Occasionally, as the diligent SEO Specialists at Boston Web Marketing scour the internet for the latest news in search and social media, we come across articles and posts that cover tools that will revolutionize our workday. Sometimes these are new features added to old tools, such as the “Index Status” graph that recently became available in Google Webmasters tools. We use other tools to make us more productive and help us keep track of the work we do.
One of our most important tasks is to check how the sites that we optimize are performing while also keeping track of changes in search algorithms. Tracking website performance on search engines involves monitoring Google Analytics, Google and Bing Webmasters Tools, and search results pages. Tracking data refreshes, algorithm updates, and other changes to search engines are less straight forward. Search engines do not want changes to their search tools to be predictable and they keep their updates under wraps for as long as possible to try to stop the efforts of those who try to game search results. The best ways to see if a search engine has updated its search function is to keep an eye on a site’s tracking data while also referencing sites that track search performance on a broad scale, checking official search engine twitter feeds and blogs, and looking for news that mentions a search engine’s actions. Fortunately for the ever-vigilant SEO Specialists at Boston Web Marketing, a new Google Chrome extension lets us overlay calendar data onto our Google Analytics charts so that we can compare real world events to changes in site usage data.
Chartelligence is a Google Chrome extension that can be easily added to your Chrome browser. You can create an account and log in to the web app to quickly begin building your own calendar layers. Chartelligence comes pre-loaded with some calendars such as USA and UK holidays and known Google Penguin and Panda updates. You can also create custom calendar layers to track your own dates and events against Google Analytics data. Chartelligence currently works with Google Analytics and Quantcast Measurements.
Chartelligence isn’t perfect yet. My first wish for Chartelligence would be for the calendar layers that are added to analytics charts to be able to be downloaded with the chart that has been created in analytics. If you are using the date comparison tool in Google Analytics, Chartelligence will only appear for the “main” date range. This can make a graph cluttered and hard to read if you try to compare one month of performance against both another month of data and dates that you are tracking with Chartelligence. While these limitations do require slight workarounds, I look forward to spending more time using Chartelligence to supplement my tracking and analysis efforts in order to make sure a site is fully optimized, being found, and performing well.
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