Posted April 17, 2007 1:28 pm by with 3 comments

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MSNBC has another feature on Internet marketing courtesy of (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.”
  •’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 Seychelles??)
  • Competition monitoring:,,
  • 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:,
  • 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 covered this; they have regular Internet marketing features. While 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/ is doing/saying all the time, especially since Live search/MSN/whatever doesn’t have a single tool on the list (anymore).

  • Jeremy

    Alexa???? Give me a break.

    And I agree about the free analytics. Other than Google Analytics, I can’t think of a decent free platform.

    Maybe the MSN in MSNBC did have some kind of pull?

  • Erwin

    This is a piece of good news! Thanks!

  • Jaan Kanellis

    Alexa and a Keyword Density Checker, blah!