Google launched the Chrome browser in 2008 and it quickly became the most popular browser on the market. Statistics reveal more than 50 percent of users (and likely many more than that) use Chrome on a regular basis.
Chrome has become the world’s most popular browser due to it’s speed and reliability, but also due to new functionality that was launched in 2010: The Chrome Web Store.
Although this new browser ‘add-on’ concept wasn’t the first in the market (Mozilla’s Firefox holds that claim), extensions have been a game changer that have allowed developers to create applications, themes and extensions for Chrome. This concept has the capability to add previously unavailable functionality to a Web browser, and crosses the chasm between a browser and a third-party application.
Chrome isn’t the only browser to have extensions; the two main competing browsers, namely Mozilla Firefox and more recently Microsoft Edge (previously Internet Explorer), have their own versions of add-ons also.
Extensions and reliability are a large part of why Chrome is the browser of choice for SEOs. In this post, I’ll outline five free Chrome extensions that I use on a regular basis that are useful for SEO.
Google hates broken links. Most SEOs are versed in the danger of the dreaded 404 error, however, finding broken links can be troublesome, especially in pages that have thousands of words.
Check My Links solves this issue. This fantastic extension runs against the currently loaded webpage, and makes it easy to identify any broken links or redirects.
It also has a handy feature to allow you to export content to CSV format for further data manipulation or safe keeping.
Site performance is an important ranking factor. So much so, that Google provides it’s own tool to check the performance of your website: Page Speed Insights. Whilst Page Speed Insights is good, it’s somewhat simplistic and doesn’t check all factors that can affect your website’s performance.
That’s where Yslow comes in. This excellent extension runs a variety of tests against your website, and where this extension excels is the comprehensive data that’s generated. Everything from DNS lookup requests, URL redirects, missing expires headers to the lack of a Content Delivery Network. It also provides detailed advice on how to increase the speed of your website.
3. SEO Quake
This is arguably the most useful SEO extension in my arsenal. SEO Quake uses SEMRush data to provide a powerful SEO tool right in your browser. It provides information such as the date your page was cached in Google, keyword density, backlink (and internal link) information, basic technical site information as well as traffic statistics.
Simply create a free SEMRush account, and you have a plethora of SEO information at your disposal:
The other great feature that’s part of SEO Quake is it’s integration with Google search. If enabled, it adds a sidebar that allows you to produce a SERP report and to export the Google search results to Excel.
SEOquake also has the option to provide SEO metrics after each SERP snippet. This makes it quick and easy to see key metrics of the site/page, before clicking on a link. I use this tool daily.
Open SEO Stats is another extremely useful SEO extension for Google Chrome. This tool provides an overview of the most commonly used SEO stats and provides useful information, such as backlinks, web server hosting location, traffic stats (via Alexa), on-page SEO analysis as well as page speed analysis.
This extension lets you perform fast analysis of a website and is a real time saver.
5. Moz Bar
Moz bar is another must-have SEO extension for Chrome. This is a good extension to leave running (and visible) in your Chrome toolbar at all times. It enables you to see the excellent Moz metrics, including Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) at a glance:
The enhanced view adds a row of information to the top of Chrome. This means your page authority and spam score will always be visible in Chrome.
By clicking the toolbar through to the Moz website, you get a quick indication of the links to the website and the detailed Spam score.
I find the Moz toolbar particularly useful tool when prospecting for link building, to see the metrics of a potential link target quickly.
Chrome really is an excellent browser for SEOs. The speed, and excellent support from the developer community means that high quality extensions for Chrome are readily available.
Although Firefox has had add-ins for many years, and recently Microsoft Edge has also added similar functionality, Chrome has the best selection and most frequently updated SEO extensions.
The five extensions listed above can supplement full functionality SEO tools. Combined, these tools help us to make better SEO.
Do you have any Chrome extensions you use for SEO? Leave a comment below!