As part of my updating and working through new material, I've come across a number of small sites and tools that are mainly of interest to webmasters and marketers.
GoTo Database Info
Search Spy is a database of search terms available for desktop use. Using the program is straightforward. You enter a term, and the program scans to find matches. You can sort results by count or by keyword.
The data is gathered principally by sampling the live search displays at MetaCrawler and WebCrawler, though data from some other live displays is also included. The sampling program runs every 30 seconds, every day.
The program comes in three versions. The Lite edition contains 50,000 terms. The Classic edition contains 250,000 terms, and the Pro edition contains a month's worth of data, or 3 million terms.
I compared results from Search Spy to the publicly-available GoTo database (see second link, above, for more information on this) and felt that you really need to use the Pro edition to get what feels like a comfortable sample web searches.
Be aware that searches can take several minutes to complete, when using the Pro dataset. It’s the sort of program you want to run on a separate computer, if one is available.
One handy feature is the meta tag generator. You can review the list of top terms, select those you think are important, and the program will generate a meta keywords tag for you.
The Lite version is free; Classic is $30, and Pro is $95. There is also a subscription version of Pro that is updated every two months, for a year, priced at $295. The program is available for Windows 95/98/NT.
Overall, most people will probably find the online GoTo database to do everything Search Spy does, but without a price tag. Some people may find the product worthwhile as a backup to GoTo's results, especially for more obscure terms where GoTo's own sample is small. And should GoTo's results be taken offline, then Search Spy would be a good substitute.
This freeware package taps into various live search displays, allowing you to create your own database of search terms. Options include saving the most popular searches and saving the current day's new searches.
This is a free Unix log analysis program that provides search terms support for nearly 60 search engines, including some non-US services such as Virgilio and Fireball.
The log analysis program is notable for its graphical displays of crawler activity from the major search engines. It does not do search term analysis, however.
Various search engines offer ways to integrate their search boxes into your web site. Now LookSmart offers a way for webmasters to tap into some or all of its directory listings, with an offer of free advertising on the service as an additional incentive to participate. The step-by-step instructions take about 10 minutes to complete, and then HTML code for the SmartLinks panel is sent via email for insertion on your web pages.
Enter a URL, and this free web-based service will report back on the number of times and percentages various keywords appear within it. Remember, keyword density and frequency as a ranking criteria is just one part of the relevancy equation, but some webmasters may still find this a useful service.
This is a very cool service that allows you to enter a search term, then see banner ads from various major search engines that appear in response. It's a fast way to see who is buying keyword-linked ads across the various services. To use the service, look for the "Bannerstake" section on the lower left-hand side of the home page. Thomson & Thomson, a trademark and copyright services firm offers the service.
U.S. Trademark Boolean Search Page
Enter a few words, and you can quickly discover if a US trademark has been registered containing them. It's free, easy and comes courtesy of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The link above is to the "Combined Marks" search page, which is very easy to use.
News Index News Ticker
News Index is a search engine that crawls selected news web sites. It is now providing a small, Java news ticker that site owners can place on their web sites. Simply enter the search terms relating to a news topic, and appropriate HTML code appears on screen for your use.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!