MSNBC on SEO Tools

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MSNBC has another feature on Internet marketing courtesy of Entrepreneur.com (we covered one on blogging last month). This week, they have a list of “Free SEO tools you should know about.”

Groundbreaking? Not really: this article is aimed toward SMBs trying to get started on their own SEO. The list is pretty thorough, though. Among the tools listed (in order of mention):

  • Incoming link searches at Google and Yahoo Site Explorer
  • Xenu dead link checker
  • Google Page Rank
  • Alexa
  • Keyword Discovery/WordTracker, Overture
  • Link popularity tools: “Elixir Systems and Marketleap, as well as the tools from We Build Pages, which include anchor text information.”
  • webconfs.com’s Keyword Density Checker: “A recommended number is 3 percent to 5 percent for a page of 600 to 800 words.”
  • Spider simulators
  • XML sitemap builders
  • Yahoo Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Central
  • Domain age (at whois.sc: Seychelles??)
  • Competition monitoring: Archive.org, Compete.com, Spyfoo.com
  • Firefox (and 9 SEO plugins)
  • Google Suggest, Google Groups, Google Zeitgeist, Yahoo Answers, Rankpulse
  • Lynx Viewer
  • Crazy Egg

Pretend you’re an SMB dabbling in SEO. Overwhelmed yet?

Let’s simplify: Free SEO tools you’ll actually be using, in possible order of use:

  • Firefox (it’s just better)
  • Xenu dead link checker
  • Spider simulators (maybe once or however frequently you need to do it to convince your site designer to stop putting all the text in Flash/images)
  • XML sitemap builders (intially and then periodically after adding new pages to the site)
  • Keyword Discovery/WordTracker, Overture
  • Incoming link searches at Google and Yahoo Site Explorer with maybe one of the aformentioned the link popularity tools
  • Yahoo Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Central
  • Competition monitoring: Compete.com, Spyfoo.com
  • If you’re quite advanced and have exhausted most of the other stuff: Crazy Egg

Plus one serious oversight:

  • Some type of free analytics software!

It’s not remarkable that Entrepreneur.com covered this; they have regular Internet marketing features. While Entrepreneur.com has its own subsection on MSNBC (where this story is top billed), I find it interesting that even this type of news is featured on MSNBC. Makes you wonder if the left hand (’Live search’) knows what the right hand (MSNBC/Entrepreneur.com) is doing/saying all the time, especially since Live search/MSN/whatever doesn’t have a single tool on the list (anymore).


MSNBC on SEO Tools
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About Jordan McCollum
Jordan McCollum is a staff writer for the popular marketing blog Marketing Pilgrim. She has worked in search engine optimization with clients including 3M, Little Giant Ladders and ADP. After graduating from Brigham Young University, Jordan joined the SEO copywriting team at the Internet marketing firm 10x Marketing. After 10x closed its doors in December 2006, Jordan became a freelance writer and Internet marketing consultant specializing in SEO. She also has extensive experience with web analytics, conversion rate enhancement and e-mail marketing. WebProNews Writer
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