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Some Interesting Developments In Four Corners SEO

November 19, 2012

Durango SEO

SW Colorado finally interested in SEO

It’s great to see the community taking such an interest in SEO.  The subject really got started on LinkedIn, and has since lost it’s flame.  Perhaps I’m the only one event keeping the topic alive.  Who knows these things.  Just the same, I’ve been on a local SEO kick.

Buzztown redesign – No more user-generated content

Much of this conversation was provoked by Buzztown going through their redesign and raising rates.  Buzztown responded, bringing up the superior SEO benefits of their site.  This caused something of an uproar on the LinkedIn, leading to 360Durango and being offered as Buzztown alternatives.

This conversation lead me to compare the local Durango directories for SEO value.  DATO actually had Buzztown beat in domain authority, although the two directories tied for first in Google PageRank,  The results of my initial test are as follows:

Domain Authority:

  1. Durango Area Tourism Office – DA: 64
  2. Buzztown – DA: 58
  3. Durango Chamber of Commerce – DA: 48
  4. – DA: 41
  5. 360Durango – DA: 33
  6. – DA: 26

Google PageRank:

  1. Durango Area Tourism Office – PR: 5
  2. Buzztown – PR: 5
  3. Durango Chamber of Commerce – PR: 4
  4. 360Durango – PR: 4
  5. – PR: 3
  6. – PR: 2

Some sites I looked at after the study

Since this study, I’ve also looked at the SEO value of Fort Lewis College and the Be Local directory.  FLC took the cake.  If it is possible to get a backlink into the FLC blog, try to do it.  Fort Lewis College loves blogging about alumni achievements.  If you’ve hot an FLC alumni on staff, who’s performing some remarkable tasks, let the FLC blog know!

The Be Local directory’s authority is similar to that of 360Durango or DurangoDowntown.  Nothing exceptional, but decent.  The Be Local membership is probably the lowest cost ($75/year) out of all the directories compared and includes many perks other than the directory link.

What’s next in the study of local Durango SEO?

My next step is to create a more comprehensive benchmark of local websites and directories.  In my next report, I will break it down into two categories; websites and directories.  The approach to obtaining a backlink from a directory usually differs from the process of obtaining backlinks from other websites.

By distinguishing which local websites might be more difficult to obtain links with is important when developing a linkbuilding strategy.

Non-SEO perks

I also want to take a look at the non-SEO perks of partnering with these various websites.  Many of these companies offer the directory listing as part of a bigger package.  The price-weight of the package can make the link look more expensive, when viewing it using SEO tunnel vision.  When looking at the other membership benefits of these various programs, the cost-justification seems more apparent.

I would like to somehow rank these different webpages based on different criteria; Link-value, price, benefits and so on.  The problem is, at this point it gets very opinionated and it’s no longer benchmarking solely on metrics.  Maybe someday I will figure out an acceptable algo.

List of local Durango / Four Corners blogs

Blogging and guest blogging is another topic that hasn’t had much conversation in our area.  Guest blogging is a great method for building up quality links.  In addition, guest blogging is great for building relationships and shows a general interest and investment in the community.

I would like to compile a list of local businesses and groups that have blogs, and benchmark the various blogs by metrics such as PageRank and DA.  By building awareness of who’c currently blogging, hopefully I can drive other local entities to jump on board.  Creating a comprehensive list would make guest blogging outreach much easier, and hopefully encourage people to do so.

Look forward to many new SEO resources, relevant to the Durango area.


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