Selecting the Right SEO Tools

In This Article

Viewing source
Querying search engines and leveraging search engine tools
Using relevancy determining tools
Analyzing webpages with SEO toolbars
Using the HTTP Header Analyzer
Switching user agents

Looking at websites from a search engine perspective

Now that you have the correct SEO perspective on viewing websites, it is time to find out which tools SEO professionals use to dig deeper. Batman has his utility belt, generals have their massive armies, and as you are about to find out, SEOs have browser extensions and nifty websites.

View Source

Oh, trusty source code. Did you know you can use it for other reasons than stealing images and mp3s? Whenever I come across a page that is not getting indexed, the first thing I do is view its source. Viewing a webpage’s source allows you to see what the search engines see when they crawl the Internet.

I use Safari for surfing the Net (because for my uses it is faster), but as soon as I want to view source, I switch to Firefox. I do this because Firefox formats and colors source code so it is much easier to read.

Specially I find the added indentation of HTML tags useful for quickly navigating to the HTML <head> of the document. The <head> tag should be the first indented tag after the <html> tag, and in Firefox is colored purple if you keep the default settings. When I have found the <head> of the document I look inside it at the meta tags (robots, description, and content-type) to see what settings the website has set for these options.

Figure 3-1 shows viewing the source of a webpage in Firefox. Notice how the code is automatically indented and colored to make it easier to look at.

Viewing source is a feature that is included in every major Internet browser that allows you to read the raw code returned by the requested website server when you look at a website. This is important because this raw view is what the search engines see when they crawl the Internet.

In general I use “View Source” when I want to:

  • Find outhow well a website’s meta data is optimized
  • Check for possibleproblems with webpage format
  • Analyze global navigation