By Kalena Jordan
FirstPlace Software™, Brent Winters, responded to my
Review of WebPosition Gold v2.0 BETA
with comments addressing some of the concerns I raised.
His responses are outlined below, together with extracts from my review, where
= Web Rank, (BW) = Brent Winters
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Thanks for your review of
WPG2! We really appreciate the feedback. I'd like to
address some of the items
in your review to clarify some things:
(WR) - GENERAL ENHANCEMENTS - 1) More
Engines - A few observations - the BETA version of WPG v2.0 does
not yet offer support for
New Zealand are represented more fully than others, for example, 10 engines
are listed for Germany,
but only two for China and Russia. Hopefully these numbers will increase
with future updates.
(BW) Actually, I
think we support the New Zealand variation of Answers.com. [WR
Note - Brent is referring to the Australian search engine
Anzwers.com.au which has a New Zealand mirror at Anzwers.co.nz. The latest
BETA Build of WPG v2.0 includes a filter to specifically target New Zealand
results from Anzwers.]. We'll
add more engines for New Zealand, as well as
countries like Russia, China, etc. as we
become aware of ones that are important in those countries. One issue we've
ran into is that some countries do not have many "significant"
regional engines. We did not see any
reason to support engines so minor as to not warrant
someone's attention just to fill out our engine list better. If you learn
of a major regional engine we've overlooked, don't hesitate to let me know.
We expect to add some more engines as more people start using the product
after it's official release and providing feedback.
(WR) - REPORTER ENHANCEMENTS 5)
Filter Non-Ranking Keywords - Personally,
I think this “enhancement” opens up the program to abuse because
it encourages the circulation
reports and distorts the true performance of a search ranking
(BW) I understand
your concern here, however, I think most clients are savvy enough
to realize if they contracted to improve
their positions on x, y, and z keywords
and only x & y show up on the report, that they will know they don't
rank well on "z" or will ask where that keyword is at.
Some people at times like
to cast a wide net and then see just an "executive summary" of what
keywords they are showing up on without a big
list of keywords they don't rank on.
In any case, we had a lot of requests to add this feature. So, we felt
like we had an obligation to give our
customers what they wanted.
(WR) - REPORTER ENHANCEMENTS- 9)
Greater Report Customisation - it would
be nice to see a thumbnail preview of how your chosen colours will look in a
(BW) Good idea! I'll add
it to the list.
PAGE GENERATOR ENHANCEMENTS - I don’t use WPG’s Page
Generator tool, so I don’t really have a yardstick to use to
compare versions and I’m not comfortable
reviewing a tool that I don’t use and don’t approve of.
(BW) We don't
encourage the creation of a zillion doorway pages, or to spam an
engine with near duplicate content. Instead, we
provide articles on how to write high
quality, unique content. That's why we offer no capability to create
more than one page at a time with the Generator, just as you can't create
more than one page at a time normally with MS FrontPage.
The primary purpose of
the Page Generator is a teaching tool for beginners to introduce
them to different elements of a page (title, meta
tags, link text, body, keywords, etc.).
It walks them through each element and provides an array
of help buttons giving tips on how to create effective titles, headings,
etc. If we removed the module, we'd be doing
many people a disservice who are trying
to learn SEO from scratch. If someone wants to abuse an engine by creating
a bunch of duplicate pages, they can do that just as easily with any Web
page builder by doing a Save As. They would not require our Page Generator
to spam in that way.
(WR) - TRAFFIC ANALYZER ENHANCEMENTS -
2) Continued Support for 1.60
Features - This
one’s pretty redundant if you ask me.
(BW) It might
seem redundant, but people live in fear that the next upgrade may
remove some of their favorite features.
Other software companies have done this
enough that many people worry about it if they are not re-assured.
(WR) - PAGE CRITIC ENHANCEMENTS - 1)
I just don’t agree with the assumption that purchasing multiple domains
is a good way to boost search engine rankings. In fact, if you set up
multiple domains containing
the same content and search engines discover this, many
will at best, ignore the duplicate domains and at worst, remove your
site/s from their index. “Hiding”
the other domain at a different IP address is not
going to protect you from this. Besides, unless you are providing
substantially unique content
on different domains, you are doing nothing more than
filling the search engines with irrelevant spam and not adding value for
(BW) We strongly recommend
against creating duplicate content in the Critic, Generator,
help files, and newsletters. The above advice is meant to suggest users
divide their content into logical categories across multiple domains, but
to keep everything unique. This can improve
themes and link popularity without spamming.
We'll revise the above advice to clarify this though since taken alone
it could apply the wrong thing.
(WR) - SUBMITTER ENHANCEMENTS - It’s
going to take a lot to convince me that submitting sites to search
engines using software
is better than submitting by hand. I’ve
seen too much evidence to the contrary.
(BW) I completely
understand your reservations about using an automated tool to do
submissions. There are people who are concerned
about being red-flagged by an engine, and
for good reason. There are others who worry about the accuracy of automated
submissions. Still others (including ourselves) feel that some submissions,
such as to directories, are better done by hand so that the proper category
can be chosen and so that a person does not hastily rush in and submit,
making things harder to fix later.
However, I believe all
such concerns have been put to rest with WebPosition Gold
2. WebPosition Gold 2 emulates a submission in your browser by first reading
the actual content of the engine's submission page. It parses this page
as a browser does, and then inserts the appropriate data such as your name,
e-mail address, URL, or whatever is required by the engine. It also emulates
all the other details of a browser based submission.
auto-submission products suffer from a fundamental flaw though. They submit
too quickly which can be a red-flag to a search engine that might want to
discriminate against submissions that are too fast, or that are automated.
WPG2's unique slow submit features overcomes
this. Version 1.60 allowed you to check a
box and only submit one URL per day per engine to avoid the possibility
of being red-flagged. In
addition to the one URL per day feature that still remains, WPG2 allows you
to schedule submissions to occur randomly in a
user specified time interval.
You can then
submit multiple URLs throughout the day or week so that you never have
URLs being submitted quickly in succession to the same engine (the primary
give-away of an automated submission program). Unlike
many submission products, if a submission fails for any reason, the failure
is noted on the report and a link is provided to the actual failure page
for further information. A link to submit it manually is also provided although
in most cases, if WebPosition failed, then a manual submission will also
fail until their server problems are corrected. However, the convenience
is there to just jump over and try the
submission again yourself to see if it succeeds.
In WPG2, the pages
reported as successfully submitted are also downloaded and
archived so you can click on them and see the
engine's confirmation page yourself. We
don't ask you to just "trust us" as many products do. We know
the submitter works since we have many
consultants who submit clients routinely with
Those submissions we
recommend you do by hand, such as more complex directory submissions
where you should spend time navigating their site first to choose the
best category, we provide a new submission assistant tool. This allows you
to prepare and plan your submissions by
inputting the title, description, and other
elements you plan to submit. When you go to make your submission, you
just do a copy and paste
from the assistant. It also counts and displays how many
keywords you managed to use in your title and description, along with providing
detailed submission advice on how to prepare a submission to each engine.
If there are engines that WPG2 submits to
automatically that you prefer or choose
to submit to by hand, WPG2's submission assistant feature is still valuable.
It allows you to add that engine to your guided or "manual" submission
list and then input things like the initial submission date and the last
submission date. This can be flagged to appear on a consolidated submission
report that shows any manual and automated submissions you've done in
Some benefits of WPG2's
automated submissions over manual submissions are:
a) Saves time by not
having to go to each engine and submit by hand.
b) Reduces or eliminates
the chance of entering a typo in the URL when you submit
since WPG2 verifies that the page exists before submitting it.
c) WPG2 reduces
the chance of accidental spamming by warning you if you try to submit
the same URL twice on the same day. (If you do this manually, the engine
is not going to be nice enough to tell you that you broke the rules or at
risk of being flagged as a spammer).
d) WPG2 warns
you if you exceed recommended daily limits on the number of URLs per
day per engine. Our knowledge base is updated monthly with these limits.
However, you can also customize them to your own
preferences or level of conservatism
e) A complete log is kept
of when you submitted what to where, whether it be manual
or automated. WPG2 makes this easier than keeping these notes in NotePad
or elsewhere. If you do work for clients, these reports can lend more validation
to your work.
f) You still have the
flexibility to manually submit where you wish, and to track
that. The Assistant provides handy features to make this process easier.
I hope this gives a
better overview of how WebPosition Gold 2 compares to manual
submission, and some of the many benefits it provides. With this latest
version, there is very little if any valid
argument to not take advantage of WebPosition's
submitter versus doing it by hand. Many concerns regarding automated
submission are based on problems in other products or on older technology.
(WR) - SCHEDULER
ENHANCEMENTS - 1) Easier Interface - Well – here’s the thing. WPG claim
that the Scheduler interface in WPG v2.0 is easier to use. But I don’t think
so. Sure the tabbed layout is consistent with other WPG features, but I don’t
find the interface any more intuitive. In fact, Scheduler v2.0 kept trying to
run using an older version of WPG. After I worked out what the problem was, I
had to keep changing the execute file in the “Program to Run” field to WPG
v2.0 BETA. There doesn’t appear to be a way to choose a default program to
run, unless you remove older WPG versions from your system or move them to a
(BW) A This sounds like a
bug since any references to WPG1 should have changed to WPG2
automatically. We'll get if fixed
(WR) - SCHEDULER
ENHANCEMENTS - 6) Easier Submission Handling - This submission “enhancement”
to WPG raises concern because it is open to abuse by giving people the ability
to resubmit their URL’s daily. This is an irresponsible and unnecessary
addition to the software if you ask me.
(BW) We don't recommend
people submit the same URL each day. However, some people, and
consultants, like to submit once a quarter or once a month. I tend to agree
that if you focus on your link popularity, then resubmitting is not necessary
unless you have a problem of the engine dropping your site by accident.
Some people believe that submitting periodically helps keep them in the
index more consistently. WebPosition warns people if they try to break known
submission rules like submitting the same URL more than once in the same
day, or submitting more than 1, 5, 10, or
however many URLs per day that an engine
suggests that you not exceed. I do understand where you're coming from,
however, if we did not let people submit
intelligently on a given interval, then
we would be criticized for not supporting that option. I don't believe that
if they will get in trouble for spamming if they keep things conservative.
However, some of the features provided are quite powerful and open to
abuse. If you choose to use WebPosition Gold or similar software, try to use
it responsibly by scheduling your Reporter missions sporadically, not
over-submitting your URL’s, avoiding the creation of hundreds of
content-challenged challenged doorway pages and not running Reporter on engines known for
taking an anti-querying software stand (such as Google).
(BW) I agree. We try to put
in warnings against all the above to educate the user and
encourage the proper use of the tool. Ultimately, WebPosition is a tool
just like Microsoft FrontPage. You can create
something great with it, or you can mis-use
it and create a junky Web site. All we can do is try to encourage the
positive use of the product while giving people the flexibility to optimize
sites as they see fit since SEO is
not an exact science.
Kalena, I again thank you
for the review you did and the valuable feedback you've
provided. We'll be going to work on the bugs and shortcomings you mentioned.
If you have additional questions about WebPosition
Gold™ as a result of reading this these comments, please visit the links below, or email WebPosition
support staff via firstname.lastname@example.org. If
to trial the Beta version of WPG v2.0, you can download it from the link below.
(our affiliate link)
(outline of features in v2.0)
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