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Optimization - Free Google tools

There's no doubt that Google has captured the hearts and minds of surfers and webmasters alike in recent years. Google tools have also become a common sight, thanks to the Google Web APIs service.

Using tools such as Google Web API (Application Program Interface), software developers can query the billions of pages in Google's databases from their own programs, which has led to some amazing web applications being developed and released to the public.

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Here's a selection that I'll be updating from time to time of the more webmaster-oriented tools that can assist with search engine optimization:

Google Sitemaps  is a crawling system provided by Google that allows webmasters to communicate directly with the search engine, providing  data regarding new pages and changes to existing pages. Google states that Sitemaps will provide fresher results.

Google Suggest displays related queries *before* you hit the search button via a dropdown menu below the search box - and will also display the number of results before you search.

Google Dancer is unlike most dance (Google update) monitoring applications in that it runs from your desktop instead of as a remotely hosted application. The lite version (free) automatically locates data centers if they move. It also features an automatic self-updating system.

Rank Pulse is an online tool that provides a look at the daily fluctuations of Google results based on the movements of rankings of sites in relation to keywords that the company monitors.

Google Alert can keep track of what the web is saying about a particular person, company or web site.

Similar page checker. This free tool allows you to check the similarity between two pages.

Google Dance tool. The Google "Dance" (update) can be identified when the backlink counts of major sites are different on several specific Google data centers. This tool updates every 60 minutes and you can also check your own backlinks on the data centers.

Google Fight. Wondering which keywords for a particular subject are most popular? Google Fight allows you to enter 2 keywords or phrases and compare the results.

Goofresh is a tool to search for sites added in the last 24 hours, 48 hours, 7 days or last 30 days.

Google Tool. Search for results on one or more of Google's 15 data centers.

Google history. Find out in what year an event occurred (post 1800)

Google Pos. Discover the ranking for a particular site for a keyword or keyphrase.

GoogleRankings. Another tool for checking position based on keywords.

The PageRank Calculator is designed to mimic the workings of the PageRank algorithm to calculate an estimated score.

Google - Yahoo Comparison. Allows for a side by side search of both Google and Yahoo.

Touchgraph Google Browser - visually displays the linkages between sites; quite an amazing application.

Google Ultimate Interface - Google's tools and options displayed on a single page.

Proximity search - Allows you to search for two words within one, two or three words of each other.

Pagerank calculator. The results produced by this calculator are related to raw PageRank and are not equivalent to the values shown in the toolbar

Back Link Tracking. Free utility for checking search engines for the number of back links to any specific URL over time

Google Tools. Enter your URL and the total pages crawled, listed and backlinks to your site will be displayed.

Google Count. A Google ranking reporting tool. Requires a (free) Google Web API Key.

Poodle Predictor. Enter your URL above to see how search-engine friendly your pages are and whether they can be easily crawled. Provides Diagnostics View, Source-code View and  Header-Meta View.

Find Forward - aka "The Uber Engine". A cool Google search tool that allows you to refine results based on whether your search is a question, date related, if you want blog/non-blog results, files only and many other options. A very interesting feature is the search of the Google (Dmoz) directory - results are complete with thumbnails of the various sites. Find Forward also includes a nice meta-search feature.

Google Dance Tool. Allows you to compare search results on up to 12 data centers and/or 15 countries. Also provides a free subscription service that will alert you when a major dance has begun and webmasters can also apply to have the dance tool on their site for free.

Google AdSense Sandbox Tool
This is a handy little tool to ascertain Google AdSense ads based on content or keywords. Enter the URL or keywords and up to 20 sample AdSense will be generated.

Future PageRank
This tool will query Google's various data centers to check for any changes in PageRank

While none of these tools will get you a number one ranking, they are useful in researching your industry in relation to positioning and gaining a better understanding of how Google works.

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Related learning resources:

The importance of anchor text

Identifying Search Engine Spiders

Introduction to Meta-Tags

Title Tag guidelines

Search engine optimization & submission

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
Tutorials, web content, tools and software.
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