I’ve come across a few blogs reviewing the use of Website Grader from Hubspot and they all have mixed reviews. Over the course of 2009 until now, I have to say that we have found the results to be inconsistent at best. We’ve ensured that our site is not only W3C Valid, but also have passed the initial 508 Compliance tests from Cynthia Says for our home page, Checked with DomainTools on our SEO score (We score 100% on all metrics there), have listed ourselves in the paid Yahoo! Directory and are listed in the DMOZ.
Not only that, we’ve turned on GZIP Compression in Apache using mod_gzip and mod_deflate, tuned Apache, PHP and MySQL, enabled all other sorts of goodies for security and speed, turned on all types of Caching, checked our headers and then did the entire process all over again when we migrated servers. We just can’t seem to get past the 95-98.6% range on Website Grader. The one good thing of all of this is that our Alexa ranking is improving dramatically and we’re still #1 in our area for what we do.
HubSpot has said many times over that they are not selling SEO “snake oil”…but if you sign up for their 7 day free trial, you’ll find a hefty $9000.00 price-point PER YEAR with a $500.00 setup fee if you want to continue. Surely they know who they want to market to with that kind of investment for one company. With a “free SEO tool”, pushing someone to eventually spend this much money is a bit absurd to find out information that you could have Googled or found with another “free SEO tool”.
Hubspot says this about their product:
HubSpot’s software helps you take advantage of the changing nature of how people research and shop for products – bringing together a suite of Internet marketing tools for the small or medium sized business, including tools for search engine optimization, business blogging, website content publishing, lead tracking and intelligence, marketing analytics, and competitor analysis. HubSpot is web-based, does not require any IT staff, and is designed to be used by a marketing person, not a techie.
While this may be true, it only gives a very topographical look – more correctly as one blog put it as a “website check engine light”. Now, what really, honestly, confuses me is when searching Google for Website Grader, I managed to pull up a site that not only has a poor design, but it scores higher than we do on Website Grader. Check this out. How does a site with that many errors get listed as 99.3? CertGuard.com has a 99.5 and about the same number of errors. So, why is it when we take all of these measures to CORRECT the things that HubSpot are listed as wrong that we are scored lower in light of the two sites that have multiple Website Grader errors and score higher? This seems backwards. Why put your trust in a company that asks for this much money and does not accurately depict a website?
Comments are welcome.