Interview with Aleh Barysevich: Today, we have a legend from the SEO industry. The man of success behind SEO PowerSuite – the ultimate SEO tool and Awario – the powerful social media listening tool. Since its foundation, SEO PowerSuite, it started gaining popularity with its incredible features. Viktar and Aleh are the two brains that drive such a powerful SEO tool to succeed. And, Awario would be the latest but also the best social media monitoring tool. With the SEO PowerSuite and Awario, Link-Assistant uncovers the whole attire of the SEO industry.
Interview with Aleh Barysevich
In our today’s interview with Aleh Barysevich, let’s have a casual talk on SEO PowerSuite –early days, how the tool is updated to meet Google algorithm updates, what are the unique features it holds and also about Awario. It will be more exciting to get a real opinion from the founder of the other than anybody else. He is the man who can describe it well. Undoubtedly, the interview will be interesting to know more about Aleh, SEO PowerSuite, Awario, SEO trends and even more.
Let’s get into the interview with Aleh Barysevich, the real expert in the SEO arsenal.
1. Share a few words about your career background and about SEO PowerSuite during its initial days.
SEO PowerSuite started back in 2004 when my co-founder, Viktar Khamianok, and I decided to launch a custom software development business. We built a website and picked search engine optimization (SEO) as a way of attracting clients and improving our online presence.
At the time, we knew very little about SEO. But it didn’t take us long to realize that there was no comprehensive product on the market to take newbies like us by the hand and walk through the entire SEO process. We did find a bunch of small tools, each focusing on one SEO task. We found a great keyword research tool, a Google PageRank checker, another tool to spot broken links, but no one great product to do it all.
That’s when it hit us: WE should develop the world’s greatest SEO software! So that was how the idea of SEO PowerSuite was born.
2. What would you say was the biggest achievement and challenge in developing SEO PowerSuite?
Getting the first paid customer is certainly an unforgettable achievement that comes to mind. There are also those humbling and rewarding moments at the leading events like SMX when people recognize us and say nice things about SEO PowerSuite. The main challenge is related to the SEO industry itself: it’s constantly evolving, so we need to adapt the product fast to keep it current with the trends.
3. From your perspective, what are the three most important things that dominate the SEO industry in 2019? How SEO PowerSuite can assist SEOs to keep up with them?
In my opinion, these are mobile-first indexing, brand as a ranking signal, and Amazon search.
Since March 2018, Google has started the process of migrating websites to mobile-first indexing. The process is likely to continue throughout 2019. To be ready, webmasters should adopt responsive web design and make sure their sites are mobile-friendly. WebSite Auditor, the SEO analysis tool in the SEO PowerSuite toolkit, can be of great help here.
You can use it to check how search engine spiders see your mobile pages by choosing to follow the robots.txt instructions for Googlebot-mobile. Additionally, you can run regular checks with WebSite Auditor to make sure your pages deliver exceptional user experience on mobile devices: Page Usability (Mobile) would be the go-to section in this case.
Speaking of the brand as a ranking signal, there are two things to keep in mind. Firstly, online brand mentions are confirmed to be used in the Google ranking algorithm. Secondly, according to Search Quality Guidelines, reputation matters for rankings, so we may come to the conclusion that sentiment around brand mentions affects rankings. It means that SEO-wise, you can now focus not only on building links but on acquiring linkless mentions as well.
Awario comes in really handy here: you can use it to find every relevant mention of your brand on the web (whether publishers link to you or not, tag you or not) and identify new opportunities to get mentions.
The third trend I mentioned is, the Amazon search. Amazon’s becoming Google of e-commerce: 56% of consumers look on Amazon before any other site if they have shopping in mind. So if your online business is relevant to e-commerce, make optimization for Amazon part of your SEO strategy. Every SEO strategy starts with keyword research, and you can use Rank Tracker, which has Amazon Autocomplete among its multiple keyword research methods.
4. How does Link-Assistant.Com understand the needs of its target audience and optimize SEO PowerSuite accordingly?
A good portion of direct feedback and feature requests comes from our users: we’re lucky and grateful to have many of them stick with us for years and give us candid insights, which allows us to improve the product.
Also, we watch SEO news and trends closely. Change has always been the name of the SEO game. Our industry is shifting continuously, and SEO PowerSuite needs to adapt just as fast. To give you an example, when Google killed off toolbar PageRank in 2016, we understood that our audience still needs to evaluate site authority and link quality. Thus, we came up with InLink Rank, an SEO PowerSuite metric based off the original Google PageRank formula.
5. Could you tell us a few words about your new tool, Awario?
Awario is the second flagship product of ours. It’s a powerful social media monitoring app, which lets users find their brand mentions on social media and all around the web.
Awario’s competitive advantage is our own web crawling system, which analyzes over 13 billion pages daily. Thus, unlike other monitoring tools, which tend to rely on a single third-party data provider, Awario gets data from its own power source in addition to social media APIs.
Awario’s mostly used for social listening, which is not only the way of tracking mentions online but also a way to learn more about your audience and your niche. We’re happy to see an increasing number of people use it to grow their brand awareness, interact with their customers, find social selling opportunities, improve their influencer marketing process and facilitate competition research.
6. Most of the leading SEO tools are not available for free. What’s your idea behind SEO PowerSuite’s free version? How long we can expect its free availability helping beginners or budget bloggers?
The idea behind the free version is to let webmasters explore the majority of SEO PowerSuite features with no time limits, and we don’t have any immediate plans to cut access to it. There are some restrictions to functionality, of course, compared to Professional and Enterprise editions, but the Free edition is still very useful for basic SEO tasks and for getting an idea of what SEO PowerSuite is all about.
7. What are all the areas we could expect SEO PowerSuite will get maturity in its near future updates?
Before I talk about our plans, let me share our latest improvements with you first. Recently we’ve been working hard on our backlink index. Our focus was making it the most up-to-date and the one that crawls the web faster than any other tool. And I’m happy to announce that we’ve succeeded: with 7.1 billion web pages crawled daily, SEO SpyGlass’ backlink checker tool now finds new backlinks faster than Majestic, Ahrefs or any other tool. Many enterprise users were requesting the API access to this abundant backlink data. And we’ve recently started providing it upon demand (it’s not available publicly just yet).
Earlier in this interview, I mentioned InLink Rank, our in-house analog of Google PageRank. We’re currently improving the algorithm behind InLink Rank to make it even more precise. Just to illustrate how dead-serious we are about it, we’ve just finished a study of about 33,000 keywords and their top 30 ranking results to analyze the correlation between Domain InLink Rank and Google rankings.
The results are mind-blowing: for this sample of 1 million pages, there’s a correlation of about 0.12848, which makes Domain InLink Rank roughly 6% stronger than the next best competitor (Moz’s Domain Authority). The metrics by other providers – Majestic Citation Flow, Majestic Trust Flow, and Ahrefs Domain Rating – prove to have an even weaker correlation.
In addition to improving InLink Rank, we’re developing new backlink metrics – TrustRank and SpamRank – to make backlink analysis even more accurate.
Other updates we have in the pipeline include:
- better integration between tools,
- clickstream data,
- more visual data,
- integrations with other data sources (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google AdWords, Bing Webmaster Tools, YouTube, Amazon, Reddit),
- international keyword databases,
- content gap analysis.
8. What is SEO PowerSuite’s unique selling point or unique features compared to its competitions?
There are several things that distinguish SEO PowerSuite from its competitors:
- Unlimited projects, websites, keywords
At SEO PowerSuite we don’t impose any limits on the amount of data our users get: they can create unlimited projects, get data for an unlimited number of websites, and track unlimited keywords.
- The most affordable solution, especially for running multiple SEO campaigns
Users get unlimited SEO data at a fixed price they pay for the software, not the data volumes they get.
- The most up-to-date backlink index, powered by the fastest crawling engine.
The main focus with our backlink index is its freshness rather than historical data. Currently, there are 1.6 trillion freshest backlinks in our index. And it keeps growing as we crawl 7.1 billion pages daily. On top of that, backlinks are found faster than with any other tool.
- Top features not found anywhere else
10. Do you really think that SEO PowerSuite, being a desktop application, might be losing or missing out on some potential opportunities? Since other leading SEO tools are available in a web version.
Great question, Sathish! I believe it’s just the opposite. SEO PowerSuite has been able to provide extra value to its customers because of its desktop nature. Judge for yourself:
- It is because SEO PowerSuite is a desktop that we’re able to deliver unlimited SEO data.
- We don’t rely on servers as heavily as online tools do. So we’re able to provide this unlimited SEO data at a fixed and moderate price. That is our users don’t have to pay based on the data volumes they get.
- SEO PowerSuite users can check rankings and update other data points as often as they need: they’re not restricted by weekly checks.
Though we always keep these benefits in mind, we constantly add new features that make our desktop application close to web-based tools. A couple of years ago, we added cloud storage for SEO PowerSuite projects for easy collaboration and access from anywhere. This year, we’ll proceed with improving the integration across the tools in the SEO PowerSuite toolkit.
11. How you do handle the search engines algorithm updates that often roll out?
There are two types of Google updates we keep track of the one everyone knows about and routine algorithmic changes invisible to the general public.
We actually do have a script that tracks algorithmic changes across hundreds of supported search engines every 12 minutes. These updates affect our software’s ability to extract data from search engines. They change every other day or so, and we keep adapting SEO PowerSuite accordingly.
The second group of updates we track includes major changes to search engine ranking algorithms such as Panda, Penguin, Pigeon. Of course, we can’t afford to ignore them either. When they hit, we immediately brainstorm what features can be added to SEO PowerSuite to help the SEO community handle them.
For example, when Google Penguin hit, we added the Anti-Penalty Link Audit module to SEO SpyGlass. To let our users perform link audits by displaying low-quality, spammy links among those pointing to their sites.
12. Have you ever visited Traffic Crow blog? If so, I am happy to know your opinion about it.
I really like the layout of your blog, and the range of SEO topics you cover seems comprehensive. I also appreciate your being a long-term SEO PowerSuite affiliate. All the best and keep up the great work!
Final Take Away
Let me thank (on behalf of my readers too) Aleh for his interest and time spent to respond to our questions in detail. I am sure that, this interview with Aleh Barysevich will be more helpful for SEOs or any online webmasters. Especially, those who are using free SEO PowerSuite tool or Awario. And, those who wish to invest in a powerful SEO tool.
I am glad to receive your comments below if any clarifications or feedback about this interview with Aleh Barysevich.