My SEO “Must Have” Extensions for Firefox

20070520-firefox_logoThere are a lot of different Firefox extensions, plugins, scripts and more for doing SEO, but which ones really make a difference? Here’s my list of “must haves” for doing SEO with Firefox.

My SEO “must haves” for Firefox

1) Firebug

Firebug is a powerful web development tool that helps you to “see” your HTML, CSS and Javascript as you browse around your webpage. It’s perfect for checking the semantic HTML structure of your site is exactly right. Clicking “Inspect” will show the exact code for the section of the webpage you’re mousing over. Really powerful stuff for making sure the changes you’ve asked for have been implemented!

firebug-21

Download the latest version (last updated Feb 23rd, 2009) of Firebug – which works with Firefox 3.

2) Speed up your web pages with YSlow (Firebug extension)

YSlow is a Yahoo developer tool that extends Firebug to allow you to analyse web pages from a page load / performance point of view. The best part is that YSlow tells you why the page is slow and what elements to change to improve performance. Check out this “review” of my website:

yslow for Firebug

I *think that the “F” in “Performance Grade F” stands for FAIL. Anyway, if you want to add YSlow! to Firebug – download it here. (The 85k download takes a fair while. I’m sure there’s an irony in there somewhere..)

3) Get Greasemonkey

Greasemonkey allows you to customise the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript.You need Greasemonkey for Joost’s “Show those Nofollows” script which we’ll look at next. There’s a wealth of Greasemonkey scripts available at Userscripts.org – I’ve sorted that link so it displays the most popular script downloads. Amazing that the 6th most popular download says “Do not download this code”. Hmm.

4) Show those Nofollows!

Joost hosts an excellent little script for Greasemonkey, the imaginatively titled “Nofollow display Greasemonkey script“. Install it to be able to quickly identify Nofollows on any webpage you browse inside Firefox.

5) Show Class=”robots-nocontent”

If nofollows are “miniscule compared to all the links” on the web, the number of class=”robots-nocontent” instances out there must be practically infinitesimal. That said, you might want to be able to see areas on a webpage that make use of this class attribute. I’m still yet to find a Greasemonkey script for this so I have a method using the Chrone Edit Plus extension which makes your webpage look like this:

nocontent

6) Google Global Firefox Extension (V2)

Redfly Marketing’s Firefox extension is such a powerful little tool. With Google Global installed you can quickly switch between Google search TLD’s (.co.uk, .com, .ca, .de etc) with a simple right mouse button click:

google global firefox plugin

Get Google Global from Redfly Marketing here.

7) User agent switcher

Changing User Agents in Firefox is a very nessecary part of SEO diagnostic work on most dynamic websites. Why? Well sometimes webmasters *accidentally serve different content to browsers, search bots and so on.

If you want to find out how to switch User Agents in Firefox, try my Youmoz post here. There’s a much easier way thanks to User Agent Switcher:

user agent switcher

As Anne recommends, you can download User Agent Switcher here and you can download a lot of User Agents in an XML file here. You can test that you’re correctly switching UA’s by checking out MSDN’s website as Googlebot. Why they bother doing that I’ll never know. Then again, noone seems to care that Yahoo still cloak links from Google. :-)

*May not be accidental

8) Live HTTP Headers

Live HTTP Headers shows you exactly what’s being sent in the client request and what server header responses are recieved as you click around. There are lots of these tools around, but I like this one. Don’t know why – download it here.

live http headers firefox

9) Toolbars?

I know what you’re thinking, where are all the toolbars? I have Google Toolbar and that’s about it. There are so many of them for SEO. Some of my fellow SEOs at the office use the SEO toolbar from SEObook and I played with the SEOmoz toolbar for a while. They’re both useful in their own way, it’s just that I’m a little “old school” and prefer my own setup. That said, I’m a massive fan of the Web Developer Toolbar:

web developer toolbar

Download it here and enjoy hours of fun disabling Javascript, CSS, images and all sorts of other stuff. Still the best toolbar you could have as an SEO, in my humble opinion.

10) Ubiquity

Ubiquity is an amazingly powerful tool enabling Javascript powered keyboard shortcuts to run your Firefox session. There are a lot of really clever people out there who truly understand how to use it. I don’t. Apart from the “Edit” function of course:

ubiquity in webpage edit mode

I like this particular function so much because it saves a lot of time from making change specifications for websites. Just make the edits and take a screen capture with Snagit or Gimp in Ubuntu. All done.

I hope my list is useful, I know there might be some really great plugins and extensions that I may have missed, but this is definitely my favourite setup for Firefox and has been for a while now. Enjoy!



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26 thoughts on “My SEO “Must Have” Extensions for Firefox

  1. Sean Dillon says:

    Another tool for analysing client calls & server responses is the httpWatch look-a-like httpFox.
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6647
    Also how about SEO Quake
    http://www.seoquake.com/
    and WASP
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4001

  2. Facundo says:

    Nice list. I really love the Ubuntu subliminal messages!

    I think you re missing two other great SEO extensions: firebug’s SenSEO and SEOQuake.

  3. @Facundo – Hehe! Caught red handed. Just doing my bit for the pro-linux movement…

    Thanks for the heads ups on the Firebug extenstions – I’ll check them out :-)

  4. Darryl says:

    Great post I’ve picked up 4 of those myself after reading it!

    One that I’d hate to give up myself is SEOBook’s SEO for Firefox plugin – http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/seo-for-firefox.html

    It provides a lot of useful info from Google searches and is completely customisable in it’s display, as well as giving you a PR bar and highlighting nofollows!

    Cheers,

    Darryl

  5. Marc Beharry says:

    Yeah Darryl, the seobook toolbar has an excellent set of tools already, i am afraid to see what he adds in successive versions.

  6. Listorbit says:

    Yup SEO Book tool bar is awesome.

  7. Rather than Live HTTP headers I’ve started to use HTTP fox https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6647

    Its a tool bar where as Live HTTP headers opens in a a new window / tab…

    Still a good list didn’t know about Google Global Firefox Extension will be really useful!

  8. Great post, I’ll second that SEOQuake is missing that is by far the SEO plugin that I use the most. I also have SearchStatus installed as its handy to quickly right click to view the Google cache and see page PRs with little overhead.

  9. Scott Dylan says:

    Great post here! Very informative.

    Scott Dylan

  10. Alwin says:

    Really a very helpful post Thanks a lot dude. The Keysearch Analytics blog has tips, tricks, advice and case studies for the search marketing industry.

  11. @Scott – thanks Scott!

  12. Mary Cate says:

    Do these work with Flock?

  13. Thanks great list.

    The problem is four different browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Crome) and the different toolbars and plug-ins …

  14. Mediensache says:

    I use only Firebug + SeoQuake for Firefox

  15. Aaranged says:

    I find ConQuery invaluable. It allows you to highlight any word or phrase on a page and send it to any search engine you have configured:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/231

    Unfortunately, the developer website went poof, and there’s been no update for FF3. Fortunately, jiangdou has provided a 3-compatible version on his site:
    http://mozilla-ext-ja.way-nifty.com/blog/2008/09/conquery-173-a2.html

  16. Witi says:

    Hi, another nice Live HTTP Headers alternative is https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/966

  17. hey Richard, thanks for sharing all these tool, I picked 3 of them as I read through your post. The Yslow extension and Google global one both alone are worth every minute spent on your site. thank you.
    David

  18. @David Great to hear from you – glad you found the post valuable!

  19. Good post. You can also use Firebug to make change to the html & css and see them rendered in real time.

  20. Cedric says:

    Thanks Richard for this list. I have any other great extensions on my last post :
    http://www.iceranking.com/referencement/extensions-firefox-seo/

  21. Dave Davis says:

    Just got through reading all of your top posts of 2009. Brilliant stuff Richard. This being the last one to read, I realized that I never thanked you for the mention!

    Thanks so much!

    You have officially been moved into my “Must Read” folder in my feed reader. :)

  22. Hi Dave – thanks for the great feedback and have a great New Year!

  23. What about the SeoQuake firefox extension/plugin? You could have included that also!

  24. Roman says:

    Great list! I use most of them every day :) There is one more – FireLinkReport – http://www.softwarecocktail.com/projects/firelinkreport/ – allows to view all the links on the page in one list and quickly locate links on the page. Quite useful for checking website link profile.

  25. richardbaxter says:

    Thanks for the link, Roman. I’ll be sure to check that out tommorrow.

  26. celebrity says:

    thanks for this! i love firebug but didn’t realise how useful grease monkey would be. great list, thanks

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