For the past few weeks, to mark the release of Firefox 4, I’ve been looking at the different SEO add-ons I use on a daily basis and I’ve been testing to see if these will continue to work in the new software. In this, the final post of the series, I reveal another selection of my top picks and reveal my favourite Firefox add-on of all time.
Not all of these add-ons are officially supported in Firefox 4 and some have been installed using the Firefox 4 Add-On Compatibility Reporter or other techniques for enabling old add-ons in Firefox 4.
Web Developer 1.1.9 is supported in Firefox 4.0
This is an old favourite, one I’ve used in most of my roles for the last few years. It’s been downloaded over eighteen million times, proving its popularity.
Google Global 2.6 is not officially supported in Firefox 4.0 but appeared to work fine during my tests.
This add-on makes it easy for you to switch between search results orientated towards different countries. For example, if I were to search for something in Google UK, I could then use this add-on to repeat the search in Google US.
The tool can automatically disable personalisation when you switch between countries. Personally I avoid using Firefox for many rank checks due to the problem of different results in different browsers, however this still comes in useful from time to time and worked just fine during my testing.
GA? – Is Google Analytics Installed 1.0.3 is not officially supported in Firefox 4 but worked during my testing.
GA? is a small add-on that sits in your status bar and shows if Google Analytics is correctly installed on a given website. According to the installation page it will only run in Firefox 1.5 to 3.6, however this works correctly for me in Firefox 4.
And my favourite SEO add-on is….
Speed Dial 0.9.5.8 is supported in Firefox 4.0
And my favourite SEO add-on is… not even an SEO add-on! Or is it?
Speed Dial is an add-on which mimics a feature first introduced some years ago in the Opera browser, and later seen in both Safari and Chrome. The Chrome version arranges all of your most recently visited sites across your home page. Safari does the same but uses fancy effects. Speed Dial may appear a lot more basic by comparison – it doesn’t automatically arrange your sites, it doesn’t do anything in 3D – and that’s exactly why I like it.
The goal here isn’t to go for anything dramatically fancy. Instead, each time I open a new tab I’m presented with a series of bookmarked pages. And within these tabs are further tabs (or groups) of websites which I’ve deliberately arranged together. It’s the fastest, simplest way I’ve found to keep my bookmarks organised and jump from one tool to another with a couple of clicks. I rarely use my Firefox bookmarks at all now.
So how can I justify including this in an SEO blog? Well, it saves me so much time! I have all my Google tools grouped together in one place, I have other external tools grouped elsewhere… this may not be designed specifically for SEO but it works in pretty much any office scenario. I’d love to see the extension developed so you can import/export your speed dials into your regular bookmarks and then use a bookmark synching tool (such as the features now supported in Firefox 4 but also available in add-ons such as Foxmarks).
And that’s my round-up complete! I’m well aware there are a lot of add-ons I’ve missed out which were designed purposely with SEO in mind, some of which review pages for you and automatically offer recommendations, others which provide you with data about Pagerank, more which analyse backlinks…
There are so many add-ons available for Firefox, rather than to try and look at them all myself I’ve focussed on some of my favourites and included some which are well known, some which aren’t. I hope this has been useful. Now it’s your turn – head on over to http://addons.mozilla.org and find out which I’ve missed!