If you’re a fan of AdWords, Google’s popular paid search system, you’d probably love to get a behind-the-scenes view of how your competitors (or your clients’ competitors) are using it. Before you hire a rogue operative to infiltrate the competition’s headquarters, spend some time surfing GoogSpy. But be warned, it can be addictive!
GoogSpy is one of my favourite (albeit arcane) research tools, and I still can’t believe it is both legal and free. GoogSpy has analyzed (and archived) millions of Google search results and allows you to do research into how other companies are using the AdWords system.
You can browse by company or browse by search term or just type in a company name, URL, or search term you are interested in researching.
If you type in a search term, for instance, you will see the URL of the different Websites that the AdWords ads link to for that term.
Click on one of the advertisers’ URLs and you will be presented with the various search terms this advertiser is ranked in the top 10 for, the ad display ranking, and the text of their Google ads. You can also find out if this advertiser pays for any other Google search terms, what those search terms are, and get a list of their competitors (defined in this case as other advertisers competing for the same search term).
Back on the main results page, click on the search term and it will show you the advertisers that pay for that search term on Google, along with the copy of their ad and URL the ad links to. You will also see a list of other search terms that companies using that keyword use as keywords in AdWords.
One of the most valuable aspects of GoogSpy for Canadian Internet marketers is that it reveals what advertisers are buying even if you aren’t located in the geographical region that their ads will be displayed in.
The best way to understand the power of GoogSpy is to spend some time experimenting with it. I find that the more I use it, the more I appreciate its value.
Next to conducting corporate espionage, GoogSpy is one of the best ways to do competitive AdWords research.