man shop in Portland, Oregon…) Let’s say you take on somewhere in the neighborhood of one to three SEO clients a month. Let’s say you don’t even use Linkscape to assist you with your actual SEO duties (you’d be an idiot, but just for the sake of argument).

If you think ONLY in terms of value in acquiring clients, Linkscape still pays for itself many times over. Imagine an interviewing client’s reaction when he/she sees his entire website laid bare in your proposal! You can run a report and generate at least five key strategies for that client that no other SEO of your size and at your pricepoint will be able to tell them, all in the course of about 15 minutes.

If you land even one or two clients a year as a result, your full yearly PRO membership has just paid for itself (not even considering the additional tools like the Q&A forum, directory listing, PRO Tips, PRO Guides, etc.).

That’s the small shop. Larger shops with more clients, bigger clients, with more websites, the value just skyrockets. If you’re in-house at a large enough company (or at least a company with a marketing budget of more than, say, $30,000 a year) you should be running Linkscape reports at least twice a week, on your own site as well as your competitors’.

Congrats to everyone at SEOmoz. This is one long-awaited announcement that has actually lived up to the hype.

Well, that’s my take anyway. What’s yours?

Full disclosure: Yes, the folks at SEOmoz are friends of mine. This post, however, is a completely straightforward recap of my thoughts on Linkscape without any urging from them whatsoever. If you have a problem with that, let me know about it in the comments. But only after you’ve actually tried Linkscape for yourself & can voice a legitimate disagreement on the merits of the tool :).