Author Archives: Sean

About Sean

Sean works as VP of Strategic Development at SEMrush, and handles things like API integrations and partnerships. Sean is also a hobbyist programmer, and enjoys a watching nerdy movies and going to craft beer bars in Philadelphia.

5 SEO Tips to Capitalize on Facebook Graph Search

5 Tips to capitalize on Facebook Social Graph SearchSo, the new Facebook Graph Search is pretty big news.   I’ve been following it closely, and it’s been a big topic of conversation here at the office.  There’s really no question that it’s important.  Sure, the buzz around it will die down.  The important point to remember, though, is this: once the buzz goes away, Facebook Graph Search will simply be the default way people search for stuff on Facebook.


So, how will your business fare?  Are you prepared for the Graph?  Do you even know where to start?  Let’s look at 5 simple points that you can do right now to maximize your impact on social graph, and even benefit from it in a major way.

1. Have a good business page.  This one is obvious.  Just like in SEO, optimizing an ugly page won’t get you far.  Are you really sure that your business Facebook page looks good?  It’s not hard.  You should have a proper timeline cover pic.  The right size for your cover photo is 851px by 351px.  Make sure your profile pic is the right size.  You should upload this as 180px by 180px, and it will display as 160px by 160px.  I use this great template I found on Facebook.

2. Have accurate and searchable business information.  Specifically, you can find this under Edit Page – Update Info.  Here, you need to make sure that your Category is set up right, as well as making sure that you have accurate information and keywords in Description and Products, and of course, the correct Website.

3. Build an audience, NOW.  Seriously.  This is the most important point.  Now is the time to build your audience, because this alone will be the primary reason you’ll show up in Graph Search.


Remember, the whole point of Graph is to let a user see what their friends, and friends-of-friends, like.  The more likes you have, the more times you’ll show in search.  Spend a little money, promote your page with some featured posts and Facebook ads, and it will pay off when Graph launches and your competition is left far behind.

4. Update your address.  If you have a location or a local place page, make sure that your address is entered and accurate.  This will ensure that people performing a location-based search will find you.  One of the big things with Graph is that people can enter plain-speech queries.  So, there will be a lot of queries like “find a barbershop in my hometown” that will rely on your business having proper location information.

5. Make sure you have a posting schedule.  Try to post something at least every other day.  Want a good example?  The Kraken Rum does it right on their awesome business Facebook page – they post something silly and memorable once a day to keep their audience engaged.

facebook_graph_customer_engagementNot only will this draw more likes by way of shares, but you’ll be keeping your growing your audience and keeping them involved with your business – isn’t that what marketing is all about?

For more information, check out Facebook’s own page on helping people discover your business on Graph Search.  I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this!

Posted in Articles, News | 2 Comments

The New Facebook Social Graph is Mark Zuckerberg’s Gift to Marketers

Facebook held a press conference today, in sort of an unannounced, invitation-only manner.  Announced was the new Facebook Social Graph feature.  Depending on where you’re sitting, it’s either “the most convenient marketing feature ever handed to you,” or it’s “how can I set my profile to unsearchable?”   What do I mean?  Well, how many Facebook friends do you have?


Basically, the new feature allows you to type in nice long phrases, which the Facebook servers then parse for keywords and return matching people.  They don’t even have to be friends – you can search for “Friends of friends who like Product X and live near me.”  Then, simply take the resulting huge list of people, and put them in your spreadsheet.  You can title it “Free leads that Facebook gave me.xlsx.”

Think about it – the majority of Facebook users on my friends list even have their phone number and email address in their profile, available for friends to see.  My own Facebook account is strictly real-life-friends-only, but how many people just accept every friend request that pops into their inbox?  That’s rhetorical, of course.  The answer is “most Facebook users.”


What do you think?


Posted in News | 1 Comment

At the SeoQuake Team, the Google “Scraped Data” Fiasco Will Never Apply.

So, it’s been big in the news as of late.  I’m sure you heard about it – several companies met the strong arm of Google’s TOS, and wound up having to make a choice between showing organic data, and using the Google API for Adwords data.  These companies were put between a rock and a hard place, and had to make a tough decision.  Many decided to drop organic data entirely, in order to keep their status as a Google certified API partner.

Rest assured, the SEOquake Team is in no such unfortunate position.  SEOquake, SEMrush and WHOrush will continue to soldier on, unchanged, doing what we do best: providing in-depth competitive analysis and metrics on both paid and organic search.

There’s a lot of “magic” behind how we do things, but the main point is that it’s all in-house.  We create everything, from idea to the implementation.  Our developers constantly change and improve our algorithms, programming and methodology to stay right on top of every change the search world throws at us.  In that way, through a perfect mix of smart people, great ideas and powerful computers, we’re in a unique position to power forward through Google for years to come.

Posted in News | Comments Off on At the SeoQuake Team, the Google “Scraped Data” Fiasco Will Never Apply.

Advanced keyword filtering using SEMrush

Hello everyone!  Sean here, with a quick tutorial on something I think is rather awesome. SEMrush recently added advanced keyword filtering to its software, and it’s going to make EVERYONE’s life easier.  A whole lot easier.  Let me show you why:

If you do a search for all the organic keywords from, you’re presented with 263,783.  That’s a lot.  What if we want to narrow that down just a bit?  Well, now we can!  SEMrush just put in a great new Filter feature.  I’ll show you how it works.

In either an organic or paid keywords search, when you’re looking at the report for organic or paid, you’ll see a new Filters button with search box.  You can either enter a term in the search box and click the magnifying glass, which will filter for keywords containing this term; or, you can click the Filters button and see a whole host of options.

The Filters button gives you one filter to start, which defaults to Include Keyword Containing.  Here, you can type in a keyword, or part of a word, and the list will be filtered to just keywords that contain this word.  You can change Include to Exclude, and this will the the opposite.  You can change Containing to Exactly matching, Begins with or Ends with.  It’s really flexible.

Then, just click Apply to view the results of the filter.  However, the tool is far more extensable than that.  Click on the + Add one more button to add more filters!

As you can see, you can combine many different filters to get exactly the keywords you’re looking for.  Then, you can export in just one click!  This will save countless hours of going through lists of keywords, sorting them, erasing rows in Excel, and more.  Do it all, right on SEMrush, and take the results away immediately!

Full list of filters available:

  • Keyword – Containing, Exactly Matching, Begins with, or Ends with.
  • Position – Equal, Greater than or Less than.
  • Volume – Equal, Greater than or Less than.
  • CPC – Equal, Greater than or Less than.
  • URL – Containing, Exactly Matching, Begins with, or Ends with.
  • Traffic % – Equal, Greater than or Less than.
  • Costs % – Equal, Greater than or Less than.
  • Competition score – Equal, Greater than or Less than.
  • Number of results – Equal, Greater than or Less than.
Posted in Articles, News, Tips | 4 Comments

iPhone 5 Maps App Omissions – By the Searches

Yesterday, Apple was living in a happy, comfortable world where everything was working out just as planned: everyone was excited about the new iPhone 5, and the update to iOS 6.

Then, the update to iOS 6 happened.

Now, people are talking.  They’re just talking in a different tone, and a lot of it is about the new Google-less Apple Maps feature.  So, just what happened?  It’s simple, actually.  Apple made mistakes, and left stuff out.  A lot of stuff.

Do a quick Google search, and you’ll see what I mean.

Customers are angry.  They’re throwing around words like lost, confused and frustrated.

We have a unique perspective into the minds of consumers, due to our position as the number 1 provider of search intelligence.  Search intelligence, of course, is consumer intelligence.  What do consumers want in a maps app?

Well, they obviously want street view.  The previous iOS 5 had street view built right into the maps app, courtesy of Google.  Alas, no more.  What else?  Ah, yes, public transit directions.

In fact, this is something I’m particularly sore about myself.  I live in the great big city of Philadelphia, and I often use public transportation to get places within the city.  I’ve actually gotten into a habit of using Google Maps on my iPhone to look up public transportation routes.  Now, instead of using the new Apple Maps app, I’m opening up a web browser and loading up Google Maps via the web.

Another thing: accuracy.  Apple Maps makes a lot of mistakes.  My hometown is quite famous for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  If you come down here to see it, though, don’t use Apple Maps.  If you type “Philadelphia Museum of Art” into Apple Apps, you’ll get the Mutter Museum.  The Mutter Museum is a museum of medical curiosities, including real cadavers and preserved body parts.  Not quite what you were expecting.

Google Maps, however, makes no such mistake.  If you type “Philadelphia Museum of Art” into Google Maps, you’ll be cheerily presented with that oh-so-familiar red placemarker, right where it should be – over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

By the way, if you’re ever in Philadelphia – I really do encourage you to check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  It’s really fantastic.  And the Mutter Museum, too, if your stomach is up for it.

Posted in Articles | Comments Off on iPhone 5 Maps App Omissions – By the Searches

You spend a lot of money on Adwords. Do you REALLY know when and where your ads show?

Truth is, a lot of people don’t.  Not really, at least.  And it’s not just the average advertisers and business owners, it’s the big guys too.  In actuality, the larger and more complex a campaign is, the more likely there is to be mistakes.

Mistakes that you spend money making.  Over and over again every day.

In this case-in-point, I’ve taken a look at Lenscrafters.  Lenscrafters has a pretty huge number of Adwords that they bid on.  It appears, however, that they don’t really have the whole negative-keyword thing down.  Take the above example, for instance.  Obviously, Lenscrafter’s products have to do with eyes.  Some of the products are contacts.  Some glasses have tension.  It’s safe to say, though, that putting these words together in the phrase “sexual tension eye contact” was not something the family-friendly corporate eyeglass company intended to do.  Whoever is running this campaign should probably make the word “sexual” a negative keyword.

It’s not all about sexual tension, though.  Lenscrafter’s advertising has a few other issues.  Allow me to point another one out:

Here we have an ad for Lenscrafters showing for the term Stephen Glass.  This illustrates the point in a slightly different color.  Unlike a word such as “sexual”, the word “Stephen” is not something even the cleverest SEO would think of excluding – you need an outside tool to monitor where your ads are actually showing.  In this case, “Stephen Glass” is both a disgraced former journalist who was in the news several times for making up stories and fabricating news articles, and a Scottish soccer player also named Stephen Glass.  It’s safe to say that, aside from Stephen Glass actually wearing glasses in his news photo, the terms are unrelated to Lenscrafters.  People searching for either of these Stephen Glasses are not searching for Lenscrafters.

According to SEMrush statistics, however, Lenscrafters is paying close to $1600 per month for this irrelevant keyword.

What’s more expensive?  $1600 per month, or a SEMrush subscription and the five minutes it took me to find the mistake?  If I was working in Lenscrafter’s advertising department, I could quickly make this a negative keyword, and get a nice pat on the back for saving the company serious money and earning my keep.  I guess Lenscrafters doesn’t use SEMrush.

Take a moment, and think about how you can apply this to your business.  Take a bit of time, and really take a look at what your competitors are advertising for.  Especially if they spend a lot more than you do.  Look for the mistakes they are making, and make sure you’re not making the same ones.

Interesting side note:  Adwords pros and people familiar with SEMrush know that you can look at the ad’s actual landing page URL to look for third party companies, usually ad agencies or software platforms that the advertisers use.  I did that, and found another interesting tidbit: Lenscrafters uses a software platform that’s also used by the likes of Zappos, Experian, Barnes & Noble, Sears, and other huge companies.  Take a look:

Hmm… the ad redirects to a strange landing page with a funny domain,

Let’s run through SEMrush’s sister service,, and see who it is.  Seems it’s actually a tracking domain from Kenshoo, a popular advertising platform that a lot of huge companies use.  The ad opens the tracking domain, which tracks the view and redirects to the actual landing page on Lenscrafters.

Seems the moral of this story might actually be to check on your 3rd party advertising vendors, and make sure that they’re spending your money appropriately.  Or, at least not wasting it.

Until next time, SEO’ers!

Posted in Articles, Tips | Comments Off on You spend a lot of money on Adwords. Do you REALLY know when and where your ads show?

Pecked by the Google Penguin? Use it to your advantage.

So, you checked your rankings this morning, and much to your horror, you’ve taken quite a hit from the Google Penguin update.

What your reaction was: “*spits out coffee* NOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

What your reaction should have been: “Sweet.  How can I use this?”

That’s right.  Now is the time to jump in, and use this to your advantage.  Thinking in terms of your own websites and products is very linear, and you’re forgetting an extremely important and relevant point: If this happened to you, it happened to your competitors too.  I’ll give you a second to clean up that spilled coffee, and let this sink in.

Remember: you have an advantage.  You use SEOquake, and you probably use a tool like SEMrush.  I use SEMrush, of course, so I’ll frame the discussion with examples from there.

The first thing I need to do is hop on SEMrush, and take stock of where everyone stands, pre-update.  I’m going to export everything.  Specifically, all of the organic keywords and all of the Adwords keywords for all of my competitors.  I already know where I rank, of course, so that’s a moot point.  Now, I have a documented and preserved roadmap of the status-quo, pre-Penguin update.

Next, I’m going to wait for SEMrush to refresh.  This is going to happen in the next several days.  Once it does, I’m going to go through all of my competitors, and export all of the new data.  Now, I’m already going to start seeing a few holes.  Someone once ranked for an important keyword, and now they no longer do.  I might as well have just heard a cash register ring, and I’m going to jump on that keyword with reckless abandon.  I’m going to do this to every relevant keyword I find that my competitors lost.  I am now pulling ahead in this race.

Speaking of race, though – SEO strategy is not a sprint.  It’s a marathon, and I’ve got to keep going because my work is far from finished.  I still have much more I can glean from my SEOquake and SEMrush induced advantage.  I’m going to wait for the SEMrush database to update again, and repeat the above process.  And once it does, I have an even bigger arsenal of information giving me an enormous advantage over all of my competition.  It’s rather simple, really:

  •  There will be even more holes, as the full impact of the update will in effect.  Your competitors will likely be tripping over themselves trying to get a grasp of what’s going on.  They’ll be handling this in a reactionary manner, while you are handling it proactively and using it to your advantage.
  • You’ll be able to see which keywords they are fighting to get back.  These will be the keywords most important to them, and the keywords you can focus on beating them on.  If they ranked 1 for a keyword pre-update, 20 for it post update, and now are up to 15 – it’s a safe bet that they are spending time and resources to fight back in the rankings for it.  You had the jump on it, though, because you watched this all unfold – you can just apply a little more pressure to stay ahead.
  • You can look at keywords that fell from organic rankings for your competitors, and they have now poured money into Adwords advertising on.  These keywords mean a lot of money to your competitors, and thus they should to you as well.

Yes, I know what your question is at this point.  I saw your metaphorical hand raised.  “Aren’t my competitors doing this, too?”  Yes, they are, and that’s why you need to get on this ASAP.  Unless you’re marketing ice cream in Antarctica, your competitors aren’t stupid.  Heck, they might even be using the same tools as you are.  That’s why it’s important to start now, get a grasp of what’s going on, and start planning your next steps.  If you don’t have a competitive research tool, it’s time to look into one.  I know I’m biased, but SEMrush not only has the largest, most accurate and most up-to-date database, but you can even get started for free.  Just head over to and click “Register Free” in the top left corner.

It’s not about fighting change – it’s about using change to your advantage.


Posted in Articles, Tips | 26 Comments

New version 0.9.20 of SeoQuake for Google Chrome has been released!

Hello, Google Chrome friends!  We have some great news!  We’ve just released a massively updated version of SEOquake for Chrome, with all new features and upgrades.

  1. All new social media parameters are available as defaults in the SEObar!
    – Twitter tweets
    – Google Plus +1
    – Facebook Likes

    The Delicious index parameter has been removed from defaults, to make room for the new default parameters.

  2. Now available by default: Facebook ads processing!  If you advertise on Facebook, or are curious about how your competition advertises on Facebook, you’ll find this new feature indispensable.  Just log-in to Facebook, and you’ll see SEOquake and SEMrush parameters!  You can click these parameters, and be taken to a detail page for the ad in question.
  3. Bug fix: SEOquake sub domains issue fixed in Google SERPs, for when the SQ bar doesn’t exist for sub domains listed for one Google result.
  4. Bug fix: The function to sort Google results has been updated to make it work in every case.  The layout issue was fixed for Google SERPs after sorting results.
  5. Added numbering of SERP results in Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and Yandex. Numbering can be disabled in Preferences on General tab.
  6. Fixed issue for enabling/disabling SQ in SERPs from menu that appear when click on SQ icon near address bar.
  7. Added an exception for Check/compare URLs option: max 500 URLs/domains can be compared. If user put to use >500, SQ automatically cut them to 500 and on result Linkinfo page inform: “The number of URLs you entered was truncated to 500”
  8. Fixed the behavior of Save and Copy to Clipboard buttons in Google.
  9. Bug fix: SQ bar in SERPs is no longer cut off, but nicely overlaid above all page elements to ensure that all parameters are clickable.
Posted in Change log [SQ Chrome], News | 7 Comments

Did Chrome give you a funny warning on update?

Hello Everyone,

This is a quick update for all of you who may have seen a scary-sounding warning when updating to the new version of SEOquake for Chrome.  The warning you saw is actually due to a Chrome change in policy.  As you know, our tools insert data into Google search result pages, in order to show metrics underneath web search results.  To do this, we do access what Chrome refers to as “Your data on all websites” – but this access is merely to show metrics.  Unfortunately, Chrome lumps this together with much more sinister sounding things, such as “Your browsing activity” and “Data you copy and paste”.  This warning is completely due to Chrome’s security policies- basically, if a developer wants access to something small on Chrome, such as adding metrics to a web page, Chrome gives this developer access to many other things at the same time.  Please know that we do not need, want or use any of the extra data that Chrome forces us to have access to.

Example of the Chrome warning.

Thank you for your understanding, and we always appreciate your feedback!

Posted in Change log [SQ Chrome], News, Tips | 7 Comments

SeoQuake 2.8.0 has awesome new features!

Hello SeoQuake fans!  We’ve got some very exciting news, that you may have seen floating around Twitter and a few news sites today.  Today, we’ve released a new version of SeoQuake, and in addition to the features you’ve come to know and love, we’ve introduced a few extremely exciting, brand new features!  So, without further ado, it brings me great pleasure to give you a little tour of what we’ve been working so hard on:


Track your Facebook ads!

How are your Facebook Ads doing?

Do you, your clients or your competitors run ads on Facebook?  If so, you’ve probably looked around for various ways of tracking your ads’ effectiveness.  Now you can use SeoQuake – backed by our long history of accurate and in-depth data and analytics!  We’ve worked quite hard to bring this new feature out, and once you take a look at how it works, I’m sure you’ll see why we’re so excited.

Don’t you love how we add data to Google’s results page, right under the search results themselves?  We’ve brought this same idea to the Facebook page – we now add data via SeoQuake directly into the Facebook page Ad section.

Instantly see an ad's metrics!

This data is clickable, and brings you to a graphing page that will allow you to see the Ad’s metrics.  You can now quickly and easily see an ad’s effectiveness over time, presented as a clean interactive graph.



Instant Website Diagnosis!

If you’re anything like me (and if you use SeoQuake, you’re at least a little like me), you often sit and ponder what you can do right now to boost your site’s SEO.  “What little things have I missed?” you ask yourself.

Diagnosis Button SeoQuake

“What can I work on next, to have the most immediate effect?”  Well, you may have noticed an all-new button on your SeoQuake toolbar, labeled Diagnosis.

The Diagnosis button allows you to instantly see an in-depth diagnosis of the web page you’re currently on.  Each of the sections in the diagnosis gives you not only a clean overview of what you’re doing right and wrong on a page for SEO, but also an in-depth description of how to fix it and why you need to fix it.

SeoQuake Diagnosis Screen

Use it to take a good look at your own pages, and see exactly what you can do to improve your SEO.  The Diagnosis screen shows you in clear, simple terms – even ranking each item by difficulty to implement, and the impact it will have on your SEO.  You can use it in conjunction with SeoQuake’s other features to see not only what your competition is ranking for, but how -and to use some of those practices in your own projects.

You can even use it as a tool when you’re working with a client.  Imagine pulling up your client’s website right in front of them, and showing them exactly what needs to be done, how you’re going to do it – all in a clean, friendly report.

Posted in Change log [SQ FireFox], News | Tagged , , | 38 Comments