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Site Explorer

Introduction to Site Explorer

Site Explorer is our competitive research tool that helps you reverse engineer your competitor’s organic rankings, backlink profiles, paid traffic performance – you name it.

How to use SE: Intro-1

This is possible thanks to our 662 million keywords search index and 35 trillion backlink database that power Site Explorer.

To put this data to good use, it’s important to understand how search works.

How to conduct effective searches

There are three parts to running a search in Site Explorer.

1. Protocol

You can choose between HTTP, HTTPS text, or HTTP + HTTPS. We recommend to almost always set it to HTTP + HTTPS.

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The only time you might do a single protocol search is if you’re looking for something very specific at an exact URL. Or when searching for pages that weren’t properly migrated from HTTP to HTTPS.

2. URL

Here you can enter a domain, subdomain, subfolder, or exact URL.

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3. Search mode

Determines the scope of your search based on the URL entered and will affect most metrics and reports you will see. There are four options to choose from:


Search an entire domain with all its subdomains.

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For example, if we search for, the scope of the project will include data from the entire root domain and also all subdomains like: “”, “”, “”, and so on.


Search a single domain or subdomain.

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For example, we may want to search for “” and exclude data from its subdomains (like “”).

Or perhaps analyze just a part of a website that lives on a subdomain like the one from above.


Search a website’s subfolders.

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For example, searching for “” would only show us data for pages that are housed under the /blog/ subfolder.

Exact URL

Get data for an exact URL

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An example of this would be if you want to search for a website’s homepage URL, or a specific blog post or landing page.


Pay attention whether your target uses the “www” in their URL.

For example, if we search for and set the mode to Exact URL mode, Site Explorer shows that their homepage ranks for 0 keywords and gets 0 search visits.

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This is not true, since Hubspot’s own page actually lives on a “www” subdomain. If we add it, we’re going to see metrics for its organic traffic performance.

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