Back in January it was noted in a blog or two that Microsoft was working on creating an analytics platform in response to Google Analytics. This was a logical move after buying Deep Metrix, an analytics software company, last year. The background information on the Microsoft analytics platform code named “Gatineau” was sparse back in January and I am sad to say it is still sparse to this day. In fact, upon receiving a reply from Ian Thomas today, the lead of the project at Microsoft, I am sad to say the program appears to still be in the Alpha stage; but at least I am in the queue for testing the beta when it is available. Here is a link to the Gatineau login page; don’t bother trying to login it doesn’t work. Read more…

I have long been a fan of ClickTracks and it’s professional line of analytics software. In my experience ClickTracks is leaps and bounds above its competition both for quality of software and quality of service. In the interests of full disclosure StepForth has been an advocate of ClickTracks since we bought our first copy in 2003 (or thereabouts) and I (Ross Dunn) recently completed my Professional ClickTracks Certification.

The following video interview was recorded at the ClickTracks presentation booth at the New York Search Engine Strategies Conference, yesterday, April 11th, 2007. To view the videos just click on the question and you will be taken to the appropriate YouTube page to view it. I hope you enjoy StepForth’s first round of video journalism. Read more…

In my daily blog reading I came across an accolade to a new service called ClickTale that can actually show how each visitor navigates each page during their session. According to the ClickTale site “ClickTale shows you the full story: every mouse movement, every click and every scrolling action. By using ClickTale you will gain insights that will improve your website’s usability, enhance navigation, and increase effectiveness.”

ClickTale is currently in Beta but as soon as I get a chance to I will provide a full review of this fascinating and ground breaking tool.

As an added note, the ClickTale team published intriguing report results based on the profile of 170,000 visitors tracked using the ClickTale system. According to the results many users are actually spending more time than previously thought navigating below the fold. Here is the full article for you to read – it is well worth it!

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.
Permalink to this article: ClickTale’s New Insights
Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

An End to Google Search API

Earlier in December Google cut off access to its SOAP API for new customers. This move has concerned many developers and webmasters.

The Google Search API was still in beta and designed to allow developers to create programs to perform a Google search using SOAP. (Simple Object, Access, Protocol).
At the site notes:

“As of December 5, 2006, we are no longer issuing new API keys for the SOAP Search API. Developers with existing SOAP Search API keys will not be affected.” Read more…

The Google Code Blog just posted that Google web gadgets can now be posted for free on websites. Gadgets available are many such as calendars, games, jokes, etc. Here is a listing of the gadgets you can add to your own webpage.

Oh no, I hope this doesn’t take us back to the old days of gadget/eyecandy overuse (remember the animated gif nightmare?). has released a great new search option for webmasters which allows you to see just how many links point to other websites from within your own. To use it simply search using the following syntax without the quotes and replacing “” with your domain (do not use ‘www.’):

“” Read more…

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Some Insight into Google Anaytics

Here is just a quick post recommending that you read the following interview with Brett Crosby at Web Analytics World. Brett is the Senior Manager of Google Analytics and he discusses the current status as well as the future of Google Analytics. Do you want to know more about how to track your statistics? Check out Google’s free Conversion University.

The free tool that it is Google Analytics offers some very tempting functionality for any webmasterand we currently use it as a secondary stats source but I still swear by ClickTracks. ClickTracks may be a paid solution but I find it very flexible and the reports are extremely easy to understand.

Sorry for the belated posting all but I realized that, although I had intended to, I never did post that Google Analytics has now opened its doors to all. You can sign up your site and enjoy free website analytics from friendly ol’Google here: sign up for Google Analytics.

Please note that I strongly recommend using ClickTracks versus Google Analytics. My experience with ClickTracks has been far more favorable and I believe that the statistics provided are more accurate. Indeed, keep in mind that if you go with Google there is a certain lack of transparency regarding what they do with the statistical data collected from your website. Anyway, that is my two bits but I wanted you all to know about this news if you hadn’t heard about it already.

Cheers, Ross

Now located on the right side of every page of The SEO Blog, StepForth has provided you with easy access to all of the latest and greatest SEO news! This is all thanks to a new search tool called Rollyo.

Rollyo is a new search tool that allows you to create your own “searchroll”. A searchroll is essentially your own customized list of sites that you want to search. In other words, using Rollyo you can create a search option where your query is restricted to the sites you want to read.

“Search Other SEO News Resources Here”
I have to admit, I customized the Rollyo search code a bit. I changed the default search provided by Rollyo to allow users to search the “Top SEO News” immediately. This search was customized by myself to search some of the most popular SEO blogs and SEO news sites such as Matt Cutts, the Official Google Blog, The Official Yahoo Blog, Jeremy Zawodny’s Blog, and much more.

By providing this tool I hope that my users will find even more value in visiting The SEO Blog regularly. Additionally you can create your own Rollyo account and add my custom search “Top SEO News” to your own searchroll. I will be updating this “Top SEO News” searchroll fairly regularly with other timely news sites.

I hope you enjoy it and find your customized Rollyo experience effective. I must add, however, that Rollyo runs on the Yahoo! API. As a result, the search engine results that you ultimately see are totally up to Yahoo!

Webmaster tools are becoming a hot topic in the major search engines these days. It is becoming increasingly obvious to search engine companies that they need to begin listening to webmasters and provide more tools to ensure future brand integrity. It is about time! I have been waiting for the search engines to wise up and over the past couple of years both Google and Yahoo have begun to prominently feature such tools. This article is devoted to Yahoo’s Site Explorer tool and how you can harness it to help you improve your search engine rankings and improve your odds for online success.

THEN: September 29th, 2004
Yahoo! officially launched Yahoo Site Explorer (see release). This new tool was designed to promote feedback between webmasters and Yahoo search staff. Ever since Yahoo! launched and became the powerhouse it is today it has had a rather bleak reputation for responding to customer search inquiries and ranking or directory complaints; this is another great step they took to change public opinion. Read more…