Yoda’s Ultimate Tool List Part 1: Competitive Research

An SEO’s best friend (other than a stiff drink) is a good tool. Tools save us time and energy and streamline the process so we can get to making money instead of researching. They provide the information you need when you need it. But it is important to remember that knowing when to use a particular tool and how to use it is more important than any list.

This is why I’ve created Yoda’s ultimate tool to put all the tools one would need in 1 place. Since this list is too massive to fit in one post, it will be a multi-part list that will cover: Competitive Research, Keyword Research, Must have Firefox plug-ins, Reputation Management tools, PPC Tools, Domainer tools and my favorite non-conformist miscellaneous tools

So here we go: Part 1 – Competitive Research

Step 1: Who is your competitor and where have they been?
Competition Finder
A great tool, this shows you how many pages are indexed in google competing for your key terms. This will let you size up the competition and market saturation.

Archive.org will show you what their website looked like the past as well as give you the age of the site

Whois.sc
By adding this bookmarklet to your firefox browser you can find out the whois information for the site you are viewing simply by clicking on it.

Step 2: What kind of marketshare and traffic do they have?
Compete.com is one of my FAVORITE sites. They have a lot of great free tools (and some really cool paid for ones). You can compare sites, get traffic information and get an idea of how much your competitors are spending.

Index Rank
The first time I saw this was on SEOBook, (Aaron has some amazing tool’s listed there as well, so you should definitely check out that list too). Index Rank is incredible useful in showing you how many times Google is indexing your site compared to competitors sites.

SEO Quake is a pretty cool tool that shows you PR, # of pages indexed, Links, Alexa ratings, Age, whois info and density of every site you open in Firefox.

Who is linking to your competitors?

The Tattler
Originally posted by Todd, this is a great tool to scrape who is linking to your competitors

Backlink and Keyword Tracker
Totally free tool can be used to check search engines for the number of back links to any specific URL over time

Link Diagnosis is a is a great link hunting tool especially if you want to see what kind of anchor text your competitors are using.

Another great one, from a fellow chicklet’s site, is SEOmoz’s Backlink Analyzer. This shows the backlinks to a competitor’s website and the common anchor text. In general the SEOmoz tools section is a must read

What keywords are your competitors buying?
There are a several different tools that do this that vary in prices. Spyfu is a good option, that is not too expensive ($300 a year or about $40/month). It lets you see what keywords your competitors are buying up as well as see what they optimizing their site for.

Have they made any changes?
WatchThatPage will email you with any changes made to a competitor’s site or your site (although you probably should know that already)

Search for Broken Links
Xenu’s Link Sleuth will search for broken links on sire

Great Overall Site Analysis Tools
Last but not least, LinkVendor. This is a site filled with awesome research and site analysis tools.

. . . . . Next Week Part II: Keyword Research

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14 Responses to “Yoda’s Ultimate Tool List Part 1: Competitive Research”

  1. Sue Massey says:

    I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    - Sue.

  2. Michael says:

    TY – not seen WatchThatPage before. So am off for a play with it.
    On a related note – is it worth buying a subscription to the tools over at SEOMoz. I’m a Scotsman, shortarms and deep pockets are genetic over here, and I’m always reticent about spending cash if I don’t need to.

  3. excellent post Lauren. Thanks for sharing these tools!! Some of which I use regularly but also some I have never heard of. Have just forwarded your blogpost to all my staff =) Sweet!

  4. Lauren says:

    Glad everyone likes them! In the next couple of weeks I’ll post more of the list. Watch that page is a really cool site.
    If you are going to use the tools from SEOmoz that it is definately worth the money, but with any paid for tool, it is what you put in to it. If you are going to really use the tools than I would say get it, but if you will only use it once and forget about it, then you should stick to the free ones

  5. Hi,

    I didnt know the “competition finder”. Nice article, I will give ypu a Sphinn.

  6. Lauren says:

    Hi Henk. Glad you enjoyed the post!! Thanks for the Sphinn

  7. Kyle James says:

    Great list! I’ve used many of these tools before, but some of them are brand new and I’ll definitely have to check them out. You have to love free tools! :)

  8. SEO Canada says:

    Another really good tool for finding competitor information is AdGooroo, its subscription based but it has tons of features. Its especially good for letting you know which terms your competitors ranking for, what you rank for, and where you rank. They also have servers in 14 countries for pulling results from Google in various areas.

  9. Julie Joyce says:

    Excellent list…can’t wait for the next bits! Very well done, very useful.

  10. David Temple says:

    Thanks for the list, Lauren. Always great to add new tools to the toolbelt.

  11. AdGooroo is a great tool as well, I’ll have to make sure to add it to the overall list

  12. G.Suvorov says:

    Hello Yoda!
    Thank for adding SeoQuake in this list!
    We want to make it better – so any comments or ideas about additional functionality are welcome.
    Kind regards

  13. On February 29th, I blogged an extensive list of competitive intelligence tools:

    http://www.scrappybusiness.com/competitive-intelligence-tools.htm

  14. aquarium says:

    I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

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