The Inconvenient Truth About HubSpot’s Website Grader

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?

On another note, you can order effective and worthy SEO services from TurkReno Incorporated at our online store for much less than HubSpot is asking for.

Comments are welcome.

5 thoughts on “The Inconvenient Truth About HubSpot’s Website Grader”

  1. kimberly mccabe

    Design itself effects the visitor not necessarily the SEO – of course many elements of the architecture of your site do such as SEO-friendly URLs. I was able to raise some of my rankings higher with a short trial of HubSpot than months of paying an apparent “well known” and praised SEO consultant. Of course we don’t know HubSpot’s algorithm…that’s proprietary, no? Anyway, I was curious about reading more about your blog till I hit the obvious sales pitch at the bottom.

  2. Charlotte Hughes

    What are the best SEO Tools on the market today? i have some off page optimization checker in hand.

  3. Please could somebody aid me with any kind of material about being ranked in google places. I have a client who desires to rank well and I cant seem to get any rankings. Virtually any assistance appreciated. Appreciate it

    1. Sure. Ranking is usually dependant upon PageRank as well as a number of other factors like the amount of involvement in Social Media, the age of your domain name/registration, the length of registration for your domain name, the number/length and type of alpha-numeric characters in the domain name you are using, how many links back your domain name has from multiple types of classifications/types of sites…The list goes on and on. If you haven’t before, start with validating your website to W3C Compliancy. Then, if you are the owner of that particular Google Places listing, make sure you have claimed that listing. If you attach a website to it, the ranking/listing of the Places SERP could be highly influenced. Make sure you complete the listing with photos, at least, and video. Leave it alone for at least a week or two unless you see the changes you want immediately.

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TurkReno Incorporated is a technology solutions provider with specializations in administration, branding, infrastructure, operational support, web design, and web development.

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