SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has become a huge part of a webmaster's day to day work. Not of all webmasters, as it is quite possible to outsource SEO to companies. But if you are a starting webmaster, or on a tight budget, you do not have much choice but to do most of the work on your own. While it is possible to ignore SEO outright and hope for the best, you can increase your chances of running a successful website with the right optimizations and monitoring.
The things that I look at first are essentials, like a page's Pagerank or Alexarank. While they have lost much of their appeal in recent years, they still are helpful in getting a first impression of a site and a site's progress over time. You simply know that something's wrong if the Pagerank drops from 6 to 4, or if the Alexa rank drops considerably.
Swoosty SEO Tools is an extension for the Firefox web browser that displays both the Pagerank and the Alexarank in the Firefox status bar so that they are visible all the time.
But those are just two of the features of the extension. A right-click on the menu button in the status bar displays a menu packed with additional features and options.
The features are divided into service or search engine specific information, for instance the number of backlinks in Google, the indexed pages in Bing or the Alexa traffic details.
Links to several other services are provided, for instance to McAfee Site Advisor, GoingUp which analyzes the website or a Whois lookup.
And then you have got site specific features that are executed by the extension directly. You can take a look at a site's robots.txt, check the keyword density of a specific page, generate a link report or highlight a specific keyword or all nofollow links on the page.
The majority of features you'd expect from a SEO analysis tool are there, even though most of them are not that comfortable to reach. An option to place some of the features as icons in the status bar or in the right-click context menu would improve this considerably.
So is something missing? More direct information in the status bar, for instance a site's compete rank could be interesting for some SEOs, and a link to Google's Webmaster Tools section and maybe some Analytics services would also be nice.
Swoosty SEO Tools is nevertheless a near complete SEO tool for the Firefox web browser. You can install the add-on directly from the official Firefox add-on repository over at Mozilla.
Update: The author has removed the extension from Mozilla's Add-on repository. Check out 10 Firefox SEO extensions for alternatives.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.