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SEO Competitor Tools: SpyFu

In a previous post, I wrote about using SEMRush to spy on your competitor’s online activities.

Today, I’d like to highlight another competitive monitoring tool we use at Braveheart Digital for clients: SpyFu.

While SpyFu is known as a tool for monitoring your competitor’s PPC campaigns, it is much more than that; the site now features a very robust set of SEO tools.

In addition to the organic keyword list and inbound rankings sections that you find on other sites, SpyFu also offers a ranking history that proves incredibly useful in conducting competitive research.

Here are a few examples of how this tool can be used at both the domain and keyword level:

Hubspot Example

In the SEMRush post, I explained how you can find out the different keywords that Hubspot is currently ranking for. SpyFu allows you to take that date one step further and see how those rankings have changed over time.

As you can see in the chart below, SpyFu allows you to examine Hubspot rankings over multi-years. SpyFu also shows how specific major Google updates have impacted Hubspot’s organic search rankings.


By clicking on a keyword or phrase, like “Inbound Marketing,” you can see how the top 10 sites that are currently ranked for the phrase have performed over the last year.

In the graph below, we can see that Hupsot and Wikipedia have owned the top two positions for the phrase “Inbound Marketing” for the last two years. We can also see that Marketo (the purple line) appears to have been hit by Pando 4.0, and they have dropped out of the top ten since June. That is the kind of insight that you cannot get from looking at a search results page.


Key Phrase: Tampa Bay Rays Hat

The rankings for “Inbound Marketing” have not changed that much over the past two years, when compared to something like “Tampa Bay Rays Hat.”

What I find most interesting about the rankings for this phrase is seeing how much the Google updates have dictated who is on page one.

Of the ten sites ranked on page one on May 1st of 2013, only mlb.com and lids.com remain. That is an incredibly high and unexpected volatility for this kind of search phrase.

If we had a client in this market, it would be critical to know who was winning and losing. For example what is dickssportinggoods.com doing that allowed them to move from position 51+ on September 1st to position 8 on October 1st?


Cached Copies of Results Page

Sometimes you need to know more than who is ranking for a term today. You want to know where a particular competitor used to rank during a specific period of time.

SpyFu has that information; their incredible trove of data includes top 50 Google rankings dating as far back as October 2008 as seen below. SpyFu’s collection of data is really a game-changing resource for marketers.


With tools like SEMRush and SpyFu, you can discover your competitor’s tricks of trade and apply them to your own website. Contact us today to learn how understanding your competitor’s SEO strategies will increase your traffic, leads, and revenue.