December 4, 2005

SEO tools

by Brian Turner

Tools for everything from backlink analysis to keyword positioning have become key aspects of SEO campaigns. There are certainly plenty of tools available, and this page aims simply to list some of the more useful ones out there, for a range of different requirements.

Link checking tools

Checking the number of indexed backlinks to a site can be an important part of SEO, and using Google used to be the standard. However, in 2004 Google stopped displaying useful link data, so what you get now is essentially a non-representative sample of backlinks.

Nowadays you can run a manual check on Yahoo! or MSN using the following command:

    link:http://www.domain.co.uk

Although this will bring up a record of the quantity of the backlinks indexed, it neither provides information on the quality, nor permanency of these links – both of which could be important factors in SEO.

Regardless, here are a few simple automated link-checking tools that use different search engines to create totals:

  • Link checker – this tool will check links across AllTheWeb, AltaVista, Google, HotBot, and MSN.
  • Link checker – Be patient with this one – but it will displays results for Yahoo, as well as Google and MSN.
  • Link checker – This one covers Google, AllTheWeb, AltaVista, Hotbot, MSN, and Yahoo.

Datacenter checker (Google)

The McDar Google datacenter checker tool has become the standard by which changes at Google can be observed and followed:

Search Engine relationships

These tools help illustrate the ways that different search engines and directories related to one another:

Rank checkers

Checking your ranking is an integral part of SEO – however, although tools using search engine API’s exist to provide automated results, it is worth being aware that API results can differ from actual public results. This has been an issue of frustration with developers, but so long as you’re looking at illustrative information rather than exact detail, they can still serve a useful purpose:

Also, these search engine specific ranking checkers:

PageRank viewing

A lot of webmasters have an unhealthy obsession with Google PageRank (PR). It’s worth remembering that PR is now only updated on a quarterly basis, and can be relatively easily faked. However, if you need to reference PR values, here’s a good tool:

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