Screaming Frog + Xpath: A Guide To Analyse The Pants Off Your Competition – Sabine Langmann

09 April 2019

Posted in: BSEO

Screaming Frog is a great tool that we’ve all leaned on at some point in our SEO lives. But are you getting the most from your Xpaths? This talk detailed how to analyse your competition by addressing important site elements on a granular level — nice.

Overview

Sabine Langmann delivered a technical rendition on how to analyse the pants off your competitors.

Her impressive talk focused on Screaming Frog and how to properly use XPath, and was complemented by retro Screaming Frog game graphics for good measure and added entertainment value.

Sabine started by explaining how we can use Screaming Frog’s custom extraction + XPath to crawl specific elements of your and your competitors’ sites.

She outlined that XPath (XML Path language) is a query language for selecting nodes from an XML document and offered some examples of this simple syntax:

E.g:
//node[@attribute=”attribute_name”]
//node[@attribute1=”attribute_name1″ and @attribute2=”attribute_name2″]
count(//node[@attribute=”attribute_name”]) bit.ly/sfx-2019

Sabine then put some of these into real world examples to give a better idea of how this syntax could be applied.

Here slides first compared tags used for articles in the politics category page of the BBC site to those of articles in the politics category on the Guardian’s site.

The second example she put together showed the difference in internal and external links on all pages of the yourcat.co.uk site versus all pages on the thefoodaholic.co.uk site.

This would be extremely helpful when comparing internal links to certain pages when trying to rank them above a competitor’s page.

The talk was very practical and gave the basic principles needed for an SEO to begin building their own custom XPaths in order to audit pages or entire sites for any specific on-page element.

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