I’m struggling with one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make: Firefox or Chrome? I currently use Firefox at work and I’ve installed all the add-ons a person could ever need to optimize SEO performance. It is even dressed-up for Christmas with a festive holiday themed skin. So why even think of switching? I keep hearing about the improved performance with Chrome, especially for Google tools. But improved speed doesn’t necessarily mean it would be the better choice when it comes to managing SEO.
Last year, Joe wrote a post about 5 Helpful SEO Firefox Plugins so I decided to do some research into what SEO extensions Chrome has to offer. The results were a bit overwhelming. Hundreds of bloggers had posted their lists of the top 2, 7, 24, or even 71 SEO extensions for Chrome. I spent my day sifting through their recommendations and testing out the different tools. Thankfully with Chrome, you don’t have to restart your browser every time you install an extension.
Below are the five SEO tools I think will be most helpful in my day-to-day SEO activities. Some you will probably be familiar with and some may be new, but all will be beneficial to managing Search Engine Optimization.
Mozbar is the tool I use most frequently for SEO management so I was ecstatic to find out (albeit a few months late) that SEOmoz rebuilt the tool for Chrome. As you can see below, the Chrome toolbar is basically identical to the Firefox version.
Features of the Chrome Mozbar include:
- Link and domain metrics for each page visited
- Ability to display toolbar at top or bottom of page
- Access to SERP overlay even when toolbar is hidden
- Highlighting of NoFollow links
The only issue I’ve encountered with the Mozbar is in the Mac version of Chrome it covers content at the top of the web page you are viewing. I have to constantly close and reopen the toolbar when I go to different websites. After getting more experience with Chrome, I’m anxious to see if this will still rank #1 on my list of SEO extensions.
2. Chrome SEO
Chrome SEO is the most used SEO extension for the browser. If over 150,000 people think this is a useful tool I figured I had to take a look. This tool provides the information any SEO manager needs to see on a daily basis such as pages indexed, backlinks, and traffic and rank.
Other current features of Chrome SEO include:
- Highlight NoFollow links
- Social Bookmark counts
- Cached versions of the page
- Domain details like DNS, IP, Whois, Server Location
- Detects Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml
- Keyword Research tool
The keyword research tool is currently in alpha, but the next version will return results from the Google Adwords Keyword Tool with traffic data, competition, and CPC information. I’m looking forward to seeing this tool develop and think it might have the potential to become my most used SEO tool on Chrome.
3. SEO Site Tools Extension
SEO Site Tools is the most extensive tool I have found in my research. You can view parameters in six different categories:
- External Page Data - View links, rank, indexed pages, and traffic data.
- Page Elements - View meta data, headings and headers, anchor text, and code verification statuses.
- Social Media - Provides information from Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Google Buzz, StumbleUpon, REddit, and del.icio.us.
- Page Terms / Tools - Includes browser size, page load speed test, plagiarism checker, and keyword search volume/competition tools.
- Server / Domain Info - GeoLocation, WhoIs and DNS information, Hosting Company, and Sitemap.xml detection.
- Suggestions - Provides recommendations for SEO improvement.
All you have to do is click to expand the category you want to view.
Search Engine Journal dubbed the Site Tools extension “The SEO Tool That May Make You Switch To Chrome.” I couldn’t agree more.
4. Search Cloudlet
Search Cloudlet, another one of my favorite SEO tools, has crossed over to Google Chrome. This may come as a surprise, but keyword research is not at the top of my list of favorite activities. Any tool that can help make this task easier is much appreciated. After you install this extension, any time you enter a search query into the Google, Yahoo, or Twitter interfaces the relevant keywords will appear at the top of the results page.
You can refine your query by adding or excluding search terms. To add, click the left side of the term, and to exclude click the right. This tag cloud gives you a great visual of the SERP for any keyword and is helpful in uncovering keyword associations you may not think of on your own.
5. Awesome Screenshot
I discovered Awesome Screenshot today and have spent more time than I care to publically admit playing around with this tool. No more Command+Shift+4 for me! This extension gives you the option of capturing the entire page, the visible portion, or a selection of the page. It then opens the screenshot in a new browser where you can edit the image and either save it as a file or upload it as a shareable link. My only wish would be for a copy and paste option as well.
This tool would be beneficial for marking recommended changes to a website and sending them to a web designer… or doodling on screenshots for blog posts.
I was impressed with how many SEO extensions are already available for Chrome and pleased that many of my favorites from Firefox are included. There are still plenty of Google Chrome SEO Extensions out there I haven’t gotten a chance to experience. The five I listed above are my standouts so far.
If you have spent more time utilizing these tool or have any favorites you want to point out please post them below!
Bethany is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.