One of our commenters suggested this tool in the top 3 SEO tools article. As you can see in my comment there, I was pretty unimpressed when I installed it in IE7 on Vista. True to my word, I then installed the app into firefox on the mac, here is my review :):
The SEO Quake toolbar/plugin is available directly from http://www.seoquake.com/
Iâ€™m installing into Firefox V188.8.131.52 on Mac OSX Leopard (10.5.2). The first window that the app presents me with is this one:
You have a choice of installing the Seobar version or the Seotoolbar version. I have a couple of minor observations with this which didnâ€™t instill me with huge amounts of confidence at first glance.
1. There was an obvious difference in the look and feel but I didnâ€™t really understand what the benefits were. There is a one-line explanation but it didnâ€™t make sense to me.
2. There was a spelling mistake (fickle I know but hey – Iâ€™m being honest)
I decided to go for the Seobar option (for no reason other than it appealed to me more).
ohhhhh more options 😀
Here I need to select whether I would like the Seobar to display horizontally or vertically. I really did want to install the horizontal version (so I wasnâ€™t losing either content or screen width) but decided that I wanted to be able to report on as much of the functionality as possible so selected the vertical option.
I then had to chose to load the site information on page load or when I would like to see it. I decided on the latter so as to only show what I want to see when I want to see it.
Wow – even more options (I donâ€™t remember being asked any of this on the IE install (which might be why I thought it was so poor) – Iâ€™ll have to revisit that and see if I missed something.
Here I am showing my plugin configuration, I have selected these plugins based on the information I am interested in, you will want to customize this to your own level of interest. The plugins are then installed and Firefox restarted:
On reload, I am directed to the SEOQuake changelog and the new menubar appears on the left hand side of the screen.
Here as an image of the SEObar populated after a quick check of the SEOQuake site:
There are a couple of things I noticed very quickly which I liked:
1. The menubar can be moved around the screen simply with a click (of the SQ icon)+move – great when itâ€™s obscuring something
2. The text is pretty small which means this box can be pretty small.
3. The simplicity meant that the details where easy to see and seek out exactly what you want to know.
â€¦.and a couple of things not so hot (or to be improved on):
1. A level of transparency in the bar would negate me needing to keep moving it to see whatâ€™s underneath. If I could see that I wasnâ€™t interested in that area of the page it would limit the hassle of it being there (although I could have chosen to install it into the toolbar instead).
2. Echoing #2 above, the text is small, this could be a limitation for those with sight difficulties (yep -they do SEO 😉 )
3. I think there is a lot of scope for making this a more interactive gadget through AJAX (perhaps use it as a feed reader?!)
So what information does it give me?
1. Google Pagerank
2. Number of Google indexed pages
3. Number of Inlinks in Yahoo (for the page)
4. Number of Inlinks in Yahoo (for the domain)
5. Number of Inlinks in MSN Live Search
6. Alexa Pagerank
7. Domain Age (Date of registration)
8. Technorati Inlinks
9. Whois Lookup (at whois.sc) – This doesnâ€™t work at the moment but it seems to be an issue with me or domaintools as doing it manually in the browser didnâ€™t work either.
10. Page source code
11. Robots.txt link
12. Sitemap boolean
13. Keyword density link
14. Links on page (number)
I also noticed that when viewing the main search engines, I had a host of (for me, annoying) additional functionality, although there is arguably a clear and massive benefit to having this when comparing search terms and competing sites:
With the great degree of forethought I obviously had when putting together the main HWD website (i.e – it was lucky), the Seobar was nicely off to the left and not obscuring any part of the content (nice!).
Overall I really like it – Iâ€™m still not sold on the info being on the browser, I like using sites to periodically check the status of our site(s) but I do wonder whether repeated use of tools such as this one could negatively affect positioning (although I doubt it). It also seems to clutter my browsing experience although I canâ€™t really think of a better way of doing it myself. If I installed every toolbar which had a degree of functionality I like, I would have about an inch in which to view sites as the rest of the window would be full of toolbars. This does seem to have a lot of features though and is more customizable than any other toolbar I have come across and that deserves serious kudos!
I need to revisit the IE version as for me, it very nearly prevented me installing the Firefox version as all and had that been the case, I would have been a little less tooled up for my SEO. This one will definately be added to the â€œbox of tricksâ€. Itâ€™s fair to say that this really is just the basics of this application, the more I look, the more I find so I will follow up with a more detailed look into the application relating to some of its more advanced features.