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Competitive Intelligence Resources Result(s): 1 - 10 of 14
The wondrous Alexa Toolbar is a must-have partner for savvy Internet marketers. Upon installation, you will be privy to Alexa's exclusive, behind-the-scenes information about any website, including its "Alexa Ranking" based on traffic to the site. The traffic rank is based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of Alexa Toolbar users and is a combined measure of page views and users (reach). You can access graphs of traffic trends over time (going back two years), as well as average daily page views per user. Under the "People who visit this page also visit" category, you'll be presented with a list of similar sites, and you can also retrieve a list of sites linking in to the site you're looking at. Finally, a Google search box, news feeds, reference tools and archived site information (via the Internet Archive Way Back Machine) are also built right in. Alexa is owned by Amazon.com, so keep your eye on this one.
Did you know that there's an Association of Former Intelligence Officers? Discover them and more in The CI Resource Index, the competitive intelligence search engine. Additional categories include: education; companies; publications; software; and documentation, which contains numerous articles and tutorials on the art and science of competitive intelligence.
Copyscape is a nifty tool that searches for copies of your content on the Web. Simply input a URL from your website and -- voila! -- up pops a list of sites where the page's copy (or portions thereof) has been posted verbatim. Click on the link, and your copy is conveniently highlighted on the referred website so you can determine whether or not it has been presented with permission or credit. To use this tool, you must input individual URLs in the search box; in other words, to search for all the content on your site you would have to conduct a search page by page. However, this publication found multiple infractions on the very first try. Since there is no cost to use Copyscape, it could be quite a valuable resource.
Copyscape is powered by Google Alert technology and uses the Google Web APIs (there is no affiliation with Google, Copyscape is simply using Google for its database). Should you find that others are using your copy without your authorization, links to copyright laws and resources are available below the search results.
If you are researching a business or an industry, start here. It's just corporate information, pure and simple. Research a company, and you'll be served with numerous links to corporate profiles, news archives, financial information and message boards dedicated to that company. Research an industry and you'll be led to industry profiles, news and more. Research reports, research by state, research by country. It's international, and it's free.
Dun & Bradstreet offers a very intriguing suite of tools and services to small business owners. Tracking folders allow you to follow existing customers, suppliers, competition, and prospects. Basic services are free, which include up to 15 "tracked" companies. A Silver Membership, which runs $24.99(US) per month, includes two free Credit eValuator reports each month, tracking of 75 companies and discounts on industry reports and prospect list purchases. Or you can pay as you go - credit evaluations, demand letters and the like are fee-based, but quite reasonably priced.
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If you're concerned about tracking new additions to Google, you can automate your regular search queries with the no-cost Google Alert tool. It will search each day for your designated keywords and automatically send you an email whenever new results are found. Now it's easy to keep tabs on your competitors, industry trends and, of course, yourself. Results are also available as HTML or RSS feeds.
The Google Toolbar is a must-have for those who want to get more out of their Web research. Upon installation, a Google search box travels around the Web with you. Not only can you easily search at any time, but you can also search only the site you are looking at with the "Search This Site" feature. You can discover more about any Web page you are on, including backward links and similar pages. Another nifty plus is your ability to highlight words of interest on a Web page - simply type the keyword you are looking for into the search box and click the "Highlight" button. Your keywords will be highlighted in bright yellow so you don't have to waste time scanning a sea of text to find what you want.
Hoover's offers a treasure trove of company data: competitive information, news items, financial information and key exec bios (this latter feature requires a fee). The site offers several levels of subscription pricing, but you can view some sample info for free to get a sense of whether you want to pay for it or not. Hoover's can also assist quite ably with overall industry research (in addition to offering the lowdown on specific industry players). For example, you can get a list of the most viewed companies in 25 top metro areas to see who's hot... and who's not. Contact the company for subscription pricing.
Linktree offers a no-cost tool that will tell you, site by site, who is linking to your competitors but is NOT linking to you. Simply enter the URLs of at least five competitors, enter your URL, and voila! Out pops a list of those websites that are excluding you from the linking party, plus links to the pages where your competitors' links appear. You can then use your common sense or other competitive recon tools to decide whether or not it's worth your time to approach those sites, hat in hand, requesting that your site be added to their link collections. This service is different from other link popularity comparison tools because it allows you to exclude your own site and thereby easily create a list of target prospects that aren't linking to you.
NetPeriscope is a competitive intelligence application service provider for online retailers. For a monthly fee, merchants can track competitor sites in real time. NetPeriscope's products monitor content changes and track individual products by SKU, ISBN, manufacturer or part number on competitors' sites. Merchants can run queries against competitor sites on product availability, delivery options, and can commission a trend analysis (over a period of time) to study discounting, availability or shipping patterns. Very sophisticated and very interesting CI product. Contact the company for pricing.
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2013
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