Switching from Chrome to Firefox? Check out the Top Firefox SEO Add-Ons – #CrawlingMondays 5th Episode
In the 5th episode of Crawling Mondays Aleyda shares the top Firefox SEO add-ons to use in case you want to switch from Chrome to Firefox.
Chances are that you are using right now a Chrome web browser to watch this. Right? Most of the world is using right now Google Chrome as a web browser. They have 62% of the market share. I remember many, many, many years ago, that I was using Firefox, right? And I don’t know at which point I started using Chrome. As far I remember, I think it was because of Chrome, the tools. There were so many different functionalities and I was using still many of these functionalities to double check things as an SEO, right? Releases, changes on my client’s side to my own side.
In any case, realistically, although I love Chrome functionalities and all these extensions that exist nowadays, I started to see that my computer … I have a little laptop that I bring with me all the time. I work a lot on the go. Like, oh my God, the RAM consumption was crazy, right? I do wanted to … of course I can upgrade, et cetera, but honestly it’s not reasonable that a web browser consumes so much RAM. Right? So I wanted to give Firefox a chance, again, to avoid this from happening. Funnily enough there are so many [inaudible 00:01:34] about this, right? RAM consumption from Chrome versus any of the browsers.
I thought, actually, that it was going to be pretty hard to leave Chrome. I was so used to it. Realistically, it hasn’t been that hard. I have been using already Firefox parallelly with Chrome, and right now I’m completely focused using Firefox nowadays. Because I found that many of those functionalities that I thought that were Chrome-only, completely findable only in Chrome, are also in Firefox. Firefox also has its own dev tools, developer tools. There’s so many of the SEO extensions that I was using in Chrome, that I was also able to find them on Firefox, or alternative that will work pretty well also in Firefox.
So in today’s episode I want to show you which are those Firefox extensions that you can use to make the switch too if you want to. If you want to give your computer a little bit of more free RAM. Let’s take a look.
Link Redirect Trace
Let’s start with a Firefox add-on that you are probably using already as a Chrome extension: the link redirect trace extension here is an add-on that you can also use in Firefox. There is a Firefox version here from Link Research Tools. It’s pretty pretty handy because you can see the HTTP status of any page.
So for example here, I was checking before if the HTTP version of the homepage in Remoters is actively trying to [inaudible 00:03:18] redirecting towards the HTTPS version of the URL. And we can see here the raw http headers information. We can see here the speed. We can see here the amount of back links. We can also see if any page somehow is being blocked through the robots.txt.
For example, this page here, the Spain version of Net-a-Porter here in this subdirectory is shown to be blocked to the robots.txt. And it is blocked, indeed. If we go to the robots.txt, we can see here how it has been blocked, probably because it’s not even in Spanish. It’s still the same content in English, just like that, right? So they are probably blocking it because of it. And we can see this, and we can do this. Very [inaudible 00:04:05] also of the canonicalization of the page directly through this little add-on that is very, very handy. Probably one of those first add-ons that you want to install.
Another very handy extension that we have also as a Firefox add-on is SEO Minion here. Probably you have also already used it in Chrome, and if you haven’t, you’re really missing out, because this is an all-in-one, very handy SEO tool. Honestly, it has the option to analyze the homepage SEO configuration. So for example, here I have title, meta descriptions, the canonicalization, the meta robots, the headings, the images, those without an alt description, the OpenGraph configuration, the Twitter cards configuration, of any given page that you’re seeing. I can highlight all the external and internal links of a give page. I can check for broken links, or links going to redirected pages from this page. I can have a SERP preview.
I can see how this page will look for a specific query. So for example, here, remote work resources, I can check here, oh, this is how this page will look if it ranked for this specific query. Or I can actually check and compare any SERP, international SERP, right? So for example, I want to see the SERP for the US and for the UK, in English, for remote work resources here, and see if the same pages are being ranked or not, and how do they compare, and if my site is ranked specifically the same way or not in both. So I can check here for the UK and do the same for the US, and for example, in this case, I can see here Remoters. In this other case, I can see that Remoters is a little bit higher in the SERPS for the UK.
So it’s pretty handy. It’s an all-in-one, if you haven’t used yet, only this extension will cover a lot, and will allow you to do many, many of the validations that you ar probably already doing in Chrome. And if you are not yet using it, you probably are using many different extensions just for the same functionality that this one extension can give you.
If you don’t want to completely rely in SEO Minion, and want to use another all-in-one SEO extension, SEO add-on, take a look at the SEOInfo one from WebblrPress. How do you pronounce this? WeeblrPress. This is another very handy, again, too. All-in-one you can see here that it will show you the HTTP status. If it is indexable, if it is followable, if it is mobile-friendly. It will show you the loading times here. Title tag, canonicalization, robots.txt, the description, the HTTP status, if it is indexable, followable, mobile, if it has AMP or not. More details regarding the performance. More details regarding the response headers here, the IP address here, the [inaudible 00:07:22] lang configuration in case it has it or not, OpenGraph, Twitter cards, etcetera, etcetera.
So it’s actually very, very handy. It’s even more complete, I would say. It has additional homepage configuration information, although not necessarily the simulation areas and SERP previews that SEO Minion has. So I think that they can complement each other very well. And here, even more information. So I will say that this is another very handy tool for you to check the homepage SEO configuration of any page.
And there are even many options to choose from. Here’s another SEO tool, all-in-one validator, that has also an extension for Firefox, not only for Chrome: Mangools SEO Extension. So for example, with Mangools we can check many, many, many things. Not only homepage SEO configuration, so for example, we can take a look at the most important back links of any given site, as we can see here, including those links not only to a specific page but to any internal page of the domain. It analyzes the root domain. We can take a look at the homepage SEO of the specific URL that you are seeing here, title tag, description, number of words, the robots.txt configuration. It looks for the site map, if it is, how many pages the site has indexed in Google, the canonical configuration, the headings here.
Most common keywords on the page, so for example, two words or three words terms here. The outgoing links of the page, where do they go? Where they are found, what is the anchor text? Page speed, too, it validates the social tags too. So as you can see, we have many different alternatives, many different options. If you actually use Mangools’ tools, you pay for it, it also has this rank tracking option here directly. But if not, even if you are not using them, you are not a client, you can still gt pretty cool, useful, meaningful information here, and even the page speed validation here directly with recommendations of things that can be done to improve speed. So as you can see, it’s pretty handy, and yet another option, not only to double-validate and double-check what the other tools have given to us, but also to expand a little bit with additional information.
Pretty XML is one of those add-ons that I used to have also in Chrome, and I loved it, because … Well, I didn’t use it necessarily every day, but whenever I needed to check an XML sitemap directly in my browser, it was so, so handy. So for example here, I want to go and take a look at this XML sitemap from Nike here. And as you can see, instead of being shown XML sitemap index in a very ugly, [inaudible 00:10:39] format display in my browser. We can take a look at it like this. We can actually search by name or XPath, too. And if, for example, if I click here, I am able to go through and just start browsing through the different XML sitemaps too.
And I am going to be shown here, if we wait for a little bit, we are going to be able to see all of the different URLs of this XML sitemap that actually is including and featuring hreflang annotations too. So it will support them, as you can see here. Let’s take a look. So it’s not necessarily very straightforward XML sitemap, but even like that, it does a pretty good job of displaying and showing the different organization and really facilitates that we can go through and start browsing through any given sitemap, directly in the browser, without having to open it in a code editor in our computer, or having to download it directly.
Firefox Developer Tools
Something else to love about Firefox is that it also has built-in functionalities that are pretty pretty cool. So for example, you can use extensions or add-ons to take screenshots. So for example, the Awesome Screenshots Plus extension is available for Firefox. However, Firefox has this built-in functionality of “take a screenshot.” You just need to right-click in whatever place, and you will be able to take a screenshot like this of specific areas of the screen, or of the whole page that you are looking at, right?
It also has a very similar functionality than the one that we have with Chrome Dev Tools that we all love. And if I remember well, that was one of the main reasons why I switched a long time ago, right? So in this case we also have developer tools in Firefox. Similar to Chrome Dev Tools, with Firefox Developer Tools we have a panel here, different panels that we can go through the DOM of the page that we are browsing, and take a look at the code here. We can search through the HTML. We have the console. We have a debugger. We can see the performance of any given page, and we can record it. We can see the different network calls. We can switch between, again, devices. We can simulate devices, any given specific device here. So that is very, very, very cool too. So many of these very popular functionalities that we had gotten very used with from Dev Tools, we also have them available here.
The additional functionalities or extensions that we can integrate, for example Web Scraper, or this page performance add-on that can be included here in the developer tools console. So I’m sure that there will be a few little functionalities that won’t be exactly the same, right? And we have seen that Chrome has invested so much lately on including many, many, many different functionalities in validation and in [inaudible 00:15:35] tools. But I’m pretty sure that most of the main functionalities, validations, at least the ones that I use to go to the DOM, to switch between the different type of devices, to take a look at the performance of a page.
Of course, I miss a little bit on having the Lighthouse integration that I have Chrome. We have this little web performance additional functionality. It’s definitely not the same, not as good-looking, nice-looking, right? So I will say, but of course we have these other extensions that I showed you before, that included performance validations, like the one of Mangools, for example, included a performance validation. So as you can see, there are some things that are same, or very similar, or very good alternatives. And then at the end of the day, I think that we are able to do 99% of the things that we used to do with Chrome Dev Tools, also with not only the Developer Tools of Firefox, but with the additional extensions that we can use. So at the end of the days, it’s a pretty good balance. It’s a pretty good result.
And last but not least, let’s take a look a little bit at a few add-ons that are available for Firefox that are not necessarily only SEO-focused, but that can be pretty handy for SEO validation. Like, for example, the Web Developer Extension here. To manage cookies, CSS, forms, images, et cetera, that can be very helpful for troubleshooting. Also the Web Scraper add-on, that is also available for Firefox. The Google Analytics debug add-on here, the Ghostery add-on also for ads, for identifying, blocking ad trackers, et cetera. The BuiltWith extension here to identify what is the technology that you have used for any page that you’re visiting. The Web Developer Checklist, also the Cookie Manger. So you can see, there’s a wealth of add-ons, of extensions for Firefox, that are very similar. There are always an alternative, pretty much, I’m pretty sure, for one that you ar using for Chrom.
So if you want to try it out, if you want to switch, if you want to check if you can free a lot of your RAM, a lot of your memory by doing this switch, give it a go! And I’m pretty sure that you will find that 99% of the functionality that you were getting from Chrome, you will still find it here in Firefox, while gaining all this extra RAM. I hope that this has been useful for you. Let me know, if you try it out, how it goes. If you know of any other extension, or any other add-on, too, please let me know in the comments. I’ll be happy to share, also, over Twitter. And if you have also any ideas for a future Crawling Mondays, let me know. I’ll be happy to cover whatever topic you think that might be useful to you. So thank you very much, and see you next Monday. Bye-bye!