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August 22, 2006

A Collection of Free SEO Tools

By Li Evans

I was going to title this post “10 Great, Free SEO Tools”. However, in light of the recent overload of “top ten” or “top 100” lists out over the past week and a half I decided to just not go down that route. It was also pretty difficult to narrow it down to just 10, because there are actually a pretty decent amount of Free Search Engine Optimization Tools out there. 

These are in no particular order, other than the order that came out of my brain when I started writing down all the tools I knew of, that I felt the need to share. Feel free to add on to the list, if you’ve discovered a great free SEO tool I left off the list 

SEO Book
Aaron Wall has created a nice set of tools that are great resources for SEO. Focusing mostly on keywords, these tools are a great for a quick run a researching specific keywords.

· Keyword Suggestion Tool – Based off of the Yahoo Overture Inventory tool, Aaron created this tool that will give the user approximate estimates of searches on keywords for Google and MSN as well. The tool also gives links to Google Trends, Nichebot, Wordtracker and more.

· Typo Generator List – If you are in the need for a quick list of misspelled keywords, this tool is the answer. It can save you a ton of time in generating the list on your own, just pop in a keyword or keyword phrase, check the type of misspellings you want, press the button and “presto!” you have a list that you can just copy and paste into your document.

· Competition Finder – Wondering how many websites are using the keywords you are looking to capitalize on in the page titles and anchor text? This tool can help you figure out at how many competing pages there are in the Google index that are utilizing the keywords you are targeting.

Overture Inventory Tool
Probably the best known tool, Yahoo’s Overture Inventory tool gives the user a listing of keyword suggestions around the keyword entered. The list is arranged in descending order of the count of the prior month’s searches round those keywords listed.

SEOMoz.org
Rand and the crew over at SEOMoz.org have been putting out some nice tools lately. Back in July I did a review on their latest SEO Tool. But they do have other SEO Tools for Free on their site.

· Page Strength – This is a good tool to help you gauge just where the website you are working on stands within the mix of things. Although not a complete picture, this tool can help you attain a pretty big chunk of that total picture.

· Keyword Difficulty - If you are wondering just how tough it will be to rank for certain keywords, this tool is a good place to start. Once you set up your account on SEOMoz.org with the required API’s, this tool can help you to determine the difficulty you’ll be encountering for the specified keywords.

Google
Yes, Google’s actually got some tools out there that are free to help users in their SEO endeavors. While out at SES, they even announced some new enhancement to products and looked for feedback on improving all their existing tools. I’m just going to touch on two here.

· Google Trends – Looking to see how a particular market, word or entity is fairing in Google over a block of time? Google Trends is an SEO tool that will help you get a handle of the trend around the entity you are seeking information on. The other nice thing about this tool is that if there’s significant points in the entity’s search window, they are marked and labeled in the chart – no more guessing why there was a spike or valley.

· Google Webmaster Tools (AKA Sitemaps) – If there’s any free tool a webmaster needs to be using, it’s the Webmaster Tools from Google. Google is giving webmasters a direct way to speak with them and actually tell them where to crawl and what to crawl. Google will even give you reports on any problems they encounter with your site with this tool, making this a must have in any SEO professionals toolbox.

Blog Pulse – Trend Search
Want to track the current trend of keywords, names, phrases or even links within the blogosphere? Blog Pulse’s Trend Seach is just the tool to assist you in that effort.  Trend search allows you to take three separate terms and track the “buzz” around those terms within the blogosphere.

Feedburner
A must have for any blogger, but it can also help you SEO wise too. Feedburner not only assists bloggers by syndicating their feeds, but it tracks the activity on that syndicated feed, letting you know which of your entries are bringing in the most traffic as well as why type of feed readers are drawing the most readership. If running a blog is part of your SEO strategy, then this free tool is a must.

Technorati
Want to track who’s linking to your blog? How about tracking the buzz around keywords, phrases, urls, and company employees on a more granular level? Technorati is a great tool that allows you to set up watchlists on not just your own blog but on phrases, links, words, names and more. This can really help SEO professionals to help manage the buzz around keywords related to their client’s businesses.

Sitemeter
Are you a little leery on giving your data to Google and their site analytics? Not enough room in a clients budget for a huge web analytics package? Sitemeter could be just the solution for small websites with limited options both budget wise. This tool can help you track hits coming into your website and just where they are coming from. If you aren’t in need of tracking a lot of conversion, Sitemeter is a great free tool for SEO professionals for small and scalable projects.

WeBuildPages.com
Jim Boykin at WeBuildPages.com has a slew of nice tools that are great for use in optimization efforts. I’m just going to touch on a few, but there’s a lot of resources on the tools page of WeBuildPages.com that can assist an SEO professional in analyzing their sites.

· Cool SEO Tool – This tool allows the user to check the top 10 sites in Google. Along with that it also shows domain age, keyword phrase count, pages indexed (google/yahoo), backlinks, link domain, and allinanchor rank.

· Spider Viewer – Nifty tool that lets you see a page how our Search Engine’s “Spider” or “Crawler” will view your site.

· Forward Link Title Tag Tool – Wondering about the outbound links of a site? This tool lets the user enter in a URL and it then checks which sites it links to, and the title tag of the pages that site links to.

Bruce Clay
Last on the list, but by no means least is the Search Engine Relationship Chart put out by Bruce Clay. This is another great free SEO Tool that every search marketing professional should have printed out and posted somewhere. It’s the most up to date version of how the Search Engines are all relating to one another and who supplies what kind of results to the smaller search engines. Not only is this a must for PPC agencies, but NSO professionals should be utilizing the latest versions too!

That’s a wrap for this article. If you have any further additions that you’d like to see added in an additional article, feel free to comment here!

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