Fili Wiese, SEO consultant at SearchBrothers.com explains in this interview how he uses Botify and what he thinks about it.
SearchBrothers.com is a collaboration between Kaspar Szymanski and Fili Wiese. They are both former Google Search Quality team members and offer SEO services internationally such as technical on- and off page audit, risk analysis and penalty recovery assistance. SearchBrothers.com also specializes in custom tailored in-house SEO workshops.
What typical use do you make of Botify? And before you started using Botify, what type of tools did you use?
Fili Wiese: Before becoming Botify users we were in the position to utilize the might of Google’s internal tools to aggregate and investigate data signals on a tremendous scale. These tools are obviously not available to the public. Once we decided to become independent SEO consultants, we were looking for similar powerful tools to improve our business. Botify quickly became one of our tools of choice when it comes to auditing websites. These days we use it to crawl a site and aggregate signals in a similar way a search engine would see them. At the initial stage of an audit Botify became an essential tool for our business.
In Botify, which indicators usually first draw your attention?
The real power of Botify is really only unleashed if applied with search expertise. In other words, the same data set may be little conclusive for someone not intimately familiar with search signals and their relevance. There are some areas that often draw attention, such as server response time or crawl depth. However, every investigation tends to develop individually as it progresses. Having said that, we love how Botify helps us in analyzing very large websites.
Can we take an example to show specific problems you identified on your customer's websites and how you identified them?
Our business model is founded on 100% confidentiality. We do not disclose any details on any project or client we work on. We believe our business partners appreciate that policy. While we do not talk about our clients, we can shed some light on our approach. There’s not a single comprehensive audit being done without using Botify.
What functionality do you find particularly useful for large websites?
The ability for Botify to easily crawl a few million pages and make the data accessible through the URL Explorer makes Botify particularly useful when auditing large websites. Also the pricing of Botify is extremely attractive when crawling large sites. However what we really love is the speed of Botify. Botify processes while crawling so after a site is crawled, the data and reports are straight away available for use.
Have you been using advanced functionalities such as the Virtual Robots.txt, the Custom User-Agent, or the URL Explorer?
We love the URL Explorer to be able to drill down into the data provided in each crawl. We have also extensively used the custom User-Agent, enabling us to provide transparency to our clients as they can verify in their logs that it is us crawling them. The Virtual Robots.txt is handy when you want to just crawl a part of a website.
From your experience, how does Botify compare to other SEO tools?
We love Botify for its speed and graphical interface. Of course we are not reliant on one tool only. We also use other tools which allow us to crawl without having to verify the website first. However Botify enables us to crawl quickly very large websites (once verified) and present with nicer graphics to the clients. If you are interested in having your website regularly crawled and analyzed, Botify is most definitely an excellent tool for search marketers to use!