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What Do The Results In RaSof Mean?

2 January, 2008 (15:37) | Search Engines, Tools | By: Nick Dalton

Some of you who received James Brausch’s generous Christmas gift of a subscription to RaSof, may be struggling with how to use the service. RaSof is a very powerful tool. And I remember that I was puzzled when I first tried to use it.

This is the first post in a series of mini-tutorials on how to use RaSof and my companion product rApogee. As a reminder you can still get rApogee for free as my Christmas gift to you.

On the first page of RaSof (and rApogee) you need to enter the URL of the page you want to score and the keyword(s) you want your ranking score for. (If you don’t know what keywords you should select for your web site, then read my Concise Guide To Keyword Research.)

Finally you need to select a search engine. Since each search engine has a different algorithm for ranking web pages, the score that RaSof calculates will differ depending on the search engine you selected. A consequence of the different algorithms is that it’s very difficult to get one web page to rank very well in all three search engines. My recommendation is that you start with Google since they typically refer the most traffic. Once you’re done with optimizing your page for Google, then you can create separate web pages and optimize them for Yahoo and MSN separately.

The results you get back from RaSof look something like this:
RaSof results for internet business

Each of the almost 1,500 lines on this web page corresponds to one entry in the Ranking Factors data that you received with the RaSof subscription. The first line on the results page in the image above reads:
Section  Variable       Score
Page     KeywordExists  53

This corresponds to the first entry in google-page.txt, which looks like this:
Q. Does having the keyword exist within the page affect ranking?
A. Yes; It increases ranking.
Data: +53 353 346 349 342 342 343 344 340

What RaSof does is examine your web page and search for the keyword(s) you entered to see if they exist “within the page”. In this example the keywords “internet business” did exist at least once on www.jamesbrauch.com. RaSof therefore added +53 (the first value in the Ranking Factor “Data” row) to your total score.

Continuing on the next line, RaSof did not find “internet business” at the beginning of the page (”KeywordBeginning”) so no score was added for that ranking factor. Further down RaSof determined that “internet business” existed 12 times on the page. Unfortunately that resulted in a ranking factor score of -10.
Q. Does having a keyword count of 12 for the page affect ranking?
A. No; It does not significantly affect ranking.
Data: -10 5 10 6 8 4 9 8 8

Flipping back and forth between the RaSof results and the Ranking Factors data can be a bit time consuming. Therefore in rApogee all you have to do is hover over the variable name and a tool tip is shown with the Ranking Factors explanation.

rApogee Tooltip shows Ranking Factors data

This process continues all the way down to the end of all the ranking factors where a total score is presented. Now this score does not have any real meaning other then a higher number is better. James Brauch currently has a score of 947 for the keywords “internet business”. This is a very high score and it has contributed to his first page ranking in Google. On other not so competitive search terms you can probably achieve a first page ranking with a much lower RaSof score. What’s important is that your score is higher than your competition.

Of course you can, and should, analyze your competitor’s web pages with RaSof. From this you can learn what your competitors have done to optimize their web pages and what you can do better. You can also try different keywords to find some that are not as competitive for ranking well.

In rApogee you can enter more than one URL to analyze at a time. The results for each URL will be presented in separate columns so that you can easily compare the results against each other. Alternatively if you want to compare your web site against the top 10 web sites for a particular keyword then all you have to do is specify this in rApogee and the program will automagically retrieve the top 10 search results from the search engine you specified, and then compute the RaSof scores for each one.

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