search commandsI am sure that most of you already know and use the following search operators when planning an SEO campaign. But from my own experience, you don’t often use even what you are well aware of just because things tend to slip your mind. So that’s rather a reminder of the tools search engines kindly offer us and how they can be effectively used.

1. Use keyword to find most relevant inner pages on the site where you might want to get a link back.

Note: compare Google and Yahoo results, or just go to to see both on one page. Say I’d like a link from with the anchor text “viral marketing”, so I’ll type in viral marketing in and see what pages are believed most relevant by the two search engines:

2. Find who mentions and links to your competitor:


To filter the results from your competitor’s website use this combination (also should be done both in Google and Yahoo):


Note: to learn your competitor’s most recent techniques, take advantage of Google advanced search. For example, most recently indexed pages linking back or mentioning (past one week):

http://* past one week

(an important update: even more about this technique at blog)

3. Find out even more about your competitors’ link building techniques: learn how relevant their back links are – maybe you can do better? command will show your competitor’s backlinks neighborhood.

4. Learn what is your website indexing rate:

Past one day:

Past one week:

Past one month:

Past 2 months:

Past 3 months:

Past 6 months:

Or just let this handy tool calculate your site index rate for you.

This Google and Yahoo Search Engine Query Cheat Sheet is also very helpful.

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I am the owner of this blog as well as Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and Founder of MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU and

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  1. Thanks for that;
    One more great list: The ultimate guide to advanced searching within Yahoo, Google and MSN

  2. Thank you, Sam, for a great resource. I’ve bookmarked the page.

  3. As always, very informative… But my current situation seems a bit more complicated… One of my clients is in an extremely competitive finance keyword area, his site offers an array of financial products from different affiliate networks but has zero quality, relevant content.

    When I mean content I mean articles and not product descriptions stuffed with key terms. I have been trying to build quality links but is has been very difficult, after all I have no real/interesting content to offer other than financial products… I am a sitting duck? Any suggestions? Thank you

  4. Link building says:

    thanx Dear for that type of information, i am agree with that. thanx

  5. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I
    get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way
    you can remove me from that service? Bless you!

  6. Weird! Isn’t there an “unsubscribe” link? I am using a plugin for it, so I am not sure where the actual database it. I’ve never tried to retrieve those emails!

  7. Hi, Ann, I’m impressed with your effort on writing this post, it is very informative. I always prefer going for professional tools like one you mentioned when doing crucial phases like competitor analysis rather than going for free tools.

  8. Hi Ann

    Very valuable blog from you as always. Can you please provide a list of commands for us so we can narrow down the posibilities whatever content we need to find?


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