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Competitive Intelligence Basics: An Unbiased Evaluation

Sep 13, 2008
There are many Competitor Intelligence Methods Jeff West and myself use when attempting to decide which vertical or markets we want to compete in. And before we do, we like to evaluate what we're up against. Here are a few select secret tips we practice almost every single day. Before we enter any vertical, we need to take a view at 2-3 successful Websites in that market and drill down and evaluate anything we can find on them.

Competitor Intelligence Tip #1 - Find Out How Large a Site Is

When we want to evaluate how many pages a website has, we type the following line in google. For observance purposes lets say we're checking out IM Review Kings. So I'd type the site:www dot imreviewkings dot com line into Google.

You'll end up viewing a result like this:

Results 1 - 10 of about 763 from www dot imreviewkings dot com. (0.13 seconds)

In this scenario it shows us as having 763 active pages listed in the SERP's, or Search Engine Results Pages.

Find Out What Google Page Rank a Site Is

Another Competitive Intelligence trick is to download the google PageRank Display Software. Google issues PR or PageRank, They issue Websites a Page Rank of anywhere from 0-9 depending on many factors, such as age, how many back links a website has, how related and on-topic your site content is, etc.. Essentially Page Rank is a measure of how important a webpage is to google.

A website with a PR3 is decent, a PR4 is pretty darn good and a PR5 is considerable. Our main objective is to get our top 6 Websites we own all a PR5 in about 3 years or so. It takes a myriad of work and requires a degree of specialized knowledge to do this, but it's doable. Another cool component regarding the Google PageRank Toolbar is you'll evaluate a small little black arrow that's pointing downward directly to the right of the image icon. If you click this, you'll evaluate a small drop-down menu. One of the options I like to practice is the Cached Snapshot of Page Icon which will let me realize if this page was cached, and if it was, it will tell me the last time this particular page was cached.

Once in a while I'll practice this component because I'll want to take one of my articles on my website and submit them to other article repositories for more back links. But I don't want to submit any articles I pay for until google discovers them on my webpage first. By using this component I don't have to try to guess when I should submit these articles because this component will report this to me.

Competitor Intelligence Tip #2 - Find Out How Many Back links a Site Has

Augment your Competitive Intelligence by making a visit to Market Leap to discover how many Back links any Site has and use a special tool called their Link Popularity Checker. It's much easier to build back links using Yahoo than it is google. Yahoo counts inner links pointing to each other as well as multiple inbound links from the same Website or IP Address. The google search engine will only give you credit for one link for every unique domain and Google is much pickier on how they determine these links for possible admission into their search results. Attempt typing in 5-10 sites you've been wondering about for a little while to get the gist of it.

Competitor Intelligence Tip #3 - Find Out How Much Traffic A Site Gets

All you have to do to figure out how much Website Traffic a Website receives each month is to go over and visit Compete Dot Com and enter a few other URL's and compare the results from each of these. You'll immediately discover the real deal and know more verbatim what you are up against.

Competitor Intelligence Tip #4 - View Alexa Traffic Rankings

Millions of folks download the Worthy Alexa Toolbar, and because of this, you can now simply realize where any Website ranks with reasonably good accuracy. They rank millions of Websites and assign each one of them any number, the lower the figure the higher ranked the website is on Alexa. This is also superior Competitive Intelligence.

Competitor Intelligence Tip #5 - Find Out How Many Years Old A Site Is

This is very easy to discover. There are a myriad of places, primarily Domain Registrars that offer this no-cost service but the one that we practice is located at Network Solutions. Look toward the bottom of the page in the Resources Section for a WHOIS Search link and click that. Simply type in the domain, and you'll be able to realize when the domain was first registered. That does have some bearing on Competitors because a good breakdown of Googles Quality score has to do with how many years a Website has been on the Internet.

Competitor Intelligence Tip #6 - Why Brian Garvin and Jeff West Use SEO Elite

The other tool we use to spy on our competitors is a software tool called SEO Elite by Brad Callen. To be honest, they offer 8 other features but we only use two on a consistent basis, which more than pays for the special tool. Luckily there aren't any on-going fees applicable with this software.

We use the Analyze Backlinks component as well as the Find Out Where Your Website is Ranked for a Particular Keyword component. All you do is enter the keyword and the URL and which Websites you want to discover, and finally choose the Search Engines you need it to search for, and SEO Elite will search the first 1,000 results in the SERP's and let you realize where you rank on that keyword. This is very serious Competitive Intelligence info that will allow us to rank on any keyword we need.

There are other software and tools out there to Analyze Competitors, but these are all we need and use on a daily routine, or every single day we're working.
About the Author
Make Internet Marketing Review Kings Brian K. Garvin & Jeff West teach you more with relation to Competitive Intelligence today. You can without exception visit our website as we have a myriad of aids to help you find what you need, with no commitment.
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