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Monday, October 01, 2012

Using Google Power Tools for Gathering Competitive Intelligence

"Gathering information about competitors can be relatively easy if you know where to look and what you're looking for, according to competitive-intelligence professionals." David Gibson, co-ordinator of the Toronto chapter of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP).
Interestingly, Google search is now the leader in helping you find what you want, when you want. It is no more a simple link finder--if one remembers those days when Yahoo and Hotbot were the market leaders in vertical searching, and Google was no where. Google is no more a competitor with any of those who tried their best to Bing or whatever (let alone its once proposed partner: Yahoo).

Google keeps adding power tools. Other than the general purpose of a search engine, some of these Google's tools are a powerful aid in gathering Web analytics (e.g., search within links, domain, titles, subject, etc.), some for gathering competitive intelligence / market research (see examples, below), so on and so forth. Additionally, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and many more Google applications are a major attraction for techies.

Google as a power search tool helps you in finding facts, figures and data. And the example here is finding competitive intelligence on any given subject. The list of tools Google offers includes (located in Google's vertical sidebars or in the main menu):
  • Trends on a subject of example Market Research
  • News on the subject of market research in the last 24 hours (you can change the time, if you like)
  • Images, that are limited to a subject of your choice, e.g., Market Research--you can change to default results, i.e., relevance
  • Limiting search to a specific Domain name, e.g., .biz, and market research
  • Discussions, on Market Research
  • Finance in relation to market research -- one can limit to related companies
  • Books (with a free preview option), for example on Market Research
  • Chel Wolverton - Google Reader - Public - Questions to Ask Competitive Intelligence Software Providers - Cooperative Intelligence
  • 5 Lonely Google Applications For Competitive Intelligence, By Ian Smith
  • Business Intelligence vs. Competitive Intelligence, Jan Steyl
  • Culture of secrecy keeping Canadians in the dark, Toronto Star
  • On the same shelf:

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