What’s a search engine to you, dear SEO disciple?
If your answer starts with a definition then you have successfully gained the habit of mind of an SEO professional. Congratulations …NOT!
Search engines are supposed to help you find information. Are the search engines a resource to you? Do you use them in other way than for reproducing search queries or monitoring ranking algorithms?
I can easily guess your answer to this question, so please allow me to try to revive your search appetite with these ten, really handy engines:
Zanran – Statistical data
SEOs love data so you must be loving it too. So, this first search engine on my list should be a perfect fit for your need of statistical and graphical information.
Zanran is focused on searching for numerical data, presented as graphs, tables or charts, being thus able to bring you practical information about the topics you research.
Search results could show up as a PDF report, an Excel spreadsheet or bar chart images, as well as many others. You can also filter your search queries, by time period, location or file type.
Bottom line, if you need numbers, Zanran is a great choice.
Blekko – SEO data
Beyond its promise to deliver high quality, relevant, spam-free search results, Blekko brings unique value to SEOs through its SEO tools.
For each search result it retrieves, Blekko also provides a set of related SEO data that their crawler gathered while crawling the web.
This information includes inbound links, states and countries where the links are coming from, domains with duplicate content, when the site was last crawled, etc.
Although originally this service was free, you can now subscribe for $99/month, with an initial free trail period of 30 days.
Omgili – Discussions
This search engine helps you search through conversations across the web to find out what people are saying about your products and services or just about any topic you are interested in.
Omgili is focused on crawling user-generated content platforms such as communities, message boards, discussion threads and returns as search results consumer opinions, debates and personal experiences.
Also enhanced with advanced search options such as time frame, number of replies or participants to the discussion, Omgili qualifies as a must have in your search engines tool bag.
Soovle – Keywords
Beginners or downright gurus, all SEO professionals perform up to a certain extent keyword research, gather as many and relevant keyword suggestions as possible and try to find the best organic opportunities for their businesses.
Therefore you will definitely find this customizable search engine, Soovle a great resource to use when gathering your keyword suggestions. Soovle retrieves at once the suggestions from all of the major search engines: Wikipedia, Answers.com, YouTube, Bing, Google, Amazon and Yahoo!.
The results are extremely easy to manage as they show up in the form of keyword clouds organized onto a single page. You can also easily expand your research to other terms by clicking on any of the suggested terms or export everything to .csv files through the small top-left button.
The Wayback Machine – Old designs
Many times in my researches I have felt the need to visualize an older version of a website and The Wayback Machine is specifically design to meet that need.
Founded to find the Internet’s past, The Wayback Machine can browse the archives of more than 150 billion web pages since 1996. Simply type the address of the website’s archives that you would like to view, click “Search” and go back in time.
ZoomInfo – Professionals
Since connecting with your peers is important for building your persona online as well as for improving your knowledge, finding professionals from your area of expertise is a task you must not neglect.
The leading B2B directory, ZoomInfo aims to map the business landscape in near real time and enables you to perform searches through the profiles of millions of businesses and their employees, to find the connections you need.
SocialMention – Social posts
With this single tool you can query more than 100 social media platforms to discover what people are saying about you, about your business, your products or the topics you care about.
SocialMention enables you to perform manual searches as well as to setup automatic alerts that you’ll periodically receive via email.
Another great thing about SocialMention is that for each query you make, additional statistical information is available in the sidebar such as the sentiment built around your topic, frequency of mentions or top users participating in conversations, with the possibility to apply them as filter for the results.
Technorati – Blogs
Either you’re looking for guest posting opportunities, for bloggers in your niche, the latest information on various topics or simply wish to find the best blogs to read, Technorati‘s search algorithm crawls the web’s blogs for up-to-date and relevant information.
The search engine has access to more than one million blogs and has gain its popularity for being able to find top stories and opinions on everything from technology to politics.
Wolfram Alpha – Website statistics
A search engine that prides itself on the ability to compute nearly anything, Wolfram Alpha not only completes complicated math problems, it also gives you information on websites that you search.
For example, searching a website will pull up information on its current stock prices, its revenue, the number of employees, its recent returns and its future projections.
Compfight – Images
Though not associated with Flickr, Compfight uses the Flickr API to search images on the Internet for use on blogs or simply as inspiration.
The advantages of using Compfight rather than Flickr’s own search, are the rapidity of the search due to using API, the ease of search through the creative commons-licensed images and the ability to integrate the search directly into your WordPress blog, using the Compfight plugin.
Hoping that I have managed to give you some nice search engines to play with, I’m looking forward to hear about your favorite SEO tools in the comments below.
Photo credit: Le Yéti