It is partly human nature and partly common business practice to know what your competitors are up to. If your competitor is doing better than you, for example if they are ranking higher in the search engines, you probably want to get an idea of how they are doing it. This article offers some free and harmless tips to spy on your competitor's website. The information will also be useful for people who might want to avoid their competitors know what they are doing on the internet.

Sometimes companies will start another website with a different domain to drive traffic to their main site. Or they might start another website for an advertising campaign or to test a new service or product. Often companies will host the site on the same server as their main website. It is easy to find out about these other sites by using a tool like You Get Signal which will display all the domains hosted on a server.

Another way to find what other sites your competitor might own is by searching on their Adsense publishing code id, if they are running Adsense on their site. To find the code, go to the site, and click on View and then Page Source. Search on "pub" and you will get their publishing code. Stick this into Google and you will find all of the sites that is using the publishing code.

The same thing can be done with Google Analytics where the code is UA.

Keyword spy

There are several sites that can show you what keywords your competitors are ranking for and approximately how much they are paying for them. is one such website and it provides a wealth of information, all for free. Just type in the domain of your competitors and you will get a bunch of information such as:

- daily ad spend
- ad position versus number of advertisers
- top paid keywords
- top organic competitors
- any other domains the company owns

Inbound links

One of the main contributing factors to Google's ranking algorithm is the number of inbound links a site has. Yahoo has a toold which can show you the inbound links any website has.


Checking out the site on Alexa can also provide some useful information, such as the top keyword searches for the site.

Keyword rankings

You can also enter your competitors website into Google keyword tool and it will provide suggested keywords for the site. Information which you could also utilize when choosing keywords to target.

While it is important to not spend all of your time thinking about what your competitors are doing, it useful to pay attention a little. If your competitor gets a jump in the rankings, it might be a good idea to try and see how they are doing it and if you can replicate or even improve on their success.