Search Analytics is Amazing

I recently got a beta account to the upcoming Search Analytics tool. I am not sure of their pricing yet, but Jay Meattle, from, told me "the price points will be extremely attractive to small business owners."

You can get leading category based keywords, top competitors for a given keyword (exact or broad match), compare competing sites head to head on keywords, and get the breakdown of traffic sent to any website.

How Accurate is

Their model of data collection is going to make their data more accurate for frequent search terms and larger sites, but I tested their keyword data against some of my smaller sites and it was surprisingly accurate.

How to Clone Smaller Competitors

This is yet another way authority sites will pick off smaller competing sites. It is a simple process. If your site is one of the most authoritative sites in your space you can clean up.

  • Use Google's site targeting ads stats to check what sites are running AdSense and getting a lot of traffic (you don't even need to buy ads on them to do this)

  • Go to to get the top keyword phrases competing sites rank for and create content targeting the same keywords. You can also run the keywords through Google's Traffic Estimator to sort the keywords by Google's value estimates.
  • Beyond that, you can run Google's site targeted ads or general contextual AdSense placement reports to find out what pages are the most popular on competing sites, and then create content covering the same topics.

Lowbrow webmasters are fast becoming the outsourced market research department for bigger, more technologically advanced, and cash flush companies.

The Effect of Better Competitive Data

All of these analytic services are going to increase the value of domain authority (since it can be easily leveraged for greater profit) and force webmasters to move themselves up the value chain (since models like AdSense give away too much competitive data, especially when combined with

Other Ways to Use

  • Compete can be used to see how strong a brand is in its field. The top keyword in the credit card category is Capital One. Both and are also in the top 5 keywords. They are obviously a leader in that space. You can also see what percent of a website's traffic originates from its brand related keywords.

  • You can search for a broad match phrase to see how established your site is inside a vertical, how consolidated a vertical is, and how much potential upside you have by increasing your share of search traffic.
  • Compete can also show you the if a competing site is heavily reliant on a few strong keywords or if their traffic distribution is wider. This can be used to see sites worth investing in (especially if you understand search relevancy algorithms) or sites which have a lot of risk and are worth avoiding.
Published: July 14, 2007 by Aaron Wall in seo tools


July 17, 2007 - 9:28pm

Is there a better one out there? They are taking forever to to get back to me. Im surprised your giving these guys so much publicity. I heard spyfu and hitwise are more affordable too.

July 23, 2007 - 6:17pm

I had a look that that compete tool and it seems to get data from toolbar usage. i.e. you download a toolbar and it takes data from it.

it reminds me of comscore and hitwise and the like, as in small userbase, skewed data for all smaller traffic sites and really only suitable for the US market

Of course I stand to be corrected on my facts. Myoverriding impression : useful, but not something I would necessarily say was a godsend unlike something like seodigger whicih shows you the actual kwyword footprint of a given site.

July 24, 2007 - 1:31pm

@sepguy -- take a look at

James Dunn
July 14, 2007 - 4:05am

Regarding the accuracy, are they using a different method from the stats they currently show? I've always found their data for smaller sites to grossly underestimate the number of visitors.

adam libman
July 14, 2007 - 4:06am

thanks for the step by step approach in this article. this is useful info that is useable.

July 14, 2007 - 4:10am

I too found they underestimated visitors based on their sample size, but the ratios are nice, and if you have a decent sized chunk of a market I think the numbers get more accurate / useful.

Khalid Hajsaleh
July 14, 2007 - 6:04am

Hi Aaron,

Do you know when they will open the service to the public?


Ashish Roy
July 14, 2007 - 8:06am

Isn't this what spyfu already does. Though the price point might vary. Also, I didn't get your point on

"" Use Google's site targeting ads stats to check what sites are running AdSense and getting a lot of traffic (you don't even need to buy ads on them to do this)""

How can I know how much traffic a site is getting? Indirectly using their CPM metrics?

Ashish Roy

July 14, 2007 - 9:52pm

Ashish - Compete's offering is very similar to Hitwise.

July 14, 2007 - 10:51pm

Their estimates of look a bit strange to me. I'm not sure I trust the overlay of chacha, mahalo and wikia Interesting though.

howie rosen
July 15, 2007 - 3:51am

per James Dunn's comment: I too was taken aback by the report on unique visitors: It is less than 1/3 of what google analytics reports!

July 15, 2007 - 6:45am

Hi Ashish
Inside your adwords account you can get traffic volume data for related sites. You can trigger this by entering a keyword, keyword set, domain name, or group of URLs.

July 15, 2007 - 5:52pm


How does compare to something like hitwises. Which is definitely not affordable for most small businesses.

I think last time I spoke with them it was 15k minimum.

July 15, 2007 - 8:32pm

I think Compete will sell credits that you can use as you go. In the post I said they said they will price it attractively for small businesses.

Christopher Rees
July 15, 2007 - 9:55pm

Hi Aaron,

It would be great if you could expand a bit on how using these tools work, perhaps walking through an example of how would analyze a site, check keywords, see competing site's traffic, etc.

Seeing a step by step would go a long way to putting a lot of the theory to practice.

Thanks and keep up the awesome work!!

Christopher Rees
Palaestra Training

July 15, 2007 - 10:01pm

Hi Christopher
I may do something like that soon. I was a bit unsure with how much data Compete wanted me to show though, as they are in beta and the final product may be a bit different than where it is at right now.
July 16, 2007 - 2:47am
According to your design

July 16, 2007 - 7:43pm

Looks like alexia, but with more crap!


July 16, 2007 - 10:52pm

If there are invites floating around, i would not mind testing it :)

July 16, 2007 - 11:01pm

@garethjax - email

July 17, 2007 - 4:12am

My chat with google about PPA data

Thank you for contacting Google AdWords. Please hold a moment while we route your chat to a specialist who will help you with your question: "".

Anna C has received your message and will be right with you.

Anna C: Hello Jacob. Thanks for contacting Google AdWords. How may I help you today?

Jacon: If I use the new pay per performance bids and one of my competitors sends traffic to my website, will they know the conversion rate of my website?

Anna C: Your conversion rates are private and within your account that only you and whomever you've granted access to your account can access.

Anna C: Can you please explain to my how you believe your competitors may gain access to this information?

Jacon: one moment

Jacon: I would assume affiliates delivering traffic to my website being paid on a per performance basis would be able to do the math and calculate how many visitors they send my way with how much they get paid and come to the conclusion of my websites conversion rate

Anna C: They would be able to figure out the conversion rate of their own AdWords account or whatever method they used to drive traffic to your site, however they would not be able to derive the overall conversion rate of your website since they won't be able to access all of the conversion for your entire site.

Jacon: But they definately could know the conversion rate of the traffic they deliver

Anna C: Yes, since they are driving traffic to your site knowing the conversion rate of the traffic deliver would help them deliver more favorable traffic to your site.

Anna C: But they would only know this sort of data for the traffic they drive.

Jacon: I would want an affiliate to have that data but it would be way to risky to chance competitors using it to find my conversion rate and copy my site if they like what they see

Jacon: thanks for your help

Anna C: You are welcome, do you have any more questions?

Jacon: thats it

Jacon: good day

July 17, 2007 - 4:39am

testing iphone

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