Foxy SEO Tool - A Firefox add-on to help with Search Engine Optimisation


Here are a few frequently asked questions about Foxy SEO Tool, and some that I expect to come up even if they haven't yet because I'm that thoughtful :P

I already have too many toolbars, what can I do?

If, like many other webmasters and web professionals, you have already quite a few toolbars with Firefox, you can decide to use only the contextual menu of Foxy SEO Tool (right click pop up) where you will find all the identical functions found in the toolbar. To disable the toolbar, simply go to View | Toolbars and uncheck Foxy SEO Tool. To use the contextual menu, simply right click on a page, find Foxy SEO Tool in the menu and choose the function you would like to use.

Why isn't X function in Search Engine A while it is in Search Engine B?

You may wonder why some obvious functions, like seeing the cache of a page, are present with, say, Google, but not Yahoo!. The usual answer will be that the particular web site does not make it possible to automatize the request. In this example, Yahoo! (along with Live and Ask) use internal code in the url of a cache page that unfortuantely cannot be guessed from the toolbar. In other situations, it may simply not be available directly without going through their web site. Not every company is as open as Google, which is why they're the only one with webmaster tools functions. So, in other words, it's not possible to add (or if it, it's very complex and may slow down your browser while I want to keep everything speedy). It will be very rare that I simply forgot to add it (you see, I'm infallible, hehe), but you're always free to ask.

Why don't you include functions from search engines such as AOL, AllTheWeb, HotBot, Altavista, etc?

These search engines actually use the technology of other major search engines for their results, like Google and Yahoo!, so there is no point to include them. For example, if you're good with Yahoo!, you'll eventually also be included in AllTheWeb.

Why don't you include bars like Google PR, Amazon Rank, Compete Rank, etc?

From the very begining, I've decided the Foxy SEO Tool add-on wouldn't slow down Firefox, because I like my browser snappy, and I suspect most others too, so including an indicator bar that fetches the score for every pages would be too much of drag on the browser and page loading performance. I prefer to use links that can be easily accessed when desired.

What does the Search Spider Simulator do in the Tools menu?

The Search Spider Simulator is an attempt to display a web page just as a search engine would read it, in the order of the html code of the page, without the layout code. It also strips the page of images and most CSS styles that are presentational only and are not traditionally taken into consideration by search engines to evaluate the importance of the content. What is left is a linear display of the page with only the semantic tags, such as H1, H2, strong (or b), emphasis (or i), the alt attribute of an image, links and other structural elements such as lists, forms and tables. It can help you optimize your page by finding omissions in your code (like linked images without alt attributes), sub-optimal ordering of the elements in a page, since what appears at the top of a page is usually more important that what is at the bottom, or simply marvel at the intricate beauty of your code.

Why are some links in red when I view a page with the Search Spider Simulator? How can I view links that use nofollow?

Links are colored red when they use the rel="nofollow" attribute, which means they will not pass deliberately any Google Pagerank value to their target. You can use the Search Spider Simulator to detect nofollow links quickly in a page.

Google has decided some time ago to limit the display of back links of a page to only a few randomly chosen, which seriously reduce the value of that public function (most would say it is practically useless). The official answer is they don't want to provide too much information to people analyzing a web site they do not own. I suggest you use Yahoo! Site Explorer instead for other web sites, and Google Webmaster Tools for your web sites.

The traffic figures I get with the Traffic Analysis tools on my site are not exact.

These companies, like Alexa, Compete and Quantcast, offer a very rough estimate based on various technologies, and can sometimes even be way off, especially if someone use that technology (for example, a toolbar) to artificially inflate their statistics. If you use all the tools, however, you should get a useful average approximation. But these services are exact and are not usually promoted as such. If you're looking for a better way to track your own traffic, use your own web logs (ask your hosting company) or track it with a free service like Google Analytics.

What is the purpose of the function: "Search text for duplicates"?

This function facilitates the task of selecting an original string of text on a page and searching for copies on other web sites, in order to track down copyright infringers of your articles. How is it related to SEO? A web site that is heavily copied by other web sites, without a link back to the page, or the site, to indicate the source, can have a detrimental effect to the performance of your site with search engines because there are too many duplicates, and search engines may not be able to identify the original source of your content.

Once you have identified such plagiarists, send them a copyright notification to take the content down. If that doesn't work, complain to their host, or, ultimately, send a DMCA request to Google. However, explaining the details of this procedure is outside the scope of this site.

PS: Be careful using that function as it may increase your blood pressure ;)

Why do some functions have a lock next to them and are described as private? What does it mean?

Some functions require that you create an account with the company offering the free service and/or that you actually own the web site that you are analyzing, which you usually have to register with them through some kind of confirmation action. You also need to be actively logged in. These restricted functions are offered with big search engines companies like Google, where most webmasters most likely already have an account with. Foxy SEO tool simply offer a convenient shortcut to these accounts.

Why do some functions have a text icon next to them? Why isn't it working when I select them?

Some functions require that you select a keyword or a string of text in the page before you can execute them (usually related to some keyword analysis tool).

Why don't you add XYZ in the Directories?

I will not list the myriads of second rate directories out there. If you think you have found an A-list directory that I missed, feel free to contact me.

Can you add this XYZ web site to Foxy SEO Tool?

I am open to all suggestions, however, you have to understand that if I put everyone's suggestions, the toolbar would quickly have way too many redundant functions and would become overloaded, so I have to be very selective. That is why I usually only consider "A-list" type of web sites (established, high-quality, popular, well designed, speedy, reasonable number of ads, etc), and I also try to limit myself to the top dog of one field instead of adding secondary competitors or other followers. If we already have something very similar to your suggestion, I will not put both, but only keep the one I consider to be superior, either in terms of features or user friendliness. Moreover, web sites cannot require registrations, CAPTCHA or other methods of blocking automatic queries.