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X-Ray Vision for Guest Bloggers: Author Stats

This guest post is by Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media.

Analytics are great for seeing your site’s performance, but we can’t usually peek into other people’s web stats.

However, there is a tool that gives you a view you may not have seen before. It’s called Google Author Stats.

Embrace your new blogging super power

I think of guest blogging as modern-day PR. It has social media and search marketing benefits, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a key part of blogger collaboration.

The X-ray vision we’re talking about is useful for guest bloggers, but it works for any blogger.

To make it work, you need to do two things:

  1. Use Google Authorship to add a “digital signature” to your posts.
  2. Apply some SEO basics to your writing: a bit of keyphrase research and usage.

If you’ve been doing this all along, get ready to see through walls! Here’s how: log into Google Webmaster Tools using your Google+ login info.

This might seem strange because this account isn’t necessarily tied to a website. But keep going.

Now, click “Labs > Author Stats”. Here’s what you’ll see…

The stats

You’re looking at the SEO performance of every post you’ve written and tagged for Authorship. Let’s step through the information that’s included here.

  • Page: the address
  • Impressions: the number of times it has appeared in search results
  • Clicks: the number of visits to the page
  • CTR/Clickthrough Rate: the percentage of searchers who clicked on it
  • Avg. Position: how high the page ranks on average for all its keyphrases

It’s a thrill the first time you put on your Author Stats X-ray specs. You’re seeing the SEO performance (an important part of Analytics) for your site, but also other people’s websites. It’s enough to make a man blush!

Use your powers for good, not evil

Now that you can see through walls, what are you going to do with your new powers? Here’s a tip: use them for good. Use them as a reason to reach out and collaborate. Here are a few ways a guest author can continue to work with a host blog based on Authors Stats.

Your guest post has…

  • Avg. Position of 11-15: You’re ranking on page two, but not far from page one. The host blog should look for a few opportunities to link to the post from older posts, improving the link popularity. Or you can write another post on a similar topic with new link to the original post.
  • Avg. Position of 1-5, but CTR below 5%: You’re on page one, but not many people are clicking. There may be a mismatch between the title and meta description and the meaning of the keyphrase. Tweak the title to make sure the keyphrase and the topic are aligned semantically.
  • Clicks of 500 or more per month: You’re driving some traffic! The combination of your content and the host’s domain authority are powering significant visits from search. You should work together more often!

Now take of the X-ray glasses, email the blog editor, and continue to collaborate. Help the blog, help yourself, and help future readers find your content.

Peek at a few final tips

There are loads of competitive analysis tools that can give you a peek into the stats of other sites, but there’s still a lot we can’t see.

Ever used X-ray vision? Need help troubleshooting it? Got a favorite super power of your own? Leave a comment or question below…

Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry, An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing You can find Andy on and Twitter.

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

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Comments

  1. Awesome post Andy.

    This is one of those things that I have been looking at doing for a while, but this is definitely a good reason to get on and do it!

    And yeh, secondary link building to get a guest post ranking for a term that your own site would struggle to rank for – that’s a great way to drive some traffic (and make the original link more valuable I should think).

  2. Going into GWT and then labs and author stats is something new to me – great new information for me, checking mine now. Thank you Andy!

  3. Orkhan says:

    Using Google Authorship is like adding intelligence tool to other person’s blog. When authority sites, like ProBlogger or SEO expert websites publish guest posts, they allow Google Authorship code, too and this looks very cool on Google when you search for particular item. Most people think of Google Authorship as for adding identity for your own blog, but with this system you can provide rich search experience by using different authorship accounts for different pages.

  4. James M. says:

    As far as Google Webmasters Tools is concerned, I often just get as deep as its first 2 features including ‘Messages’. It’s information like this that gets me to want to explore more of the GWT. I even have yet to explore all that its elder brother, Google Analytics, can offer.

  5. Nikki says:

    I’ve been freelance writing for almost a year so of course I’ve seen this blog before. But now that I’ve started my own blog, I’m actually reading all the posts. Let me just say that this is some of the most thorough instruction I’ve found in the blogosphere. Thanks for being such a great mentor to so many people!

  6. amsh says:

    I am also into blogging for last 2 years. This is one of the useful articles I found during search.

  7. John says:

    Hey Andy,
    Excellent post. I think that we should see who is blogger ? and where he is from before accepting his guest post ?
    This is true that Guest posting is the best way to get back links but guest posting should be done on quality blogs where you will get authority links.
    Thank you

  8. Valter Sousa says:

    Hello, Andy. I liked the hint and the practical utility you gave it. Never heard of it (at least this detail) among Brazilian bloggers. I have some difficulty with Autorship, someday I’ll find out why.

  9. Daniel Smith says:

    Blogging was my passion over the years of writing randomly and the sites like this have helped and inspired tremendously. You are the towerhouse for beginners.

  10. Great info Andy!

    I’ve always been skeptical about writing guest posts for what seem like ‘newer’ blogs. I also feel a bit rude just asking for stats. I normally go by the size and quality of the community – if I see a lot of valuable comments and discussion taking place on some of the posts then I’ll definitely try and get a guest post out there, otherwise it takes a bit more thought!

    Thanks

  11. Ben Troy says:

    Can you share me how to improve the conversion rate?

  12. Excellent! These are all great tips. I don’t always find time to guest post and collaborate, but there is definitely a lot of power in doing so. I try to remember to interlink my sites when I can, set up authorship on each one and guest post when time allows. Thanks for sharing the author stats view with us. I hadn’t seen this before. ;)