Google’s Wonder Wheel and SEO Keyword Discovery: Youtube Video Announced

Fremont, CA – January 27, 2010 – The Google Wonder Wheel is one of the best free SEO keyword discovery tools. Unfortunately, however, Google hides this tool under ‘options’ in search, and few users even know it exists. Along with other hidden Google tools, this tool can be deployed for effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization), especially in the keyword discovery stage. Jason McDonald, a leading expert in SEO Training, has just announced his latest ‘Get SEO Fit’ Youtube Video on ‘The Google Wonder Wheel and SEO.’

SEO Keyword Discovery and the Google Wonder Wheel
"No tool is a great tool," said Jason McDonald, SEO Director of the JM Internet Group, "unless people know about it. Google does a great job as the world’s No. 1 search engine, but a not very good job at publicizing their free SEO tools. The Wonder Wheel is one such tool." Moreover, Dr. McDonald continued, few know it exists, and even fewer know how to use it for keyword discovery.

At the early stage of an SEO project, Dr. McDonald recommends that you focus keenly and sharply on your keywords – not just high volume keywords but rather high value keywords. As part of the ‘Get SEO Fit’ video series, Dr. McDonald takes viewers on a tour of the Google Wonder Wheel and shows them not only where the tool lives but also how to use the tool to brainstorm a keyword list. "The Wonder Wheel," concluded Dr. McDonald, "is Google’s virtual SEO thesaurus – get your cup of coffee, sit down, do some searches and visually see how searches connect with each other. It makes my Free SEO Tools top ten list, as a fun keyword discovery tool."

The blog post and Youtube video can be found at: https://www.jasonmcdonald.org/blog/free-seo-tool-google-wonderwheel/

News Releases

Dr. Jason McDonald is a recognized SEO consultant in search engine optimization, Internet marketing, and search marketing based in the San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1992, and has worked at many hi-tech start up’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, Dr. McDonald is Senior Editor at eg3.com, a web portal and email service covering hi-tech embedded systems on the Internet, founded in 1994. Recently, Dr. McDonald has begun teaching marketing, market research and Internet marketing at Bay Area institutions such as AcademyX and DeVry University.

Contact Information

Dr. McDonald can be found on the Internet at https://www.jasonmcdonald.org, a website focused on search engine marketing, SEO, and other Internet marketing issues with in-depth free information on SEO, Page Tags, Google Analytics, Metrics, Link building, Free SEO Tools and more. He can also be contacted by telephone at +1-702-879-4771 or email, jasonmcdonald.blog@gmail.com.

Free SEO Tool – Using Google’s Wonder Wheel for SEO Keyword Discovery

Google is the world’s greatest search engine! But Google doesn’t have the world’s greatest marketing and branding department. Think of some of their brand names. Froogle? Or what about hiding Google Local Search under Maps. Yelp, anyone? For SEO people, one of the best free SEO tools is the Google Wonder Wheel. It’s totally hidden, and most people do not know it exists, nor how to use it. Let’s take a look.

By Jason McDonald
Senior SEO Instructor – JM Internet Group.
Posted: January 25, 2010

Contents:

Wonder Wheel, Wonder Why?
Keyword Discovery
How to Use the Wonder Wheel, and More!

Wonder Wheel, Wonder Why?

Click on Click the icon above to watch in Full Screen Mode! to Watch in Full Screen. Or, go to My Youtube Channel!

Google makes a ton of money, as we all know, and Google is the best in the business when it comes to search. But someone might be asleep in their marketing department, especially the Official Google Department of Names and Naming Conventions. People who use Google want it quick, want it fast, want it simple. So it surprised me when about a year or so ago, Leslie Cummings – hey, shout out to Leslie – pointed out to me the Wonder Wheel, and it quickly made it to my Top Ten List of the Best Free Google / SEO Tools..

I wondered why Google called it the Wonder Wheel? Remember Froogle? That was at least a cute name, even it if flopped. And I have always wondered if many people use the I’m Feeling Lucky box on the Google search. But we digress. At any rate, don’t wonder. Use it. The Wonder Wheel is a fantastic free keyword discovery tool, courtesy of your friends at Google.

Keyword Discovery

As I teach in my real-world training at AcademyX in San Francisco and my online training – keyword discovery is essential to effective SEO or Search Engine Optimization. You can’t get to the top of Google, if you do not know what keywords or key phrases you wish to dominate. So how do you create a good keyword list?

The first step is what I call: keyword discovery. In other posts to this blog and my Youtube channel, I explain and will explain all the basic steps towards building an effective keyword worksheet. But the first step is to be very very broad. You want to make sure that you get each and every possible keyword – especially the basic keywords that your customers or potential customers might use.

Let’s get concrete. Let’s use one of my most favorite examples: a medical malpractice attorney in San Francisco, California. The first step is to brain storm keywords. Before we even look at any keyword tools. Just brainstorming, you might think of:

  • Core Keywords – Medical Malpractice
  • Helper Keywords: – Attorney, Lawyer, Lawsuit, Litigation, Sue…

But do you have all the core keywords? Are you missing any helpers? There are a number of keyword tools out there, and one of the best is the Google Wonder Wheel. Let’s check it out for keyword discovery for a Medical Malpractice Attorney in San Francisco, seeking to get to the top!

How To Use the Wonder Wheel, and More!

Wonder Wheel - Thumbs upTo use the Wonder Wheel, first go to www.google.com. Type in your basic search, in this case medical malpractice. Then click show options, Wonder Wheel on the far left of the search. This explosive little wheel will pop out.

The Wonder Wheel is your get-a-cup-of-coffee SEO keyword discovery tool. You can then click up and down the tool to see possible keywords. It gives you an idea of what Google thinks are related searches, so it is a more open, more suggestive way to search than just keying in terms.

In addition, go back to the far left column, and click Related Searches. This will give you a robust list at the top of the screen that Google thinks are related to your search query. You can write these suggestions down onto your keyword list, and then put these back into the primary Google tool to look at search value and search volume. But the Wonder Wheel and its companion Related Searches are just fabulous for that early stage of searching.

What can we add to our list? Let’s see here are some derived search terms –

  • Geographics – look at all the examples with cities and states. You need an attorney? He or she better be able to practice in your local area!
  • Wrongful Death – oops that’s a big one. You might have missed it, but it’s a rather obvious reason people might want to sue, and search, for an attorney. There are loads out there, they might use someone like this Nehora Law Firm. But there are plenty of others for people to pick. So add Wrongful Death to your keyword worksheet as a core keyword.
  • Insurance – this is a great example of a negative keyword. These are obviously doctors looking for insurance, and so not a prospect for us. Better to exclude them if we are doing a PPC AdWords campaign.
  • Medical Malpractice Law Firm – another example of a helper – using law firm rather than lawyer. That’s a good path to go down in terms of Google searches.
  • Nursing Malpractice – another example of a good search; perhaps some people want to sue not the Doctors but the nurses. Why not?

Here’s a screen shot of the Wonder Wheel:

Wonder Wheel for SEO

So you can see that the Wonder Wheel isn’t useful just for searchers (if any of them realize it), but in conjunction with Related Searches, you can use it for your keyword discovery. The first step to effective SEO Fitness, of course, is to build a broad, diverse list of keywords used by your customers and potential customers. Wonder Wheel just gets those creative juices flowing a bit faster!

Good luck!

Free Website SEO Analysis – HubSpot Website Grader, a Review

One stop shopping. One size fits all. Take a pill. Have someone else do it for you. With the cornucopia of free SEO tools out there, why doesn’t someone make a one-stop-shop (free) tool for SEO? Wouldn’t a simple Website Grader be fantastic? Believe me, the thought has crossed my mind, so I investigated the most popular service out there: HubSpot Website Grader. Here’s my review.

By Jason McDonald
Senior SEO Instructor – JM Internet Group.
Posted: January 7, 2010

Contents:

The Contradictions of Free SEO Tools and SEO Fitness
Website Grader by HubSpot
Free SEO Analysis Tool, Useful – But…

The Contradictions of Free SEO Tools and SEO Fitness

Website Grader by HubSpotI often compare SEO to getting Google fit, as I teach my online SEO training classes as well as my real-world SEO classes in San Francisco. SEO isn’t rocket science – it’s not totally transparent, but after about seven hours of instruction, most people get a pretty good grasp of the basic on-page and off-page SEO concepts. Like getting fit or going on a diet, the hard part is staying disciplined and keeping with a "fitness program."

There are certainly tricks to the trade, and certainly some very good free SEO tools (I emphasize free SEO tools in my training, because quite frankly the free tools are actually better than the paid tools out there). Nonetheless, on my list of projects is to create a quick Website or URL analyzer that can give my students instant feedback about a website or URL, at least in terms of on-page SEO.

On the other hand, there is the whole SEO community out there – a community that largely divides into two groups. One, a very large group of SEO consultants (God bless them), who make their living by assisting businesses to get SEO fit, largely by providing HTML recommendations, content suggestions, and link-building strategies. Two, a much smaller group of vendors such as HubSpot and WordTracker who provide tools that (hopefully) automate the process of SEO.

OK, so let’s be cynical businesspeople here. And let’s continue that comparison of SEO to physical fitness. Only you can make yourself physical fit – a magical diet pill, the best physical fitness equipment, and even a fantastic trainer really can at most motivate and guide you. But only you can make yourself physically fit. Similarly in website SEO, only you can get your website SEO fit. Tools, helpful SEO consultants, coaches (like myself) – we can only help you and guide you. So the question is – are we a good guide? Do we share information with you? Or do we hide information, seeking to keep you dependent on us over time? Unfortunately in the SEO community, there are many SEO consultants and many tools that obfuscate SEO. They fear giving away their special sauce, and therefore allowing you to educate yourself and break free of their fees and dependence.

The basic contradiction of the SEO industry is that the "experts" have every incentive not to educate you on SEO, because they benefit from your ignorance and dependence. Sorry to be blunt, but it’s the harsh truth.

Website Grader by HubSpot

Among attempts at one-stop-shopping for SEO, Website Grader from HubSpot stands out as one of the better tools. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to http://websitegrader.com/.
  2. Enter your URL / website address.
  3. Enter your email address.
  4. Hit Generate Result

Even before we look at the results, we know we are in trouble. Why? Because you cannot analyze a website without reference to keywords. You must generate your keyword list as a function of high volume keywords by (potential) customers vs. your company’s unique value proposition. HubSpot does offer a paid keyword tool, but there are so many fantastic free SEO keyword tools – that, there is hardly any real value there. In addition, the real value is in thinking about your keywords – having a keyword strategy – which no tool can give you.

Once Website Grader generates its report, it gives you some useful information but throughout the information is hardly placed "in context." HubSpot wants you to buy their expensive monthly service, and so they must have been forced to cripple the free tool, so as not to give away the family jewels. Here are comments on some of the data provided –

Rank – it gives you a generic rank, as in

The website www.jm-seo.org ranks 1,098,956 of the 1,939,131 websites that have been ranked so far.

A website grade of 43/100 for www.jm-seo.org means that means that of the millions of websites that have previously been evaluated, our algorithm has calculated that this site scores higher than 43% of them in terms of its marketing effectiveness. The algorithm uses a proprietary blend of over 50 different variables, including search engine data, website structure, approximate traffic, site performance, and others.

(But doesn’t really put this in any context. Isn’t your rank on Google more important? Isn’t the volume of your keyword searches? And what about PageRank – now that rank, matters…)

  • Page Title – it measures the length of your page title. (But doesn’t place your TITLE in the context of your keywords).
  • Header Tags – it recognizes the value of using the <H1>, <H2> family (But, again, no context vs. your keywords)
  • Alt Tags – it reminds you to define the ALT attribute for image tags with (But, keywords?).
  • PageRank – it references Google’s PageRank as very important and tells you your PageRank. (But again no real explanation of what PageRank is, nor how to influence it.)
  • Domain – it emphasizes that new domains are bad, old domains are good, longer registration is better. This is probably its most valuable, innovative comment – as I haven’t seen many SEO tools point this out, however minor it might be.
  • Inbound Links – it tells you that links are good, and gives a crude measurement but with little information on the value of links, nor what is really hard: building an effective link-building strategy
  • Directories – it checks to see if you are in DMOZ and the Yahoo Directory, again helpfully pointing out how valuable these two directories are.

So it gives the SEO analyst a first start at an overview, but unfortunately in touching all the bases it really touches none in detail and is vastly inferior to the free tools out there that are very specific (e.g., keyword tools, SERP rank check tools, backlink tools, etc.). And, most significantly, it provides little or no context or guidance about each element. It’s as if a coach yelled jargon at you about exercise technique without clearly explaining each exercise step-by-step and placing these exercises in the context of a coherent physical fitness strategy.

One would hope the HubSpot’s paid products are significantly better, so I took a peek at some of their free videos and webinars. I have not used the tools themselves, but the pre-marketing materials are very vague and the monthly price tag is around $750 / month for a small business. That’s pretty expensive for what seems like a toolsuite that does little more than you can do with the free tools, and very vague guidance on SEO strategy. SEO strategy is always based on your business’ unique value proposition vs. customer needs as expressed in keyword queries!

Free SEO Analysis Tool, Useful – But…

Website Grader by HubSpot - Thumbs DownSo we rate Website Grader thumbs down. The tool is free (that’s the good news) but its failure to provide a coherence context around SEO cripples it from being truly useful. It is neither fish nor fowl. Neither a good overview to SEO, as provided in the SEO classes that I teach (you can also get this from a good book), nor a specific context-bound tool like Yahoo site explorer, or the fantastic KeywordSpy.

My hunch, unfortunately, is that HubSpot doesn’t break out of the fundamental contradiction of the SEO industry. The company makes money by selling you "access" to its "secret" store of SEO knowledge. They can’t give you that knowledge without making you independent of them and their fees.

But, if…

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

HubSpot’s Website Grader is a fun analysis tool, but really learning SEO – building an effective keyword list, deploying that through effect HTML page tags, having a coherent link strategy, etc. – these steps can be taught to you by someone else, but you (and only you) can implement them to make your website and with that knowledge, you are truly free (in both senses of that word).

Good luck!

2009’s Ten Best Free SEO Google Tools by Jason McDonald

Fremont, CA – January 1, 2010 – Jason McDonald, a leading expert in SEO Training, has announced his ‘top ten’ list of the best free Google / SEO tools for 2009. Unlike many SEO lists, this top ten is structured by context, helping businesspeople and marketers not just identify useful tools to help them with search engine optimization but also provide the context for learning how best to use the tools as part of an integrated marketing / communications strategy.

Context is Everything

“Nowadays,” said Jason McDonald, SEO Director of the JM Internet Group, “there are actually quite a few ‘free’ SEO tools out there. What is needed isn’t another tool, but rather better education of businesspeople and marketers as to how to use the tools for an effective search engine marketing strategy.” In that spirit, and in the spirit of ‘getting SEO fit’ for the New Year, Dr. McDonald has broken down his list down by a crude ranking but by positioning each of the top ten Google / SEO tools within the context of an effective SEO marketing strategy.

Top Ten Free Google SEO Tools for 2009

Keywords – The Foundation of Effective SEO
Keywords are the foundation of effective SEO. Most businesses do little keyword research, and if they do any, it is usually a seat-of-the pants method of asking themselves and their coworkers what they ‘think’ are the best keywords for their business. Understanding the high volume keywords and integrating these high volume keywords with the unique value proposition of your business, however, is the foundation of an effective keyword strategy. Two tools made the 2009 Top Ten tools list –

  • Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool – this amazing free keyword tool from Google is the best keyword tool on the market – not just because it is built upon the number one search engine, but also because it provides data on keyword search volume and pay-per-click bids, the two synergistic elements that combine search volume with value proposition.
  • Google’s ~ Command – Google’s ~ (Tilda) command, allows a user to enter a search word such as ~lawyer and find out other related words in the mind of Google. This procedure is an excellent first step towards keyword discovery.

Page Tags – Reaching Out To Communicate Effectively with the Search Engines
Most marketers and web masters know at least a little HTML, but few realize just how effective basic page tag structure is to ‘reach out’ to Google, Yahoo, and Bing to communicate what your website is ‘about’ and indeed the ‘most important’ keywords for a particular keyword. Building on the foundation of good keywords, effective SEO is first a strategy of effectively weaving your keywords into your page tags / HTML. This is an area in which there actually are not very many good SEO tools – but one made the Top Ten list for 2009 –

Widexl’s Meta Tag Analyzer – this tool measures your META tags but also analyzes your keyword and page density. For marketers who have a basic grasp of how page tags communicate keyword important to the search engines, this is a quick and effective ‘check up’ of your pages (or those of a competitor).

Link Building and Link Strategy
Almost everyone knows by now that having authoritative incoming links is a major factor in getting to the top of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The first step in link building is to identify competitor links and reach out to complementary websites with an effective and creative link-building strategy. Two fantastic free tools make this year’s Top Ten SEO tools list –

  • LinkDiagnosis – sign up for a free account and if you have the Firefox browser, this amazing tool will check the back links of any website you desire. What’s really cool about it is that it also tracks the PageRank and allows you to export to CSV / Excel file format. It makes the first step of link building easy!
  • Yahoo Site Explorer – everyone in the SEO community prays that with Bing becoming the search engine of Yahoo, that this excellent free link analysis tool is perpetuated by Bing. Ironically the two best link tools are explicitly not Google tools, but they are free.

Rank Checking Tools
Most marketers and businesspeople neurotically check their Google PageRank and their SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rank on almost a daily basis. There are places (somewhere like http://dorylabs.com/what-a-bulk-rank-checker-can-do-for-your-website/) where you can learn more about what a rank checker can do for you. Quite a few more are responsible for tracking their rank over time and against competitors. There are a few fantastic free tools that will allow you to automate this process, and even export the data to Excel for graphing and comparison over time. Three made the 2009 Top Ten list –

  • PRChecker.info’s PageRank Checker – this fun and easy tool allows you to check the Google PageRank of any site you desire, and you can download their code for your website or blog.
  • RankChecker form SEOBooks – this FireFox extension is an amazingly powerful and free tool by which you can monitor your rank (and that of competitors) against your keyword list, automatically. It even allows you to export the data to CSV and set up scheduled checks, so that you are ready for that Monday morning marketing meeting!
  • SiteMapDoc’s SERP Rank Checker – SiteMapDoc is actually a site about generating site maps, but they provide this amazingly quick rank checker tool that queries Google to see where your domain lies on any given search query.

Metrics Tools
In today’s tough economy, every marketing manager is in the hot seat when it comes to justifying marketing spends, even for ‘free’ SEO. Fortunately, Google continues to bolster its Google Analytics tool suite, as an amazing, free ‘enterprise class’ web log analyzer. More and more companies are standardizing on Google Analytics, and no top ten SEO list would be complete without it.

Google Analytics – web log analysis from the search leader; it just can’t get any better than this!

Social Media Tools
Social media isn’t just about community; it is also about SEO. As all the major search engines move towards ‘real-time search and the global infatuation with Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace builds, smart SEO marketers are focusing on how they can utilize social media as part of a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy. There are, unfortunately, few really good free Social Media tools as of this writing. So the top ten award goes to BING for breaking ground with real-time search of Twitter. This allows marketers to input their keywords and quickly locate potential Twitter partners.

Bing Twitter Search – use Bing to search Twitter by keywords for potential Twitter partners!

Search without Training is a Clear Path to Failure

Using the top ten tools for free is a first important step towards getting a company to the top of Google, Yahoo, or Bing. But, that said, understanding how SEO works and how these tools fit into a comprehensive SEO strategy requires training. Some people hire an outside SEO expert to ‘do it for them,’ others read the rather techno-centric books on the subject, and still others take the free introductory webinar offered by Dr. McDonald as part of the JM Internet Group’s outreach strategy. A link to that free webinar can be found at Dr. McDonald’s blog, https://www.jasonmcdonald.org.

News Releases

Dr. Jason McDonald is a recognized expert in search engine optimization, Internet marketing, and search marketing based in Fremont, California. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1992, and has worked at many hi-tech start up’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, Dr. McDonald is Senior Editor at eg3.com, a web portal and email service covering hi-tech embedded systems on the Internet, founded in 1994. Recently, Dr. McDonald has begun teaching marketing, market research and Internet marketing at Bay Area institutions such as AcademyX and DeVry University.

Contact Information

Dr. McDonald can be found on the Internet at https://www.jasonmcdonald.org, a website focused on search engine marketing, SEO, and other Internet marketing issues with in-depth free information on SEO, Page Tags, Google Analytics, Metrics, Link building, Free SEO Tools and more. He can also be contacted by telephone at +1-702-879-4771 or email, jasonmcdonald.blog@gmail.com.