SEO itself is a daunting task, but thankfully there are tools to make it a lot easier.
Here are some of the essential tools that I recommend. Each performs different tasks, and therefore these tools are all unique to each other (with some overlap):
- Inbound Link Quality (ILQ) Rating Tool: This Firefox plugin displays in your bottom status bar and displays the quality of inbound links. ILQ is measured based on the number of links in dir.yahoo.com, DMOZ, .edu and .gov links, domain age, and Alexa ranking, as seen below:
(Can you guess what page this is referencing?)
- SEOpen: This comprehensive Firefox plugin can be accessed in a toolbar and/or right-click menu feature. It offers many search-engine specific data for Google, Yahoo and MSN, such as backlinks and indexed pages among both search engines, cache/related/translated/PR for Google, and domain links for Yahoo and MSN. It also provides Alexa information: page overview, related pages, site traffic, and backlinks. If you want to check multiple tools at once, you can utilize the Mass Check option (but be warned: it opens many tabs). And finally, in the screenshot below, you can access additional useful information, such as DMOZ, link analysis, keyword density, size of the page, HTML validation, server headers, the site’s robots.txt file, page archives, and WhoIs information.
- Search Status: Viewed in the status bar, this unique extension gives you both Google PageRank and Alexa rating, in addition to several other useful tools: highlighting nofollow links, a link report (total, internal, external, followed, nofollow, secure), meta tags, archive.org pages, whois information, robots.txt, keyword density, a keyword highlighting utility, indexed pages on Google/Yahoo/MSN, and backward links (page and domain) from those search engines.
- SEO for Firefox: This embedded plugin shows a lot of the same market data in a unique way: either in a popup window (shown below) or embedded in the Google and Yahoo results. Users can obtain data such as the PR, age of domain, number of del.icio.us links, number of Yahoo/MSN links, Technorati ranking, Alexa rating, number of cached pages, DMOZ entries, number of Bloglines subscribers, number of Wikipedia entries, and number of dir.yahoo.com links.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list. There are many other extensions available, and I’ll likely cover these in later blog posts. If you haven’t already, check these out.