Majestic SEO, home to the largest open link map in the world, has just released an update to their Search Explorer Alpha tool (now version 0.3). With it, they’ve introduced two new features SEOs should find quite interesting: live rank factors and a new link prospecting methodology.
Live Rank Factors Offer Greater Transparency for SEOs
Now, Search Explorer Alpha will share details into how and why it has ranked results the way it has, offering greater transparency for users. Previously, it displayed only search results when queried. Users can now see an overall search score, calculated using the search factors used to rank each result. In addition, the tool will display a relative weighting of results between InTitle, InAnchor and InURL factors.
When users click through to the rankings tab, the detail gets even more specific for each result, which is particularly useful for very competitive and high-traffic keywords. The Ranking Factors tab has two modes: chart mode and data mode, with the latter being the more detailed of the two options.
The Search Results tab has a new layout and now displays citation and trust flow metrics, referring domains and external backlink counts, in addition to the search score factors. Users can access this more granular information through results in the InAnchor column, as seen below:
“My senses tell me that this is really groundbreaking - not just for SEO but for search as a whole,” Dixon Jones, marketing director of Majestic SEO tells Search Engine Watch. “We don't ever expect to rival the majors, but it turns out that we do not have to, as the time is (we believe) ripe for a subscription based search engine with no advertising influences and complete transparency in the algorithms.”
New Link Prospecting Methodology Surfaces Sites Likely to be Influential on a Topic
Majestic’s new link prospecting method uses the “site:” command to access sites likely to be influential on any given topic.
They offered an example of this new method in their blog post announcement:
For example, let’s say you are looking for pages or blogs about “flights” on Blogspot, WordPress.com and Blogger sites, you could simply search for:
“flights site:Blogspot.com site:blogger.com site:wordpress.com” (opens in new window)
The result is not JUST a list of sites… but a list of sites that are likely to be influential around the phrase “flights” AND are on blogs and sites that you know may be approachable. Just go down the list and click on the “bucket” icon every time you see a viable candidate.
Users can create a "Bucket List" of sites, then export the data or run a search against only those URLs. Once a bucket list is saved, it becomes accessible as an advanced search option in Search Explorer. This allows SEOs to compare and benchmark competitor sites, among other things.
Search Explorer Alpha can also be used by people outside of the SEO industry for doing things like conducting research on a topic. Majestic aims to surface the most relevant and trusted content. For example, you can do a search for Nelson Mandela, but restrict it to a set of specific news sites, including sites such as the New York Times and the BBC. The results are quite different, compared to the same search on either Google or Bing’s regular or news search.
These new features went live this morning for all users. Search Explorer Alpha v0.3 also available to those with a free Majestic SEO account, but limits results to ten for free users.