Jan 12

Search Engine Tools:Some of the Best SEO Tools are Free…Take a Look!

These Tools Are The Greatest Invention Since This Thing

These Tools Are The Greatest Invention Since This Thing

Search Engine Tools are a dime a dozen, but most only do a very tiny micro-task; substantially useful tools are few and far between.  Here are my personal favorite free search optimization tools for SEO; some may be familiar but hopefully there’s a few surprises in here for you.

Snippet Preview Tool
This allows you to enter in titles and meta-descriptions and test out how they are likely to appear on Google.  An invaluable search engine tool.

Rex Swain’s HTTP Viewer
See my review here – it’s great for checking out HTTP header responses and following redirects for any page.

Search Engine Reports Free Bulk Rank Checker
This search engine tool is perfect for running a quick search engine ranking check on a prospect – drop a ton of terms in and it will bring back their ranking positions (not which page that is ranking exactly, just its rank – but that’s a fast way to assess someone’s situation).

LSI Keywords
I had previously reviewed a great site called textalyser which can perform a frequency analysis of documents.  If there is more than one URL to analzye though, it requires pasting in the text which is cumbersome.  I usually use textalyser and paste in the text from the top web pages ranking for a term to discover what related words I should be using when doing on-page optimization for that term.

But I recently found this *fantastic* search engine tool…”LSI Keywords”.   Ignore the name, let’s not argue about what LSI is, it’s a misuse of the term…but this tool will actually go retrieve the top 5 results on its own for your search, eliminating the manual steps of grabbing the URLs from the search engine and copying and pasting the content into the tool.   It also lays out the frequency charts for the unigrams, bigrams, and trigrams right next to each other so you don’t have to scroll down below the fold to see the top terms.  This is a *great* search engine tool, a huge timesaver.

Xenu Link Sleuth
The myth, the legend.  Perfect for finding broken links and much much more.

Screaming Frog
This is starting to take some of the mantel away from Xenu; it can be used to check many kinds of SEO issues on a website, and is an ideal tool for performing a quick site audit.

SEOQuake Toolbar
I don’t use the mozBar; not because I’m not a moz fan, but I’m trying to keep myself from being dependent on SEOMoz’s tools.   My theory is, SEOMoz is so effective and popular it seems to be taking over the entire SEO world…so if I want to compete with people who are SEOMoz believers and aficionados, then if I use search engine tools and techniques from elsewhere, perhaps that will give me an edge.   The SEOQuake toolbar is great for rapidly doing a competitive analysis on a SERP.

GoRank Keyword Density Analyzer
I use this to check out keyword density and other metrics on the top search engine results pages that are ranking for whatever term I’m trying to optimize for; it can help in figuring out how long the document should be, how often the keyword should be used, and so on.  If you’re a fan of extensive on-page optimization, you’ll really appreciate this search engine tool.

This tool provides a quick way to check page speed and image sizes, without having to install Firefox or Chrome plug-ins.  Since search engines now take into account page speed, using something like this is an important step in any search engine optimization audit.

Niels Bosma’s Excel SEO Tools
I have to confess, I have had zero time to evaluate this personally yet, but its feature set is extremely exciting and it comes recommended by some very knowledgeable people.  There are a *ton* of functions this provides including the ability to scrape data from websites, manipulate backlinks, analyze analytics data, and more.  It looks so promising I felt it would be a crime to leave it out – I hope to put some time into using it soon.

Online Sales Google SERP Bookmarklet
To use this search engine tool, just go to the website, click on the green button and drag it into your bookmark toolbar.  Then whenever you do a Google search, hit the button and it will transform the search engine results page into separate, nicely pasteable, titles and URLs.  It’s a super-useful tool.

Well, that’s our roundup – what’s *your* favorite free SEO tool?  Let us know below!


  1. I reckon you’ve mentioned most of them Ted.

    I often use Ubersuggest – http://ubersuggest.org – for generating keyword terms from a base keyword, and Mergewords – http://mergewords.com/ – for generating large sets to diagnose. Both are web-based.

    Niels Bosma’s tools are great, but as with anything reasonably powerful there’s abit of a learning curve.

  2. Couldn’t agree more: the best tools are free, although I don’t see Google Insights in your list and it’s soooo useful to analyze where keywords are probably and have been going for a certain period of time, because why rank #1 for a keyword that’s on the decline when you can rank #1 for an increasingly popular keyword? 🙂

  3. Vahe says:

    Hey Ted,

    You definently have a popular blog. 84 tweets and you haven’t even scratched the surface in terms of free tools!

    Great start to this list, however don’t forget about plugins. Need time to get use to neils tool, however plugins are still legendary i.e. web developer.

    Here’s a bunch more – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collections/marc-levy/seo-tools-advanced/

    Thanks Ted.


  4. Jonathan says:

    Great list! The link Pingdom is broken though man, not formed properly by looks of it.

  5. Ted Ives says:

    Thanks Jonathan – got it!

  6. LaurentB says:

    Bonjour Ted,

    May I present some more borderline tools http://discodog.fr/labs/
    and another one, which breaks down on page optimization http://alyze.info/

    All in French, though…

  7. Craig Isaacs says:

    Thanks, Ted! Great article.

  8. Great list Ted. Particularly loved the snippet preview and screaming frog tool. Most of all really enjoyed coming across another SEO’er who believes that SEOMoz tools are taking over the world; and to beat them using other tools is the way to go.

    Hope you keep adding to the list.

  9. Jonathang says:

    Nice list of tools…especially the classic Rex Swain http viewer, which I don’t know how many times I’ve used.

    One other page load time test tool is http://www.webpagetest.org. It’s a little page design is not as great as pingdom, IMO, but I like the way they layout their test results with letter grades, etc.

  10. Marlies Ootes says:

    How about this free WordPress SEO Plugin from Joost de Valk: http://yoast.com/wordpress/. I think it’s very useful.

  11. Steve says:

    Yeah, the Rex Swain header tool is PDQ.. Will give the others a trial and maybe let you know…

  12. Scott says:

    Good list Ted. I’ve used sharedcount.com to check social metrics on a URL, it’s nothing fancy, but free and easy to use. Other than that…spreadsheets! That’s free money right there.

    Screaming Frog is great, but it’s that a paid tool?

  13. Ted Ives says:

    Scott, the free version of Screaming Frog lets you spider up to 500 pages (doesn’t include full configuration options either, but 500 pages is a pretty good sample for any website).

  14. Great list Ted, in fact I think it came at a great time too. I just finished reading a post by Chris Dyson about free SEO tools. Between his list, and now your list, it looks like I’m going to have a busy week of trying new tools out.

  15. Art says:

    Thanks for the list, as a small business owner i’m trying to learn more about the web and how it works. This list will be helpful I’m sure.

  16. Carlton says:

    I’m curious if anyone has any tools that help with local SEO. This is an area I’m just delving into, and one that has me scratching my head. I have been using Google Trends, then geo-drilling into the desired location, but hoping there’s something better out there. Great list.

  17. François says:

    I would like to mention Linkody for backlink management, monitoring and analysis.

  18. The Coeus says:

    Great Collection of SEO Tools. I am new to this field and I’m using SEOQuake Toolbar. It is just amazing and helps me a lot to get accurate results and it is very easy to understand how the traffic is changing. Thanks for the post.

  19. John says:

    I would also recommend http://www.found.co.uk/ppc-keyword-tool/ Its great for building out big lists.

  20. Great post. I am using Xenu Link Sleuth, SEOQuake Toolbar, etc also. These all of are really amazing. But i tnink you forgot to include about another amazing Google SERP checker tool Serplab. It is totally free to use and has some awesome features that you can know how fit your site and what you have to do for you site.

  21. Hi Ted,
    Great list, thanks for putting it together! Another couple of tools we use (That you might consider for your list) are majesticseo.com for backlink profiles, and our own SEO Audit tool. It compares website optimisation and metrics to your competitors and gives an overall score. Here’s the url:



  22. Thank you for these tools . I just have not found a free tool for extracting backlinks

  23. liam says:

    Hello there!

    great list! i use xenu and the quake toolbar almost everyday, i had no idea about screamingfrog though so thanks for that! i will check it out now!


  24. PPC Agency says:

    I would also recommend https://adrepublic.co.uk/ Its great for building out big lists.

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