By Mark O’Neill
If checking a website’s PageRank or number of backlinks on Firefox is what fuels your loveboat, then you’re going to love this one.
SEO Book has an excellent Firefox extension which gives you more than the standard information that Google normally offers. It also works on Yahoo.
Before you install “SEO for Firefox”, this is what Google returns when you search for this blog :
But when you install the SEO extension, the Google search results turn into this :
Among the stats brought back include the Google PageRank, the date of the Google cache, the age of the website, then a variety of websites showing the number of links to that site (including “gov” and “edu” sites which rank much higher in search engines). There’s even a link to whois so you can see who the site belongs to.
This extension has a variety of uses. Perhaps you are considering setting up a website / blog in a niche subject? By using this extension, you can see at a glance how popular that subject is by looking at the number of links and how long each site has been running for. You can immediately decide if there is an audience or not for another website on toilet seat photos.
Or perhaps you are considering buying a website from the current webmaster? Again, having this SEO information at your fingertips helps you to evaluate whether buying the site is a good proposition or not.
Or like me, you can just use it if you’re curious about your own website or someone else’s website. You may find information that you didn’t previously know about.
The extension is completely customizable and you can even switch the extension on and off like a light-switch. In fact the extension creator specifically asks you not to use the extension during casual surfing but only if you are actively doing SEO research.
The final feature of this extension is a set of links which appear under the search box :
You can read more in-depth about what these links do by going to SEO Book and scrolling down the page, but in general, you can view valuable SEO data about the search terms you have entered, including Yahoo’s top bid prices for those keywords, view search trends and download the search data to a CSV file.