Test: Fresh Web Explorer

We have tested Fresh Web Explorer, the new mentions tool from SEOMoz. Do we love it?

Fresh Web Explorer (FWE) is the newest addition of SEOMoz tools. It is no secret to the people who know me that I both love, praise and use these tools on a daily basis. Some even accuse me of having a major small crush on Rand Fishkin, the way I go on about “his tools”. In other words, my hopes for this new addition are high.

FWE is a mention tool that ”lets you research and compare mentions and links to your domain using the power of the Freshscape index”, a “30 day index of 4.3 million feeds (and counting).” FWE is not real time, but pretty close, there’s a new Freshscape index every eight hours.

How does Fresh Web Explorer work?

You can search for words, phrases, urls and subdomain-urls in FWE:

search possibilities fresh web explorer

We all know that Interflora was in the centre of attention (at least in the SEO world) a couple of weeks ago, being banned from Google for bad link-building. Let us see what FWE might find.
interflora FWE

Searching for “interflora” in FWE shows that mentions of the brand increased after Valentines day, which tells me that the SEO community must have been very active in the otherwise high-season for buying flowers online.

To sort through the 1116 mentions FWE find, I can choose to sort by Page title, Feed Authority, Mention (your search) or Date Found. To get more sorting options you can export the list to a .csv file:

Export FWE

By doing this, you get a few more choices: Page Title, URL of the page, Domain, Feed Authority and Feed Source.

If you search for more phrases at the same time, FWE will compare them:

compare searches FWE

Seems like the results for “interflora” and combining “interflora” with “SEO” or “penalty” correspond pretty well from around Febryary 21st.

How can I use this tool in my daily SEO work?

I see quite a few advantages in using this tool. For instance you can follow articles, news stories or PRs for your company or clients, not by following backlinks, but mentions. If your company / client is mentioned, but not linked to, FWE gives you the opportunity to follow up and get that low hanging, highly relevant backlink.

You might also use FWE to track brand or competitor mentions with an eight hour delay, or to follow trends for different search terms. Combining FWE with Google Trends will give you a close to complete overview of both mentions and searches for whatever you want to keep an eye on. Or what about finding content ideas by exploring forums, blogs and other websites that mention your brand or product?

If you watched last week`s Whiteboard Friday, good! Rand as usual have lots of great ideas on how to use this tool in your daily SEO work.

So far, so good, I can see the advantages of this tool and will for sure use it on a daily basis. But still, I miss a few things.

What do I miss in Fresh Web Explorer?

First of all, this is not a real time tool. Eight hours is pretty quick, but sometimes it is too long, trying to follow and take advantage of news and social.

Second of all, there is no geo targeting like the one you find in Google Trends. For me as a Nordic SEO consultant, this is always important. To be able to exclude non-relevant sources for some of my clients I would like the possibility to filter on mentions in Norwegian or from Norwegian web sites.

I also miss the possibility to view social mentions only. And when searching for URLs, the tool only pick up the URL as a whole, not as anchor text or shortened.

Anyway, I am sure it is just a matter of time until all of this are in place. Congratulations to SEOMoz on another great tool!

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About Agnete Tøien Pedersen

Agnete Tøien Pedersen is Head of SEO in iProspect Norway and has years of experience within SEM, SEO, web publishing and journalism. She is also chairman of the Board of Ethical SEM in Norway, BraSøk. On a daily basis she is working with customers of all sizes, in Norway, the Nordics and internationally.