There 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
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:
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
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:
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:
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:
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
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.
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:
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!