SEO Tools

These are SEO Tools that I use and recommend to others. Most of these SEO tools are free. Warning on SEO Tools:
Many SEO tool vendors sell software which has been outdated and rendered useless by improving search technology. Worse yet, some of these people intentionally lie to get you to buy their software, even if it will get your site banned from the search engines.

Some of them will tell you that keyword density is the key to seo. That's a lie. Some of them will tell you that trading links off topic and lots of low quality link trades are all you need to rank in Google. That typically don't work well either.

Before buying any SEO software check to see if similar or better free software is available here or here.

Keyword Suggestion Tools:

  • Keyword research review - I prettymuch review most of the best keyword research / keyword suggestion software on the market. Most of the tools worth using are free. My two favorite tools are listed below

  • Google Keyword Tool - shows 12 month trending data. Can offer keyword suggestions based on page content or a word you enter.
  • SEO Book keyword research tool - driven off of Yahoo!'s keyword research tool, it makes it easy to cross reference the various keyword research techniques. It is a bit feature rich, but if you like lots of data you will love this tool. You can give it a test drive by searching in the box below:

Keyword Suggestions for:

Expand Your Keyword List:

Formating Your Keyword List for Google AdWords:
Formatting can be done inside AdWords. Google is also beta testing desktop software for managing your AdWords account. The keyword list generator above also makes it easy to set matching types on your keywords when you generate your keyword list.

Google AdWords also has a function called dynamic keyword insertion which inserts search queries into your AdWords ad copy.

Keyword Density Analysis:
Generally aiming for a keyword density is a waste of time for the following reasons:

  • each engine and query type is unique. there is no such thing as a universal perfect keyword density.

  • getting people to like your content and link to it is more important than what algorithms think of it
    • link popularity is weighted more heavily than page copy for competitive queries (I have even ranked pages that did not exist)

    • and readable useful to human pages are important to conversion
  • most pages made with bots in mind read like they are meant to be read by bots
  • this article covers keyword density from a more scientific standpoint, stating why it is useless

Having said all of that, if you want to look at keyword density here is a free keyword density analyzer.

Keyword Rank Checking Tools:
Digital Point Keyword Ranking Monitor - (free) Offers a quick way to check the backlinks and keyword rankings of a site on Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. Takes a bit to set up, but provides free graphs of ranking vs time and works within the Google terms of service.

Link Analysis Tools:

  • Hub Finder - free open source tool looks for co-occuring backlinks. If you read about hubs and authorities (and why they are important) you will find this tool exceptionally useful.

  • Link Harvester - free open source tool looks at unique linking domains, .edu & .gov backlinks, unique C block IP addresses. Tool has CVS export option. Both Link Harvester and Hub Finder work with the Yahoo! TOS.
  • Back Link Analyzer - like OptiLink and SEO Elite, but free. It is downloadable software that does anchor text analysis on links.
  • I would recommend sticking away from link exchange hubs. Typically the easier it is for the average person to get a link the less value it has. Many people using link exchange networks employ underwaged third world workers to make automated sites they know will eventually get banned.

Other Tools:

If you have a cool SEO tool you would like me to review just leave a comment below or send me an email :)

Backlink Analyzer Fixed

Some of my friends recently told me that the version of Backlink Analyzer on the site did not do the cross referencing of the anchor text profile. I linked the download page to a version that does.

If you downloaded Backlink Analyzer and you were not able to cross reference the anchor text profile give this version a try. After all the pages are spidered click the search terms button to bring up a full list of words in the anchor text, linking page title, and page copy of the page you are analyzing. You also can enter a phrase or groups of phrases and click the add keyword button to see how often those phrases occur in the anchor text.

I am hoping to have a new version out by the end of the month that will be cross platform, extensible plug-in friendly, and open source...will see how it goes.

Free Meta Search Engine Source Code

Want to run your own meta search engine? I made the source code to Myriad Search open if you want it come and grab it.

Google, Yahoo! and MSN are queried via their API programs. Since Ask does not have an API those results are grabbed from Teoma.

Myriad Search makes it quick and easy to see all the top search results at the major engines and then export the results via a CSV spreadsheet. It also allows you to grab Alexa data, if you desire it.

Google BigDaddy Tool

Want to see the difference between the current and future Google indexes? Try Tony Hill's free BigDaddy Watch tool.

Updated SEO Tools: Feedback Needed!

Reminder: New Free Tools:
About two weeks ago I added a bunch of SEO tools to my free SEO tool list. I just made all of the new public tools open source, so if you like any of them you can do whatever you want with them.

Cool Keyword Research Tool: Needs Feedback:
I would love feedback on the SEO Book keyword research tool. Give it a try and see if you think it is useful or what features you would like added to it.

The tool does not try to do everything within itself, but provides relevant links for digging through keyword data from lots of other tools, and makes it easy to cross reference Overture results and Google Suggest results, as well as many other keyword tools.

At the bottom it also provides links to well known web directories, news sites, shopping sites, tagging sites, encyclopedias, blog search engines, and blog trend graphs. Those links are intended to help you find information that others found useful, and maybe also help you come up with linkbait ideas.

I think occasionally if it gets queried too heavily it breaks, and sometimes intermittently Overture will not provide data, but whenever I re-query it the tool usually works fairly quickly.

Link Harvester Updated:
Some people recently notified me that the xls sheet output in Link Harvester was putting array where the individual links were supposed to be. I just got that fixed too.

Backlink Analyzer Update to Come:
The last update to Backlink Analyzer (like 2 months ago) broke some of the key features. I did not realize this until recently. I just spoke with the lead developer, and although a new version was intended to be out in December I am hoping to have it out by the end of this month.

Link Harvester Updated

I think I have updated Link Harvester twice since I last posted new source code. It now allows you to grab link data via Yahoo! or MSN.

On top of allowing you to search for links at a specific page or links to anywhere in a domain it also has a third function called deep links which allows you to get a sample of deep link data without grabbing links pointing at the home page. The theory is that many good sites get deep links. Looking through the deep links may give you a better view of how they were acquired or if they are all garbage scraper links, etc.

By looking through the deep links you can

  • check the quality of links pointing at inner pages.

  • know what URLs you really need to redirect if you are changing your content management system.
  • know what URLs are important to redirect if you buy a site and want to modify the content or gut out pieces that were causing duplicate content or other problems

Another useful feature of looking at the deep link profile is that if you look at the links pointing at sites that were not actively marketed via SEO techniques it can help you see what natural link profiles look like.

MSN tends to give some weird numbers with their backlink count sometimes and typically shows fewer backlinks than Yahoo! so by default when Link Harvester gives link counts like

Showing 421 unique domains from the first 250 results of 1129 total results

it means that between Yahoo! and MSN there were 421 unique results returned in the query. The of first 250 means that the link search depth was set to 250 per engine. The 1129 results is the number of links in the Yahoo! database (although they don't return 100% of what they know of they return most of them). If Yahoo is turned off the third number should be from MSNs database.

More Free SEO Tools

I added a bunch more SEO tools to the free SEO Tools page. Most of the new tools are geared toward beginners and are perhaps a bit boring, but
I like some of them, including:

Some of the tools could be quite a bit better, but I bought a bunch of them for cheap, almost just for the heck of it because they were cheap. Let me know if you find any of them useful. I already know some tweaks I want to make when time becomes available.

The next build of Backlink Analyzer is coming along slowly but surely. Am hoping to have a cross platform version of it with a few more features before the month is out.

Free Open Source Keyword Phrase List Generator

Probably the least exciting of the SEO / SEM tools I have created so far, but recently my friend Mike created a keyword phrase list generator.

I made it open source, so if you like it feel free to link to it, mirror it, or improve it.

The Best SEO Forum Threads at One Spot

Originally when Threadwatch was created NickW was going to track forums, but quickly found them to be a bit too repetitive & later switched to finding other news sources.

A friend of mine by the name Chris Ridings created a site called Resource Rate, which aimed to use a variety of editors to track SEO forums. It seemed to have quickly faded in popularity.

Another one of my friends, named Eaden, recently lauched SEO Bytes. It is a concept similar to Resource Rate, with a few exceptions:

  • No central editors: instead of having central editors the threads are ranked by freshness, number of replies, and recent activity.
  • Adjustible scoring: you can chose to place more weight on freshness or recent activity to get the newest threads first. You also can rate up good forums place less weighting on forums you do not like as much.

I believe SEO Bytes stores your settings in a cookie, but some SEO's travel a good bit. A few features I would like to see:

  • allow people to log in so their settings work on different computers
  • allow me to block all sub forums from a specific forum
  • add a few more forums to the list of forums
  • if he really wants to put a ton of effort into it ;) allow users to place more weight on thread ratings from friends and allow friends to submit threads for their friends to see

I am fairly certain Eaden will read this post, so please post what you like and what you would like to see at SEO Bytes.

In many industries it is likely that tools such as SEO Bytes will spring up. Sometimes they will have the best value as public research tools, and often if left private they can help some webmasters get the scoops.

New Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool

A while ago I reviewed a ton of keyword research tools, but most of them are lacking in serious user data, which makes them top heavy, and forces people to only see the most common terms.

For the longest time it seemed as though Google was uncomfortable sharing some of their search data, afraid to give competitors the inside scoop, but that is no more. Google recently launched a new Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool [you have to be logged in for the link to work & it may not be available in all accounts yet], which is much more usable than their older Google AdWords Keyword Sandbox.

What features does the keyword tool include?

Features of this tool include:
  • Keyword list sorting. Sort the results of your keyword search by popularity, performance history within the AdWords system, cost, and predicted ad position.

  • Easy keyword manipulation. Select a few keywords here and there, or add them all at once. Keywords already present in your Ad Group will be marked so that you don't have to worry about them. You can also download your keyword list as a .csv file.
  • Search for keywords in three ways. Use keywords you enter, your existing high clickthrough rate keywords, or any webpage URL for your search. You can also expand your keyword search even further to include pages linked to from the original URL. (Note: Site-related keyword searching is currently only available for English language users.)
  • More keyword results based on regularly updated statistics. Our advanced search engine technology allows us to provide you with the latest information on potential keywords for your campaigns.

Google also has tips on how to use the tool. I am not sure how well this tool interfaces with their API, but automating keyword selection based on Google's usage data and extracting meaning from page content makes the market a hell of a lot more efficient, especially for large advertisers willing to pay a bit extra for branding. The new tool also makes it easy for newbies to quickly build out targeted keyword lists. Google also has put Google Suggest in their toolbar, which allows them to sell better targeted ads than searches on broad generic terms would, and also helps consolidate the less common search queries (misspellings, etc.) to fewer overall phrases and more predictible patterns (since the search term suggestions are going to be based off of past popular searches). All of these will lead to Google being able to increase their profit margin per search. Combine that with the recent toolbar bundling and the numbers are looking up for Google.

This new keyword tool allows you to:

So long as Google stays ahead of their competition on the technology front, keeps doing an amazing job on the plublicity front, and finances pumping rapidly evolving spam into the competing search networks the search game is pretty well won IMHO.

I think the only thing that can stop them at this point is if they let another network spring up which makes its users feel like they are making the web a better place by searching there.