17 great tools for spying on your Google competitors
Do you own a site that needs more visitors and sales? Are you struggling to get ranked higher in Google and Yahoo, but your competition is always one step ahead? If so, do take a moment to read this message.
In it, you will learn a little-known, yet 100% proven method to outranking any site, for any keyword, and getting an absolute TON of free, laser-targeted traffic from Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Are you paying attention? Let's cut to the chase then.
First, here's something you probably already know... Achieving top rankings in ANY search engine in 2012 and beyond...
A. You have to work out for yourself which websites you want links from based on exact SEO rules
B. You have to get links from those websites
The reason is simple: Modern search engines place a huge value on links. The more links you got, and the better quality these links are, the higher you'll rank. If a site is linking to you, they are essentially casting a vote of trust. And the more "votes" you got, the more trustworthy your site is to Google, which naturally translates into better rankings.
Thanks to several keen bloggers and search engine fanatics we have been able to compile a very useful list of tools you can use to check into competitor websites and do a little secret agent work (if you have ever wanted to be James Bond, now is the time).
Using several sources, Statbrain’s algorithm computes the number of visitors to a website based on offsite factors like backlinks, Alexa Rank etc. Statbrain does not have access to log files or any hit-counter information. Use this as a rough relative benchmark of your traffic to theirs. First run your website and compare the results given by StatBrain to your actual results to get a sense of its accuracy in your category. Figure out what the multiplier is and then try it on a competitor.
2. AideRSS No longer active (2012) :(
Find out which of your competitors’ blog posts and topics are engaging people. This should provide you with a list of topics you should be covering. Engagement doesn’t necessarily mean your competitor’s opinion is right or even agreed with — but it does mean the engaged people are interested in the topic and therefore why not your opinion on the topic.
If you use Feedburner to track your rss subscribers you can compare the size of your feed to others. Just like in #1 above, figure out your own multiplier and then compare it to the competition.
4. Xinu Returns Another one gone... (2012)
Xinu Runs a report from multiple sites to tell you how well a site is doing in popular search engines, social bookmarking sites and other technical details. How well are you stacking up against your 5 biggest competitors?
Enter up to five topics and see how often those topics been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most. You can learn more on how to use this from our friend, Avinash Kaushik.
With Google Insights for Search, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, and time frames. Again, Avinash explains how to use this well.
This tool forecasts the impression count and predicts demographic distributions of keywords.
Customers often perform searches by typing related keywords in specific sequences. This tool helps in visualizing and analyzing the customers’ search sequences. Search Engine guru Mike Grehan explains the value of these query chains.
Go back in web history to see how your competitors’ site has changed through the years. Look for the things that have stayed consistent, because those might have been the most successful. In the same vein, what have you changed on your own site during that time? It’s easy to lose track, particularly of your own work, and to think of your current site as “how it’s always been”.
By comparing the readability score of web pages you can optimize your writing and make sure that you aren’t creating overly complex sentences and paragraphs for your audience.
12. Attention Meter
Attentionmeter gives you a quick snapshot comparing any websites you want (traffic) using Alexa, Compete, and Quancast.
Website Grader is a free tool that measures the marketing effectiveness of a website. It provides a score that incorporates things like website traffic, SEO, social popularity and other technical factors. It also provides some basic advice on how the website can be improved from a marketing perspective. Also worth checking out Twittergrader to check on your competitors’ twitter accounts.
14. Google Alerts
Set up searches for your competitors, key employees, and keywords to monitor their activity.
15. Search Status
Search Status is a Firefox addon for those looking for quick information on their site and competitor websites. Search status displays the Google PageRank, Alexa rank, Compete ranking and SEOmoz Linkscape mozRank anywhere in your browser, along with fast keyword density analyser, keyword/nofollow highlighting, backward/related links, Alexa info and more.
Quantcast, while originally designed for advertisers and publishers, is a great tool to find out information regarding the visitors to your competitor’s website. Enter the competitor’s domain and press “Go.” Quantcast visitor information includes number of monthly visitors and demographic information such as gender, age, presence of children in the household, income, ethnicity, and education.
When you first visit Compete, enter your competitor’s URL and hit the button “Get Site SnapShot.” The Compete SnapShot returns several metrics related to your competitor’s site. Similar to Quantcast, Compete also offers an estimate of the monthly visitors to the website. Compete data also includes statistics on pages per visit and average stay (or the number of minutes the average person spends on the site). For some websites, the “More Site Information” section may include data as to whether or not the site is “Trusted,” meaning it has been validated by GeoTrust and it has an “extensive site history” and may list current deals being offered by the website.
Every market industry and website will have its reason for showing up at the top of Google's search results. Using these sneaky but effective tools you can get one up on your competitors by emulating what they did and then perfecting it to jump ahead.