New Free Competitive Research Tools

Rand recently posted a comparison of traffic volumes and competitive research data for various SEO Blogs.

Here is a brief overview of a few of the other free competitive anaysis tools on the market. All I ever have to do to realize how Alexa is inaccurately skewed toward marketing and webmaster resources is look at my own graph. There is no chance in ___ that this is one of the top 1,000 sites on the web.

Recently there have been a couple launches of services which compete with Alexa, and appear to have quite a bit less webmaster skew to them. gives a snapshot of your site which includes average pageviews per visitor and average time on site. gives a snapshot of your site which includes demographic information (they think 90% of the readers here are guys), and breaks your site visitors and traffic volumes down into passers-by, regulars, and addicts. Sites which have highly engaged visitors are typically going to be much harder to compete against than sites which are entirely reliant on search.

There are also a number of tools which show you what keywords competitors rank for,

Spyfoo shows top ranking keywords, competing advertisers and organic competitors.

URL Trends shows historical link trends and some of the keywords a website ranks for.

I honestly do not use any of these tools much yet, but find them interesting. Do you find any of them or any similar tools useful for search marketing category analysis?

Published: November 5, 2006 by Aaron Wall in seo tools


November 19, 2006 - 5:37pm

What about your seo tool - its not working in google!!!

November 5, 2006 - 4:35am

I use both SpyFu and URLTrends often. They save me so much time, especially SpyFu. Why spend my time creating thousands of keywords for a campaign when I can just download the competitions list. It's not 100% comprehensive I'm sure, but it's enough to start a campaign with and expand from there.

By the way, that's SpyFu not SpyFoo ;)

November 5, 2006 - 6:45am

Google Trends gets my vote as one of the most useful tools for SEO. I believe keywords that get sandboxed are those that have a long history of being searched. This is why creating sites centered around a trendy subject that seem topical avoid the sandbox.

The Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool can be useful sometimes, but the results can be sometimes skewed. I stick to Google trends.

November 5, 2006 - 6:57am

Hi all,

I really love the information you provide on this blog so firstly many thanks.

Next a question - apart from grey/black hat purposes are there whitehat uses for keyword lists? Not that I'm against black hat but most seem to use a huge list of keywords with site generators.

I understand doing the initial research on viability of a site and keeping up with trends to write on but I take it you can't really use a list of 2000 keywords in a white hat manner?


November 5, 2006 - 8:31am

I forgot to say that obviously there is a use for such lists with PPC/Adwords campaigns.


November 5, 2006 - 8:46am


Absolutely. Give me a list of 50,000 keywords and I'll give you a list of 50,000 possible content topics. You may never get to them all, but why not have the list available to use when creating new content.

November 6, 2006 - 2:44pm

I don't use them myself, but I must say that Compete statistics do not seem accurate at all. I do like what I see on Spyfoo. That has some potential for competitive intelligence research.

November 7, 2006 - 9:10pm

I jsut used the spyfoo, it seems pretty inflated i dnno abou t the accuracy of that

November 8, 2006 - 12:01am

I think it is still in beta, organically, it seems OK, but I had someone double check the Ad Budget and they said it was fairly accurate. Maybe they still need to work out some kinks, but ever since sitting in on a competitive intelligence discussion at Pubcon Boston, I have been looking for site like that and it seems to be a pretty good place to get come competitor stats. At least it is for me.

November 8, 2006 - 3:29am

Some pretty good tools, but I have to agree with Jeremy regarding URLTrends -- very nice tool.

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