Have you ever wondered which are the best free SEO tools available on the Internet? Well here is my top ten list, so listen closely.
Free SEO Tool #10: Top Ten Analysis SEO Tool at http://www.webuildpages.com/cool-seo-tool/ is a great way to get a snapshot of your top ten competitors at Google for any given search term.
Free SEO Tool #9: Go Rank Analyzer at http://www.gorank.com/analyze.php reviews your web page for a given search term to give you a snapshot of how the search term shows up on the page. Actually, this probably should be higher up on the list. In other words, I should use it more often.
Free SEO Tool #8: Aftervote at http://younanimous.com/ is a really different tool, and I’m not sure too many people would think of it as an SEO tool. It is, in fact, a meta search engine that combines the results of Google, Yahoo and MSN, along with some other factors to provide its own original results. So you can see at a glance which sites are doing well for a given search term across all three engines. It also features a number of performance indicators, including Google PageRank, Alexa ranking, Compete page strength, and a link to see the WhoIs data. You can also add a whole slew of plugins, including Netcraft reports and submission links for Digg and other social bookmarking websites. In short, this is a great all-in-one tool for sizing up the competition for an individual search term or for finding joint venture or link partners of value. One of the handy features is that you can see the Alexa ratings for some of your top competitors at once, so you can better judge the value of your own Alexa rating. Hmm. Actually, Aftervote is a bit like #10 above.
Free SEO Tool #7: Overture Keyword Selection Tool at http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ is useable. OK, this is one area where Mr. Cheapie here is willing to pay the big bucks, specifically for Keyword Discovery. But if you really want a free tool, Overture can really help. It just doesn’t carry over search data from previous months, so if data is seasonal, you have to wait until, say, the Christmas season to do the keyword research that will carry you next Christmas.
Free SEO Tool #6: Google Toolbar at http://toolbar.google.com/T4/index_pack.html is pretty useful. Sure people make way too much of it, but the little green bar gives an instantaneous snapshot of the value of a page. No green, and you might as well check the drop-down to make sure a page is cached. If it’s not, forget it. The difference between a PR2 and PR4 might be irrelevant in practical terms, despite the world wars and family feuds that can be fought over such minutia, but if the Toolbar shows a PR5, that’s pretty impressive (if it is real). If all you need is a quick snapshot, use the toolbar. If you want better info, use the Page Strength Tool or another.
Free SEO Tool #5: Spider simulator at http://www.webconfs.com/search-engine-spider-simulator.php . This lets you see at a glance what the search engines see, which links they can follow and what text they see. I have often found major problems much quicker this way than wading through a jungle of code. It can also be helpful for locating hidden text and hidden links on competitors’ websites if you think they are all a bunch of thieving hooligans. There are probably hundreds of spider simulators of similar quality. I use this one; it works for me.
Free SEO Tool #4: Social Bookmarking Aggregator Tool at http://www.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarker.php should really be at #1, given that I created it and it is, of course, perfect. But it is more of a viral tool than an SEO tool. Still, the more people bookmark your pages, the more links they build and the more bloggers are likely to pick up on the bookmark and build links – all natural links the way Google and Yahoo like them! And it’s available in Spanish, too, at http://es.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarker.php Go to the bottom of this post right now and click on the social bookmarking links to bookmark this post. You’ll see how it works and make me happy all at once.
Free SEO Tool #3: Common Links at http://www.randycullom.com/common_link.php is an even more ingenious backlink tool than Yahoo Site Explorer, but it is less flexible. Pick a search term, and plug it in. It will tell you which are the top ten sites for that term at Google or at Yahoo, then get the common backlinks. For instance, if a page links to three of the top ten websites for a certain search term, chances are that the same page is more likely to link to your similar website than a page that links to only one of your competitors (and could be the owners’ mother’s website, a satisfied client, a supplier, a buddy, another site owned by the same person, etc.)
Free SEO Tool #2: Yahoo Site Explorer, at https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/ shows pages indexed and backlinks to either the site as a whole or to a specific page. This is superb competitive intelligence. You can mine your competitors’ backlinks to create your own backlinks. Unlike Google, Yahoo gives you the whole list. Why stop at your competitors? Why not look for complementary websites and what their backlinks are, too?
Free SEO Tool #1 - SEOmoz PageStrength Tool at http://www.seomoz.org/page-strength/ is a superb alternative the Google Toolbar’s PageRank measure. I like the PageStrength Tool because it pulls information from a number of indicators – including the Google PageRank toolbar – and provides a composite view of how important a page is. This is useful in evaluating potential partners, purchasing domains, sizing up the competition, etc. However, it does have some limitations. I have noticed that it sometimes draws inaccurate backlink data from Yahoo, and it gives big marks to certain very specific criteria, such as links from Wikipedia and Digg, rather than from a range of major Web 2.0 sites. Still, it does include age of domain and Alexa ranking, both of which are also important, as well as a number of other indicators totally lost on the Google Toolbar addicts (and we all know how reliable the Google toolbar is every third Tuesday of even numbered months!). In some ways, this is similar to Aftervote and to the Top Ten Analysis SEO Tool, but it is a little more sophisticated.
So there you have it, my top ten list of free SEO tools. And no sooner will I hit the “publish” button, that I’ll tell myself that I really did not put them in the right order.
If you have ideas on the top free SEO tools, please leave a comment.Written by David Leonhardt
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