The Internet allows every marketer to have an unprecedented amount of insight on the competitors' plans and strategies. The session is about the how one can gain a lot of competitive intelligence using different tools and tactics.
- Bruce Clay
- Jake Baillie, Managing Director of STN Labs
- Andy Beal, Internet Marketing Consultant of Marketing Pilgrim LLC
- Larry Mersman, Vice President of Trellian
- William Atchison, Founder of Crawl Wall
The session was initiated by Andy Beal, who revealed his own tool kit to keep a watch on the competitors. Here are some of the tools he specified:
- Domaintool.com: Can take your regular WHOIS information to a new level of detail. One can obtain information on who owns a specific site, what else does he own, which directories are they in, etc.
- ranks.nl/tools/spider.htm: Can give information regarding keyword densities of your competitors. Makes combinations as per the number of words. (For ex, 2-word, 3-word or 3-word)
- sitexplorer.search.yahoo.com: Gives you backlinks for your competitors. This is the most ideal one-stop tool for all backlinks.
- seomoz.org/tools: One can use a number of free or paid tools from this website.
- soloseo.com/tools/indexrank.html: Changes Google's data in an easy to comprehend dashboard which enables you to compare your site to that of your competitors.
- copernic.com: One can monitor everything about the competitor here. It is a paid site. A free substitute of the same is Watchthatpage.com.
Other tools he proposed were Technorati.com, google.com/alerts, searchanalytics.compete.com, touchgraph.com, google.brand.edgar-online.com, seekingalpha.com/transcripts, google.com/patents and oodle.com
The next speaker was Larry Mersman, who started of by stressing how the definition of competitive intelligence can significantly alter depending on the channel being dealt. He offered some organizations that offer competitive solutions, namely HitWise, Trellian and ComScore.
Before you target particular keywords you should check who is optimizing it. Check through tools, who is sending traffic to your competitors.
The penultimate speaker of the session was William Atchison, who pointed out the crucial fact that your competitors are as interested in monitoring your movement. There is no point in letting your competitors use your hard work and research. There are some crucial techniques that can protect your SEO investment from competitors.
There might be competitors who are gathering data from Google, Yahoo! and MSN's cache pages. You can eliminate search engine cacheing in order to prevent researchers from gathering data on essential indicators, such as meta tags, internal anchor text and outbound links. One can also use the NOARCHIVE BANS Cache.
It is important to remove any sort of clues about your presence, be it your administrative and technical contacts or how many domains you have. You can easily block the whois data by using proxy commands. You can use robots.txt to prevent bad crawlers. You can use full trip reverse DNS checking, spoofing to make sure that the search engines are who they claim they are.
You can remove competitive vulnerabilities by opting out of archive .org. Ensure tighter controls on copyrighted content and improve on SERs after getting free from unwanted competition.
Jake Baillie was the final speaker of the session. His speech was all about how Google is still one of the best tools for competitive information. One should be aware of their ISP and be sure of their authenticity. Moreover ISPs can be feigned making it even more important for you to check up the IP lookups to monitor who owns what.Competitive Intelligence: Know Thy Competitor Well, PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 2,