Thursday July 24th, 2008 | SEM, SEO, Tools

10 Essential FireFox Add-ons No SEO Superhero Should Be With-out

From smoke pellets to grappling hooks, from night vision goggles to batarangs – is there anything the caped crusader can’t pull out of that utility belt? But what sort of a superhero would Batman be with-out the contents of his trusty gadget girdle?

Every trade has it’s essential tools and Search Engine Optimization/ Search Engine Marketing is no different. Our utility belt is a cache of online tools, extensions, add-ons and macro infested excel spreadsheets. I thought I’d share a quick peek into my own utility belt by highlighting some Firefox add-ons I’ve found to be quite useful.

KGen Firefox Add-on

kgen-ssKGen all of the words on a page and organizes them by frequency of use, allowing you to review how frequently a phrase has been used in the page. This great little SEO add-on also takes into consideration where the phrase appears (Title, H1, image alt text) and applies appropriate weight to each instance giving the phrase an overall weight. So a phrase appearing in the Page Title carries more weight than a word with-in a paragraph tag.

While many SEOers no longer concern themselves with keyword density, this tool is great for a quick overview of a pages content theme, keyword density and appropriate phrase placement with-in weighted elements.

Download the KGen keyword add-on for Firefox

SEO Quake Firefox Add-on (SEO Quake)

SeoQuake is a comprehensive Firefox extension developed for web masters and SEOers for quick access to many of the bits of information we might otherwise spend a great deal of time & hassle collecting. Important details like Google PageRank, cache date, domain age, social media mentions, inbound links, directory inclusion status, and whois are just a click away!

SeoQuake adds a detailed bar beneath each result in Google results pages which can be set to automatically (or on demand) fetch the various bits of information. This allows you to dig deeper into the SEO related details of ranking client & competitor URLs on the fly!

SEO Quake also provides a browser toolbar (or optionally as an on-page display tool bar) which performs the same tasks on pages as you visit. Again, this data can be retrieved automatically as you visit each page, or on-demand by clicking the element you’re like to fetch.

This tool is a time saver and can crunch 3 hours worth of data mining & documentation into about 15 minutes of surfing, but don’t leave it running all the time! Because the tool constantly pings Google, Yahoo and the other information sources, it’s probably a good idea to only turn on what you need – when you need it.

Excessive pinging will get you flagged/restricted – especially on Google. If your agency or office uses this tool, be sure to use it only when necessary and/or use proxy switching to ‘mix it up a bit’.

Download the SEO Quake Firefox add-on

Web Developer Firefox Add-on

I’ve been a huge fan of the Web Developer add-on for a couple of years now. This add-on add a toolbar with tons of great tools for web developers/designers, but a number of those tools can make an SEOers job a whole lot easier.

Click button (or short-cut key controlled) toggling for style sheets(detect headers or hidden text with ease), java script, cookie permissions, cache, image information, link information (count the number of links on a page in a click of a button) and a bunch more.

While Batman might be able to make-do with-out certain gadgets, this is definitely one of those tools that shouldn’t be left out of the SEO Superheros pouch.

Download the Web Developer add-on for FireFox

Flash Block Firefox Add-on

Flash Block is a simple Firefox add-on that stops Flash files in their tracks, rendering placeholders with ‘Play” buttons to allow you to choose what to play and when. The Flash Block add-on is a great tool for quickly identifying Flash elements on the fly.

Despite the recent improvements in how Google treats/reads Flash, Flash based navigation & content is still potentially an obstacle and definitely something every SEO superhero would want to be aware of. this takes all of the guess work out of it by automatically identifying Flash elements.

Download the Flash Block add-on for FireFox

User Agent Switcher Firefox Add-on

This handy little SEO add-on adds a simple menu and toolbar button to allow you to switch the user agent of the browser. This allows you to visit and ‘crawl’ a website ‘as Google’.

The User Agent Switcher add-on is perfect for testing user agent based redirect solutions, or just taking a stroll through your clients site (or competitor sites) to see how it treats Google. I’ve found some pretty interesting obstacles and revealed some competitors ‘creative’ optimization’ tricks using the User Agent Switcher.

Most Common Search Engine User Agents

GoogleBot 2.1
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +

Yahoo! Slurp 3.0
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp/3.0;

MSNBot 1.1
msnbot/1.1 (+

Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Ask Jeeves/Teoma; +

A comprehensive list of active user agents is available at

Download the User Agent Switcher add-on for Firefox

Show IP Firefox Add-on

ShowIP is a handy little add-on that, as the names indicates, shows you the IP of the current page. This is useful in taking a quick peek at link neighborhoods, and reciprocal links.

Want to see if several of your clients domains are hosted in the same Class-C block? Want to do it super fast? This is your tool.

ShowIP displays the IP address of the current page in the status bar. You can quickly dig deeper with an IP menu (right click) and a Hostname menu (left click) linking you to tools like whois, netcraft for more in-depth information about the current site.

Download the Show IP add-on for Firefox

ServerSpy Firefox Add-on

Server Spy is another super small add-on that can save you some legwork. ServerSpy is a passive little add-on that fetches and displays the current web pages hosting server type. (IE IIS, Apache)

The server type, displayed in the status bar, is useful for quick obstacle analysis and solution development. For instance, you wouldn’t want to develop & send your client a complex set of mod_rewrite rules & directives, only to find out their site is hosted on an IIS server.

Download the Server Spy add-on for Firefox

Rank Checker Firefox Add-on (SEOBook)

While tracking your sites ranking performance is an important part of SEO, it is often the most time consuming task. The Rank Checker Firefox add-on allows you to track the performance of multiple domains across various search engines, for any number of targeted phrases - automatically!.

One of the coolest features of the Rank Checker add-on is that is allows you to export your rankings information for easy integration into reports & documents. Using the Rank Checker add-on is a huge time saver and makes one of the most important elements of SEO now one of the easiest!

Download the Rank Checker add-on for Firefox

SEO for FireFox – Firefox Add-on (SEOBook)

Not unlike the SEO Quake add-on, the SEO for Firefox add-on, from Aaron Wall/SEO Book, makes key data points easily accessible with-in Google search results and with-in current pages (via a right click menu option).

While SEO Quake and the SEO for Firefox Add-ons are similar, each has a few unique features that make it worthwhile to run both tools.  Some interesting data points unique to SEO for Firefox are .edu & .gov links, Google Trends and Google cached.

Again, just as with the SEO Quake add-on, SEO for Firefox saves you a ton of time and effort by making all of this vital and significant data available at the click of a button.

Download the SEO for Firefox add-on

Firebug Firefox Add-on (

Originally designed as a web developers debugging tool, the Firebug add-on “integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse”.

While I couldn’t live with-out Firebug from a web design/development perspective, I find it’s also quite useful for SEO.

Firebug Edit CSS on the flyWith a click of a button Firebug provides a great ‘sneak peek’ into the current pages code – review title & meta tags, confirm the use of header tags(H1, H2, H3 etc), track down hidden text that uses creative CSS, observe javascript processes and more.

Download the Firebug add-on for Firefox

Firefox SEO add-ons

Of course all of these add-ons require that you have the Firefox browser installed. You can download Firefox here. All of the add-ons listed in this post have been tested and are Firefox 3 ready!

A few add-ons I love, but that are not yet Firefox 3 ready are…

MetaTags Firefox Add-on
This super simple little wonder adds a sidebar that simply fetches & displays the current pages Head Tags – IE Title, Description, Keywords, Robots (NOFOLLOW etc). The output is selectable for easy copy/pasting into documents, reports etc. I really like this add-on and hope to see it updated soon.

X-Ray Firefox Add-on
Through a simple right click menu option you can expose the HTML tagging inline with the live page – this allows you to see H1 vs H2 vs bold or CSS styled headers on the fly – I LOVE it [eagerly awaiting the release of the update - pending Firefox team review]

These are the Firefox add-ons I have in my SEO superhero utility belt, what add-ons are in yours?

17 great comments so far, keep em coming! | rss

  • Thursday July 24th, 2008
    David Strader

    Thank you for another great resource list! I must agree with one of your statements, “While I couldn’t live with-out Firebug from a web design/development perspective, I find it’s also quite useful for SEO.”
    I find that most of my web development plug-ins work hand and hand with my SEO plug-ins and use them to find basic SEO elements that are commonly overlook/missed.

    Just wanted to add one more plug-in:

    SEOpen 0.8 – Allows you to check Google, Yahoo and MSN backlinks, check DMOZ, check Whois, and check for Robots.txt file, QUICK and Easy!

  • Thursday July 24th, 2008

    I’ve used SEOpen before – Excellent plug-in, unfortunately it’s one of those great plug-ins that hasn’t yet been updated for Firefox 3.

    I wonder whats holding these guys up? I know that the updated X-Ray plug-in was submitted immediately after the 3.0 release, not sure why it’s not been reviewed & approved by now – but I’m looking forward to it!

  • Friday July 25th, 2008
    Nintendo wii

    Great list !
    I am using seo quake as i got maximum backlinks from digg, and stumble so this is very very helpful to me. I will use other plugin also as i was not aware of that. I am stumbling it here and share it with my all seo group at stumble.

  • Tuesday July 29th, 2008
    Amy Andrews

    Nice list! I couldn’t live without the Web Dev extension. The others also are quite useful. I’m glad you put this list together – there are a lot of useless extensions, gadgets and whatsits for SEO, so this is a big help. What else do you have up your sleeve?

  • Tuesday July 29th, 2008
    Brisbane Marketing Consultant

    Nice post. I was only using 2 of those plugins, web developer and the Google toolbar.

  • Wednesday August 20th, 2008
    X-Ray Firefox Extension Updated for Firefox 3 | AzAkers

    [...] troubleshooting and more! This is definitely one Firefox extension that deserves to be in every SEO superheroes utility belt. Add-on Author X-Ray extension info Download X-Ray v0.9 Firefox Add-ons X-Ray extension info [...]

  • Wednesday August 20th, 2008

    Wow, thanks! These look great. Finally getting a solid clue about SEO… so, let’s see if any of these goodies give me a hand.

  • Friday November 14th, 2008


    My latest post..Download Google Chrome

  • Tuesday December 16th, 2008


    My latest post..Download Google Chrome

  • Wednesday March 18th, 2009
    Henrik Stenmann

    Nice article
    I can recommend the tool very useful

    My latest post..Live blogging fra Google Adwords Seminar

  • Monday March 23rd, 2009

    thank your for sharing nice information related to SEO Tool all tools are use-full in term of SEO.

  • Wednesday August 12th, 2009

    Thanks for the headsup on the SEO For Firefox extension. I’m hoping it’s safer than SEO Quake; it really needs to be rammed home that Quake interrogates Google just a little too much then Google would like, and this can lead to a temporary IP block. It really, really needs to be operated under a proxy by default and I hope they’ll bring this under consideration in a future version.

  • Tuesday February 16th, 2010
    search engine optimization pricing

    seoquake to me as must have and i never knew about the rank checker plugin. The rank checker will save me a lot fo time

  • Wednesday March 10th, 2010
    The CaymanHost

    This is a useful list thankyou – I’ve discovered a couple of new toys.

    I’m a big fan of SEOBook but have to say I’ve had problems with the Firefox addons from Aaron’s site on more than one occasion – they don’t always function as they should on certain machines, which is a shame, because when they work they are very useful.

  • Sunday March 14th, 2010
    Faith Richards

    Awesome list. Thanks for sharing I will surely be back again and again!

  • Sunday March 14th, 2010

    Thanks for this great SEO post. I’ve just bookmarked it in Delicious. I am sure I will reference it again. :)

  • Thursday August 12th, 2010
    DIY Stores

    Interesting list, however some recent reviews for SEO Quake seem to think that Google bans them from using Google temporarily.

Thanks for reading.

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