Three free vital SEO health-check tools

Blog | 19 Oct, 2015

Ensuring your site ranks as highly as possible on organic SERPs is essential to driving site traffic. As a result here are three useful tools to help you gauge the SEO Health of your website.

In a world of instant gratification and constant connection, we are wired to want things now. We need web pages to load immediately, we expect same-day delivery service and we certainly aren’t willing to scroll to the second page of Google. In fact,

Less than 6% of searches result in a click on page two or three of Google. 

Ranking at the top of the SERPs is not easily earned. No single factor will guarantee high results, which is why it is important to use a variety of tools to gauge the health of your site and understand where you can make improvements and effectively manage your site in the face of Google’s algorithm updates.

1. Jellyfish Google Penalty Checker

Jellyfish’s Google Penalty Checker aligns your site’s organic visibility with the release of major algorithm updates.

The results show if there is a noticeable decrease or increase around the time of an update. Understanding what caused a change in visibility allows you to correct an issue or understand why a previous update has increased your visibility.  

Jellyfish Google Penalty Checker

Each update targets a different aspect of your site’s content. Below are some of the key updates to be aware of:

Penguin 

The Penguin update evaluates the quality of a site’s backlink profile. This update punishes former ‘black-hat’ tactics of webmasters that manipulate the number of links pointing to a page in order to increase page rank.
Common Penguin triggers include:

  • Low-quality links
  • Irrelevant links
  • Use of paid links and link farms
  • Exact match anchor text

Panda 

The Panda update is an evaluation of content quality – rewarding sites with high-quality content within the SERPs and penalising sites with poor quality content. Panda is meant to improve Google’s ability to return the most useful results for search queries by increasing the visibility of high-quality sites in search. 
Common Panda triggers include: 

  • Duplicate content
  • Thin content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Excessive advertising
  • Poor usability
  • High bounce rate

Other Updates

Pigeon

The Pigeon update is intended to enhance local search results by providing more accurate location-based results. Google now devotes more space in the search rankings to high-quality directories and review sites, rather than business pages. Pigeon is not a penalty based update. If you had a drop in rankings due to Pigeon, check your overall SEO metrics. Links and positive reviews are going to make the biggest difference here.

Pirate

The Pirate update is a filter designed to penalise sites with a high volume of copyright infringement reports and pirated content, such as movies and television shows. The goal is to both find sites with pirated content and to reduce their page rank. If your site does not contain copyright violations, the Pirate update should not be a major concern. 

2. Google Page Speed Insights

Page speed is a key ingredient within Google’s ranking algorithm. Slow site speeds can result in a frustrating experience and users will abandon your site. This free tool will score your page load speed and provide suggestions for how to increase the speed. Jellyfish recommends shooting for a score of 80 or above. 

Google Page Speed Checker

3. Google Mobile-FriendlyTest

Google created this tool to gauge whether a site provides optimal viewing on mobile devices. According to comScore, the number of global users accessing the internet via a mobile device now outnumbers those using a desktop, increasing the need for stricter mobile device requirements.  

Mobile Friendly Test

In April of 2015, Google released their Mobile algorithm update, commonly called ‘Mobilegeddon’ to boost pages that are optimised for mobile device viewing. The results are all or nothing. There are no scores or percentages, so sites are either deemed mobile-friendly or not. 

The mobile-friendly update addresses issues such as:

  • Poor mobile page visibility
  • Small text size 
  • Page element spacing
  • Mobile viewport not set

To learn more about other SEO tools, check out our full guide of available SEO tools and partners.

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