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Competitive Analysis: 12 Free Competitive Intelligence Tools
Thursday, February 12, 2009
When you’re on top everyone is always gunnin’ for you. Whether it is in business, sports entertainment or online in the Search Engine Results Pages, if you are on top you can expect to find your competition working to knock you off of your perch.

In the online world, competition for keyword visibility and clicks from Search users is fierce. One day you’re at the top of the SERPs for your main keywords the next day your on page two of results. The vastness of the Internet and ease of creating content through a blog or a website makes online competition even more intense. The need to keep on top of your competition becomes all that more important.

Of course there are a lot of tools that companies can spend a lot of money and resources on to track their competition, but there are also a number of free resources that you can use to gain competitive intelligence. Here’s a look at twelve great online competitive intelligence tools... and they are all free.
  1. Google Alerts - Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Consider setting up Google Alerts for your competitors as these alerts can provide you with competitor insights that you may have otherwise overlooked and not been aware of. http://www.google.com/alerts

  2. Yahoo Alerts - Similar to their Google counterpart, Yahoo! Alerts is a free, personalized notification service that instantly informs you of what you consider important and relevant via email, instant message, pager, or cell phone. Yahoo! offers free alerts on:

    • Breaking News Alerts: Receive news as soon as it happens.
    • News Alerts: Customize your news using our powerful keyword news search tools and receive summaries of top stories in various categories.
    • Stock Alerts: Stay connected to the market with price quotes and more.
    • Yahoo! 360° Alerts: Choose the settings you prefer for receiving messages from Yahoo! 360° and notice of communications from other members.

  3. Google Finance – if your competitor is publicly traded, you can perform a search in Google Finance, where you can review income statements, latest news stories and blog posts about the competitor. Google Finance offers a broad range of information about stocks, mutual funds, public and private companies. In addition, Google Finance offers interactive charts, news and fundamental business data. http://finance.google.com

  4. Yahoo Finance – ditto with Yahoo Finance, as you can get free stock quotes, up to date news, portfolio management resources, international market data, and competitor insight from message boards. http://finance.yahoo.com

  5. The Free Library - http://www.thefreelibrary.com/ is a great source for articles and information on your competitors. You can browse by date, author, category and name.

  6. YouTube - perform a search in Google for a few of your main key phrases? Are you seeing video results for competitors? If so go to YouTube and check out your competitor's YouTube channels. Evaluate things such as:
    • Titles and Descriptions of Competitor Videos (apply similar bet practices to your own videos)
    • Categories and Tags - gain intelligence about how the competition tags their videos
    • See which videos are the most discussed or commented on
    • See what's hot and what type of video content user's are engaging with

  7. Compete.com - Provides a Web-based consumer intelligence service that offers companies time-sensitive analysis of web users' consumer behavior. Compete contains competitive metrics for every site on the web powered by the largest pool of online consumer behavior data in the industry. http://www.compete.com/

  8. Wikipedia – Wikipedia can be a great place to acquire competitive information. Be careful with the data however as the updates are not always as accurate as they could be. http://www.wikipedia.org/

  9. Search Status - SearchStatus is a toolbar extension for Firefox and Mozilla that allows you to see how any and every website in the world is performing. Find information on things such as nofollow links, Google PageRank, and provides links to some backlink information. http://www.quirk.biz/searchstatus/

  10. Google Trends for Websites - free tool from Google showing traffic estimates, visitor country location, top 10 related websites, and top 10 related keywords. Only returns data for fairly high traffic websites though. http://trends.google.com/websites

  11. Domain Tools - allows you to see WHOIS data on competing sites. http://www.domaintools.com/

  12. Comparison Shopping Sites – sites like Price Grabber can be a great source of competitive intelligence for retailers and B2C business owners.
There are numerous other tools that provide competitive insight on everything from basic search metrics to domain information. The fact is that there are a number of tools that are available to keep tabs on your competition. What free tools do you use? We'd like to hear from you.

Labels: ,

posted by Jody @ Thursday, February 12, 2009  
  • At 7:41 PM, Blogger G said…


    Thanks for your great list. Would you consider adding http://builtwith.com and http://trends.builtwith.com to your competitive intelligence tools list?



  • At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Latest SEO News said…


    Its really great information about Competitor analysis. Most useful resources here. Thanks a lot.

  • At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Viola said…

    Thanks for the great info. I didn't know about Search Status at all. I will add it on.


  • At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Greg Gentschev said…

    Excellent list. Another great source on public companies is of course Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, although using the SEC's site can be a bit painful.

    We've actually just launched a beta version of our business research tool, Brekiri, which combines company and industry data, SEC filings, and web search results. So far, we cover the IT and life sciences sectors.

  • At 5:53 AM, Anonymous MBA in India said…

    great list...really its very useful for seo work...thanks for sharing it

  • At 8:51 PM, Blogger SEO Assistant said…

    I Also use compete it's a great tool. I just want to ask about http://www.thefreelibrary.com/ I think after the penguin update article directories has lower value that doing guest posting. I don't know if I'm right or not but I really want to know your point of view on this.

  • At 11:01 AM, Blogger Erez Barak said…

    You can discover many marketing tools used by leading publishers and your competitors on http://www.tregia.com - test any website to see how you can get more website visitors.

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