Top Ten Free SEO Tools in 2012

A recent SEO Industry survey indicates that most people or organizations that are somehow involved in SEO uses tools to help them do a variety of things, including, keyword research, monitoring visitors behavior, backlink and link profile analysis, monitoring rankings, etc.

No matter what job you do, choosing proper tools will save your time and make your task a little easier. As SEOer, making full use of the below 10 free SEO tools, you will deeply understand the market and help you choose the proper niche for your site.

1. Google’s Keyword Tool

google adwordsAt the very beginning of building a website, you need to learn well about the competition of your product. Enter one keyword or phrase, Google Keyword Tool will help you find related words or phrases. Thus, according to your human and financial resources, select proper keywords for your site.

2. Google Trends

google trendsGoogle Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. The horizontal axis of the main graph represents time, and the vertical is how often a term is searched for relative to the total number of searches, globally. Of course, you can select regions and years according to your needs.


Besides, Google Trends can also help you to compare the trends of searches between two or more terms, separating terms with comma.


3. Google Insights

google insightOn August 5, 2008, Google launched Google Insights for Search, a more sophisticated and advanced service displaying search trends data. Unlike Google Trends, Google Insights for Search provides a visual representation of regional interest on a country’s map. It displays top searches and rising searches that may help with keyword research. Results can be narrowed down with categories that are displayed for each search terms. Test drive the tool here.

google insights

4. SEO Quake

SEOquake is a popular and handy analytic seo-tool for Firefox, Chrome and Opera browsers. It helps to obtain information about any site for a wide range of parameters such as page rank, Google index, Alexa and many others. Keyword Density tool serves to demonstrate a number of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page. SEOquake has a parameter that highlights noffolow links.

seo quake

5. SearchStatus

search statusSearchStatus is a toolbar extension for Firefox and SeaMonkey that allows you to see how any and every website in the world is performing. Designed for the highly specialized needs of search engine marketers, this toolbar provides extensive search-related information about a site, all conveniently displayed in one discreet and compact toolbar.

The SearchStatus extension appears at the bottom of the browser on the status bar. If you choose to view backward links for a particular page, they open in new tabs in the same browser window.

6. Google Analytics

google analyticsGoogle Analytics is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website.

Track Visitors

GA can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, e-mail marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents.

Query Terms

GA can collect query terms which visitors use to reach your site. You will get inspiration to target new keywords for your site from these collected terms which you might not pay attention to.

Besides, GA can also offer other information about your site, such as landing pages, exit pages, page views, bounce rate, and new visits, etc. GA is the most widely used website statistics service, just have a wonderful experience now.

7. Google Webmaster Tool

Google Webmaster Tools is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. Meanwhile, you can check “Search Queries” led to your site, and dig new keywords for the site, and “Links to your site” tool tells who links the most, your most linked content, and how your data is linked.

While Google webmaster tools is a must use for your SEO, don’t forget to check out Bing’s new webmaster tools, where, among other things, helps you to fix on-page SEO problems on the fly.

8. Backlink Watch

This is a backlinks research tool, which can list at most 1000 backlinks for any site your want to check. Besides backlinks URL, it gives you Anchor Text, PR, OBL, and Flag.

backlink watch

9. Copyscape

copy scapeCopyscape is a free plagiarism checker. The software lets you detect duplicate content and check if your articles are original. This is particularly an excellent tool if you are accepting guest post on your blog/site.

10. HTTP Request and Response Header

View request and response header of a HTTP connection, HTTP status codes and HTML source.

http request


With all these ten free SEO tools in 2012, you can target your keywords properly, analyze your competitors easily, and improve your site quality quickly.

More SEO Stuff:

Karen Lee

This post is written by Karen Lee. She is an SEO at YOYBUY.COM. YOYBUY is one of the oldest and most reliable taobao shopping agents in China, helping foreign people buy items from almost all Chinese online shops (B2C).

61 thoughts on “Top Ten Free SEO Tools in 2012

  • Google Analytics is one of my favorite tool.I can say this is too good.
    Karen i can simply say you have make here a great mash-up of some awesome tools.
    search status is Very good Firefox plugin which tells us about page-rank of page.

    Thanks for your great work.I appreciate your post.

    • Thanks for your comment.
      Google Analytics is an necessary tool for any SEOer, make full use of it, we can get more valuable information for our site.
      Search status provide us a quick way to get page-rank of page.

  • Keep an eye on your metrics. Adjust, prosper. I am more appreciative of awesome tools like these now after months of ignoring metrics. To my detriment of course 😉

    Thanks Karen!


    • Great, thanks for your comment.

      I still believe these tools are useful if you make full use of them.

  • My favourite tools are Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. “Backlink Watch” has caught my interest, too: it could be useful, if you want to monitor your backlinks or simply need to see where your competitors get theirs. I haven’t found the link, though.

    Ciao from Italy

    • Hi. Just Google it 🙂 or go here > backlinkwatch dot com

    • i thinks you have found backlinks watch, have you? by the way, thanks DiTesco

  • I have used Google Adwords but never used Google Trends till now, looks interesting. Some of the keyword trends are displayed in Keyword tool, is it any different than that?

    • You’d better try Google Trends, which allow you to select regions and time accordingly, meanwhile, it will help you compare multiple query terms easily.

  • I’m very weary of putting too many eggs in the SEO basket, but some great tools, nonetheless. I’ve always been quiet fond of Google Webmaster Tools – it provides some great value even for non SEO purposes (like finding 404 errors that I can redirect for ease-of-use for visitors – extremely helpful). As for the rest, I’ve heard of the majority, and will tackle those that I haven’t (like that Firefox plugin!). Great post!

    • Thanks, Google Webmaster Tool is really awesome, which will give us valuable infomation for our site improvement.
      Hope you try other recommended tools here, you will be surprised.

  • Wow, nice collection of SEO-related tools! I’ve used several of them already, but I’m going to be checking out the SEO Quake extension and Backlink Watch. they look very useful! Also, thanks for mentioning Bing Webmaster Tools – I’ve been meaning to look into this!

    • Glad to hear that, just try these that you didnot used before, and waiting for your good news.

  • Not surprising that a number of these tools come directly from Google or that Google Analytics is certainly not the only tool helpful in this area. Thanks for sharing some of the other lesser known tools too.

  • Almost all tools was very important for a blogger who deals with SEO, I use above mentioned all google tools very often. Google is king of SEO 🙂

    • yes, suitable tools will make our work easier, and they will give some values for us to improve our site.

  • How powerful your site’s SEO is going to be depends a lot on what kind of tools you have in your arsenal. I think you have covered all those tools without using which SEO can’t be improved.


    • right, we need to select proper tools for ourselves among hundreds of SEO tools, which will help us to improve user experience, and give us nice advice on how to get ideal rank on Search Engine.

  • Great tools. I appreciate all of these tools.because i can’t improve the ranking of our site without SEO tools. and I still believe these tools are useful if you make full use of them.thanks for sharing.

    • Glad to hear that, hope these tools help you to get ideal rank on search engine.
      Lucky you!

  • Great collection of tools …very useful share
    Seo is really an awesome job to do and i love it
    Thanks for sharing this useful information with us

    • Thank you for your reply, hope these tools give you lots of help.

  • I use most of these and have come to count on them for my SEO needs. As for #8 Backlink Watch, I am not a big fan of that site. They don’t update very often or something. I try them almost weekly but I always shows that I have the same 791 backlinks. I have even removed some links from one of my other sites to see if they would still show up and they do. So for almost the last 3 months the number has stayed the same. Not sure why that is.

    Thanks for the tips!

    • Thank you Joe. Actually, we cannot depend on only one tools for any research. there are some other backlink research tools for you: ahrefs (dot) com, and bing webmaster tools are also excellent tools.

  • Hey Karen, You are a great writer and the information on SEo is always welcomed by me. In all these 10 tools copyspace I always use to make my blog away from copyright case.

    • Thank you, i will share more useful information about SEO. Thanks for your comment again.

  • Great list, but you only mentioned online tools, there were many other free offline tools like Cleverstats google rank checker, traffic travis etc which are great!

    • Thanks, it will be fantastic if you’d like to share more offline tools with us.

  • nice sharing, i never use google insight and google trend. i don’t know how to use it

    • Hi Juan, i strongly recommend you Google Insights, where you can find your keyword related “Top Searches” and “Rising searches”, which are valuable for you.

  • I’m tired of putting in a lot of effort into the SEO basket, you seem to have a great bunch of tools theres. I’ve always been using Google Webmaster Tools, I like the fact that it provides some great insights even for non SEO purposes (like finding 404 errors that I can redirect). As for the rest, I’m quite aware of the majority, and will tackle those that I haven’t (that Firefox plugin seems worth a shot). Thanks!

  • Hello Karen , these are really very helpful blogging tool for free. But among all the above free tools for seo “Google analytics” is the best free seo tool which help me to track my visitors location and my readers choice. Thanks Karen for this great post

    • Thanks for your feedback. You’d better try “Google Webmaster Tool”, which will give you more valuable information and some advice to improve your website.

  • Thanks for sharing offline tools. Would you like to share more with us?

  • Pretty good list you have. Thanks for sharing it btw, as I have just explored them, such as the Backlink Watch and Search Status tools. It’s pretty useful for SEO’s and markerters online.

    • Great to hear that, hope other tools can also give you some help.

  • Today there is huge competition in every field be it online or offline. The basic priority of any business is to understand the market, his/her competitors and the customers. Here we are concerned with online business which have to maintain websites. For that one has to be aware of his market trends and his competitors. There are a number of things which one needs to do while maintaining a website. Mostly it is a paid thing but if you do a bit of a research you can do it yourself and free of cost. This is what the blog deals with. The blog highlights ten free SEO tools using which you can not only maintain your website but also keep track of your customers.

    • Excellent, thanks a lot for your comment, hope these ten free SEO tools will give you some help.

  • I would like to extend a vote of thanks for the useful information you have shared with us. I have personally used Google Keyword Tool, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tool and little did I know that there are also such other useful tools. Thanks you once again for sharing and for making me learn something today.

    • Thanks for your interest in my writing, i will share more valuable information on iblogzone.

  • Hey Karen, I appreciate your effort that you managed to put up a list of these free SEO tools. It will be really helpful for all those people who use the SEO tools and that too free of cost. Among these my favourite is the ‘Backlink Watch’ tool. Thank you so much for the post.

    • Glad to hear that, thank you so much. BTW, the other tools are also useful, please try.

  • Hi Karen,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this valuable information with us. I personally feel that, Google Trends and Google Insights are too good. HTTP Request and Response Header is a solution for the problems frequently faced by netizens.


    • Thanks, personally, Google Keyword Tool, Google Trends and Google Insights give me a lot of inspiration.

  • Hi Karen,
    Great review of the free tools used for SEO purposes.I have used all of them and loving what they provide.One can easily use these tools and make things work for their better.

    • Correct, proper tools always make our work easier. I’m glad that you like these tools.

  • I’ve been using quite a lot of them, particularly CopyScape, Google Adwords and Google Analytics. This is the first time I’ve heard about Google Trends and Backlinks Watch. They intrigued me. Google Trends looks like it could help you find some really great ideas based on what people are talking about in your particular niche. The Backlinks Watch might just be exactly what I need to make sure that my blog doesn’t get slapped by Penguin. Thanks, Karen!

    • Definitely, Google Trends always give me lots of inspiration, and CopyScape help me to check whether the content is original or not.

  • I would like to add SemRush as a part of free seo tools.

    • Thanks so much, awesome tool, but i have to pay money for more valuable information, so it is not totally free. Thanks anyway.

  • Thanks for sharing offline tools. Would you like to share more with us?

  • thanks you for the info.. i already used all the free tools and is work for my SEO blog.

  • Google Analytics is one tool that telling us How many traffic comes on my page and which one site gives the more traffic. That website gives the more traffic for our website that more work that website and gather more and more traffic on our website. SearchStatus provide us a quick way to get page-rank of page. Thanks for sharing valuable article!!

    • Yes, all these free tools provide me valuable information about my site, and make my job easier. I will share more tools if i find some like these.

  • Thanks so much for your feedback. I will share more valuable information on

  • The free tools that Google has to offer should definitely be taken advantage of. Some people that are new to the world of small business internet marketing sometimes over look them since they don’t fully understand them so it’s good to see them explained first.

  • Thanks for your comment. i will try my best to share more valuable information here.

  • Be nice to get a few more free tools apart from google ones, in particular a free rank tracking app would be good.

    • Yes, actually, i am looking for this kind of tools for a while, but failed, do you have any recommendation?

  • SEO Pressor is another great WP plugin also called as Mandatory plugin for WP.

  • Thank you ,I was searching for free seo tools. I thinking of trying google keyword tool and insight.

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