Competitive Intelligence SEO Tools To Outrank Your Competition

competitive intelligence Your website is only as good as your authority, trust and ranking, and your competitors are continuously working to make you less relevant and more obscure.

Here are tools and tips to keep your search engine ranking by checking on what your competitors are doing.

Spyfu is a great tool to quickly see what keywords your competitors rank for in the natural and paid search results. Find out what ad copy they use, their daily ppc spend, and track changes they make. This is a great place to start for competitive data mining.

The keywords your competitors use may converting better than your keywords. You can use adsense to test what sites will be triggered for what keywords.

Check who links to them using tools such as, yahoo site explorer and this can give a good indication of professional partners and associations you may wish to join.

Check online information hubs including PRWeb search,, and article aggregators such as to see what content your competition is trying to promote and what keywords they are trying to rank for.

Check local review websites such as,, google places and special review sites such as the BBB to see if they offer specials or custom events. You can undercut them on price or special announcements if you find out their plans in advance. allows you to examine competitors side by side to identify which keywords they use.

Social Media tools that can help with finding competitors data

One of the best methods to research competitors is to search their HTML code including the Robots.txt file. Sometimes hidden sections are listed including: a test site, pictures, a new product, additional domain name. Search for possible partners and collaborators and check to see who people in your competitors’ business follow on twitter.

Follow their company on, fan the Facebook page. If a person leaves their group you can call them to find out why. Find all employees of a company and follow them using private lists. They will talk disarmingly as they feel they are anonymous (for example they may give details if they’ve had a bad day)

Continuously read their content and consider emailing them about links to outdated content and request a link to your better content on your domain.

Become an affiliate of all competitors to find out how much they pay (gives an indication of their margins) and earnings per click (indicates traffic and conversions). is an amazing new search engine that provides real link data, ranking metrics and updated search feeds. To see all sites a person owns use these searches: /adsense=COMPANYADSENSEID /analytics=ANALYTICSID lists company information including twitter mentions, physical location and social profiles. lets you find influencers on twitter.

Find sympathetic bloggers and authors who consistently work for a site, and ask them to write for you. many companies use guest posting services, and these are great people to ask to write articles and posts for you. will show where an individual has other profiles and if they are legitimate.

Use alert for domain name changes to see registration updates or new domains in the same account. Use mark-alert for brand name research to search for word stems using a company brand.

The Google search modifiers “submitted on” OR “submitted by” OR “discovered by” OR “posted by” will determine which content is being submitted and from whom. Look for the pattern of when new content is being promoted or submitted. Try to get into this circle, and can help identify who competitors are connecting with. helps show job listings which indicate company changes. Look up a competitors name, create an RSS feed and aggregate multiple competitors and jobsites.

A tactic we have seen played on us is someone pretending to be a Venture Capitalist and wants to know your competitive information on the phone to get an idea of investment potential in your company. We have also had people pretending to be a student and say that they are writing it up for their school newspaper. These are underhanded and not good for the web community, remember Karma.

This session was in the Pubcon conference presented by @graywolf @Streko @MattSiltala and @andybeal

Image via read more about competitive intelligence from, Matt Siltala’s slides,


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37 Responses

  1. Very interesting SEO subject for spying on competition. “The reason people sweat when they is so they won’t catch fire when ranking high.”

  2. Your SEO advice page is like your possess area on the Net where you can supply your message to hundreds of 1000’s of your audience. But SEO is a finite traffic generation strategy.

  3. Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added to this search engine marketing thread – Thanks for providing a great service!

  4. Is most emphatically not the way the Commission on SEO’s Future promoted their recent report on a study of online marketers conceived through SEMPO. This research shows that old search engine tactics no longer work.

  5. The new backlink intelligence you have discovered in your research is something we uncovered about 1 month ago and have implemented it on all our web properties.

  6. i just finished deluxe SEO on our site, which is all about the luxury industry promoting our products online.

  7. an incredible article, we are a brand new Orange County SEO firm and are trying to provide agency services for our clients. Thanks for the search engine tips, do you have any paid offerings?

  8. Yahoo has been killing us, even through we are spending thousands of dollars on their display ad network, our fire cleaning services are not found.

  9. Wow, great information. I love sleuthing, it’s so important to research your competition. You have posted some great SEO resources I look forward to using.

  10. I appreciate you for making this information public, I also wrote in the past about about SEO research using Spyfu,, yahoo site explorer,, tineye and

  11. I am genuinely impressed along with the quality of your analysis of competitive intelligence, I wish I was at Pubcon.

  12. I just stumbled upon a tactic for better competitive intelligence, and will be creating an infoproduct on this topic.

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