Lee Odden

Tools for search engine optimization

I was looking through my notes from the San Jose Search Engine Strategies conference and noticed I had not posted several of the sessions I had attended. This one is a new session on tools for search engine optimization. It will be repeated at the Chicago SES conference, so it must have gone over well. I know I thought so.

Many top search engine optimization firms and SEO savvy webmasters use tools to help them be more effective and efficient at SEO. There is no such thing as a one size fits all SEO tool that really works. But there are applications for specific tasks that can make certain aspects of SEO more effective and less time consuming.

The session was moderated by Chris Sherman of Search Engine Watch

I was just a little late to this session but arrived just in time to hear the introductory applause for Jim Boykin, CEO of WeBuildPages.

Side note: I had met Jim the night before at the lively WebmasterRadio.fm party at Studio8 where he told me an impressive story about how Matt Cutts of Google introduced him to Larry Page and Sergey Brin at a Google Dance 3 years ago. Jim had brought a copy of the paper, and both Larry and Sergey autographed it. Jim has photos of that moment on his web site.

He started out by explaining the questions he asks potential clients and mentioning some of the tools he uses to evalute web sites for search engine readiness.

1. How old is the site? Sandbox = time
Use http://www.archive.org – Wayback Machine to see older versions of a web site.

2. Is your site a resource?

Sites with content usually rank high.

Spider simulator tool to see how much content is on the site/pages

3. Does the site have unique content?
Subscribe to copyscape.com and it will send you urls of duplicate content to the site you’re monitoring

Swiss army knife of seo tools: http://www.faganfinder.com/urlinfo/

4. Change up anchor text

allinachor:keyword phrase
make sure you don’t use the same anchor text


5. What are the related phrases?

6. What does the backlink neighborhood look like?

Aaron Wall’s hub finder

7. What are the current your rankings?
(need google and yahoo api)

Jim’s entire presentation is available at http://www.webuildpages.com/ses/


Next up was Todd Mailcoat, aka Stuntdubl, also of WeBuildPages

There are lots of free tools, but avoid “paralysis by analysis”. You don’t need to over analyze.

Domain server tools
Check Domain Name ownership – http://www.whois.sc/yourdomainhere.com
check to see if a domain or ip is in any spam http://www.databasesdnsstuff.com

Checks for different class c blocks http://www.ip-report.com

Competitive information
www.googspy.com – what types of adwords terms are being bid on, top competitors by industry

Extension for firefox masks your indenty http://extensionroom.mozdev.org/more-info/switchproxy

Check backlinks
www.webuldpages.com/tools/ tool #5

Check past 1000 links http://www.linkhounds.com/link-harvester/

Keyword information
http://labs.google.com/sets – find related terms

Ontology tool http://www.gorank.com/seotools

Header and page level info

Lets you know server response http://www.webrankinfo.com/english/tools/server-header.php

Spidering and indexability
xenu link slueth – checks for broken links also good to make site maps

Also several tools at Rand Fishkin’s site, seomoz.org


Ken Jurina of Epiar was next. His presentation is at: epiar.com/ses

I first met Ken at SES NYC earlier this year and gave him a hard time for being such a snappy dresser. Ken likes a lively colored shirt and those rectangular, hip agency-type glasses.

Firefox extensions
web developer
search status
search keys
IE View

ranking reports
compare sites
links report


analyze traffic paths of tagged visitors
visual interface

LiveSTATS – deepmetrix.com
website stats, easy to use, visual and numeric reporting


roboform.com – autofill form. handles multiple profiles
useful for submissions and linking

marketleap.com – also offers trend reports

Link popularity – competitor comparison
search engine saturation
keyword verification


Now it’s Bill Hartzer’s turn. Bill is from Intec Telecom, and he works as a corporate, in-house SEO.

Assess link popularity – optilinksoftware.com
optispider – spiders one web site. comapres link text to page topic and title tag

Keyword idea generator – more useful for PPC – ranks.nl/tools/keyword_combinations.html

Keyword density – compare pages

Domain analyzer – urltrends.com
multi purpose tool – you can receive a notification when any of the info changes – use to monitor competitors

Other resources for tools:

Bob Mutch
Digital Point
Bruce Clay
SEO Chat


Last up was Paul J. Bruemmer – TrademarkSEO (Paul is now with Bruce Clay)

Alexa: reach, rank, page views, compare sites

RankingManager – rank reports by engine, by keyword

LynxViewer – text viewer of web pages

Yahoo Finance – info on clients/competitors

Hoovers – very detailed info on companies. $5k/year

Print Screen Deluxe – print screen

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Advokat i Oslo says

    Thanks for a great list of tools. The only problem with the free tools is that it takes much time.. But then again, they are free

  2. Avatar ZZPrices Comparison says

    I really enjoyed the post, but I

  3. A great selection of tools, many thanks


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    What I like is that fact that he lists questions of potential SEO clients and then the tools to use to evaluate websites for searc…

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