SEO Doctor – Free SEO Audit Tool

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SEO Doctor is a modern SEO tool with one simple goal - make your website better optimized for search engines through an easy to understand, step by step, scoring and recommendation system.


Install SEO Doctor

What's new in SEO Doctor

1.6.5

  • Images on the toolbar were stretched out a bit.
  • A lot of features did not work if the SEO doctor toolbar item was removed from the toolbar.

1.6.4

  • Full compatibility with the new Firefox 29 UI
  • Choice of four location for the toolbar
  • Fixed outdated SEO links

1.6.1

  • Added support for Sucuri security scan
  • Compatibility with Firefox 18.0

1.6.0

  • Fixed a bug with robots.txt validation

 

If you like SEO Doctor, you can contribute by sending a feedback or writing a review on the addon page on the Mozilla site.

At glance

SEO Doctor is made with both beginners and experienced SEOs in mind and it's scoring system and recommendations are based on official SEO documents, namely Google Webmaster guidelines, Google Image guidelines and Google SEO starter guide as well as my own experience.

Main features of SEO Doctor are:

  • Points out to potential problems and assigns a score for your pages based on currently accepted SEO methodology
  • Shows link structure and helps track page rank flow for your pages
  • Detects and warns you about pages not indexable by search engines using most comprehensive methods available in any tool
  • One-click access to most popular SEO tools allows you to additionally inspect a site
  • Fully customizable

Note for beginners

SEO Doctor is an extension for Firefox browser only and you need to use this browser in order to install SEO Doctor.

For Firefox extension installation instructions check this article.

Also check my tutorial on how to use SEO Doctor to diagnose websites.

Note for Firefox 4+ users: Mozilla decided to hide the status bar by default. You'd need to enable it in the menus View -> Toolbars -> Addon Bar.

Features

By default SEO Doctor will place itself in the browser status bar, immediately providing you with the following information (see image).

SEO Doctor in status bar

SEO Score

SEO Score represents the result of on-site optimization analysis of the currently viewed page. Maximum SEO score is 100.

Green flag will indicate everything is OK.

Yellow flag indicates non-critical warnings exist.

Red flag suggests that concrete SEO elements can be improved.

In a special case when the current page is not indexable at all by search engines, SEO Doctor will show a special 'no-trespassing' icon.

Pagerank Flow

Flow shows how much of the Page Rank has been preserved on the site.

100% means that you preserve 100% of all the Page Rank on your site, while 0% would mean that all outgoing links are to other sites.

Links

Links shows total number of external links vs number of all links on the page.

Visits

Visits show estimated number of daily visitors for the site.

First number is retrieved from Compete.com and is available to you if you register for a free API key.

Second number shows estimated daily visitors from search engines alone, data from SEMRush.

Backlinks

Introduced in 1.4, backlinks will show total number of backlinks for this domain, as returned by Yahoo site explorer.

Other

Clicking the nofollow icon allows you to instantly highlight all nofollow links on the page on and off.

Finally the red disable icon is useful to quickly disable the addon when you are not using it. I recommend keeping the addon in disabled state when not used, for optimum browsing experience.

SEO Score

SEO Doctor has a unique scoring system based on the following SEO factors:

The Stats tab shows actual SEO diagnosis for the page you are viewing.

Page Indexable

Page indexable is a crucial check and it will tell you if the viewed page is indexable in Google. Pages that are not indexable will not appear in the search engine results, and this is the first thing to check if you have a problem ranking a certain page.

SEO Doctor will run the most comprehensive test you can find in any tool online to determine if the page is indexable including looking for:

  • meta noindex tag in the HTML code of the page
  • x-robots-noindex directive returned in the HTTP headers for the page
  • deep analysis of robots.txt directives
  • looking for rel="canonical" tag indicating the page is actually anchored at a different location

Rel canonical can be especially dangerous when not used properly. Read more about rel canonical issues.

Good practices for robots.txt

Use more secure methods for sensitive content - You shouldn't feel comfortable using robots.txt to block sensitive or confidential material. One reason is that search engines could still reference the URLs you block (showing just the URL, no title or snippet) if there happen to be links to those URLs somewhere on the Internet (like referrer logs).

Also, non-compliant or rogue search engines that don't acknowledge the Robots Exclusion Standard could disobey the instructions of your robots.txt. Finally, a curious user could examine the directories or subdirectories in your robots.txt file and guess the URL of the content that you don't want seen. Encrypting the content or password-protecting it with .htaccess are more secure alternatives.

Avoid:
• allowing search result-like pages to be crawled (users dislike leaving one search result page and landing on another search result page that doesn't add significant value for them)
• allowing a large number of auto-generated pages with the same or only slightly different content to be crawled: "Should these 100,000 near-duplicate pages really be in a search engine's index?"
• allowing URLs created as a result of proxy services to be crawled

Meta Description

Meta description tag  is used for a brief description of the page. Although not a significant search engine ranking factor anymore, it is still used by all popular search engines when displaying search engine results. Having a good meta description can improve your chances of the visitor clicking on your result in the search engine.

Recommendations for meta descriptions include:

  • Write a sensible description and avoid automated tools for generating meta description
  • You can include your popular keywords n the meta description as they will be bold when displayed in search engine results
  • Keep it up to around 70 words (350 characters). Search engines display variable length but they will pick the best bit to display based on user search

Accurately summarize the page's content - Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result.

Avoid:
• writing a description meta tag that has no relation to the content on the page
• using generic descriptions like "This is a webpage" or "Page about baseball cards"
• filling the description with only keywords
• copy and pasting the entire content of the document into the description meta tag

Use unique descriptions for each page - Having a different description meta tag for each page helps both users and Google, especially in searches here users may bring up multiple pages on your domain (e.g. searches using the site: operator). If your site has thousands or even millions of pages, hand-crafting description meta tags probably isn't feasible. In this case, you could automatically generate description meta tags based on each page's content.

Avoid:
• using a single description meta tag across all of your site's pages or a large group of pages

H1 and H2 tags

The H1 heading tag is the most important of the heading tags and helps search engines understand the main focus of the page. Also, text in the H1 tag is usually larger than normal text and helps users quickly learn what the page is about.

  • Use H1 and H2 tags to highlight important keywords
  • H1 tag should be used once on the page
  • H2 tag can be used as many times, after the H1 tag

Imagine you're writing an outline - Similar to writing an outline for a large paper, put some thought into what the main points and sub-points of the content on the page will be and decide where to use heading tags appropriately.

Avoid:
• placing text in heading tags that wouldn't be helpful in defining the structure of the page
• using heading tags where other tags like em and strong may be more appropriate
• erratically moving from one heading tag size to another

Use headings sparingly across the page - Use heading tags where it makes sense. Too many heading tags on a page can make it hard for users to scan the content and determine where one topic ends and another begins.

Avoid:
• excessively using heading tags throughout the page
• putting all of the page's text into a heading tag
• using heading tags only for styling text and not presenting structure

ALT Image Tag

ALT image tag has became particularly important with the increase in demand for image searches which can significantly contribute to your search engine traffic if used properly. The best practices for image search optimizations are:

  • Use alt and title tags in your images to describe the context of the image with relevant keywords
  • Images are best ranked when surrounded with a description text and a heading. HTML structure <h><img><p> (meaning first a heading like <h2> then the image and then normal text in <p>) seems to work particularly well
  • If you use WordPress check my SEO Friendly Images plugin

Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text - Like many of the other parts of the page targeted for optimization, filenames and alt text (for ASCII languages) are best when they're short, but descriptive.

Avoid:
• using generic filenames like "image1.jpg", "pic.gif", "1.jpg" when possible (some sites with thousands of images might consider automating the naming of images)
• writing extremely lengthy filenames
• stuffing keywords into alt text or copying and pasting entire sentences

Supply alt text when using images as links - If you do decide to use an image as a link, filling out its alt text helps Google understand more about the page you're linking to. Imagine that you're writing anchor text for a text link.

Avoid:
• writing excessively long alt text that would be considered spammy
• using only image links for your site's navigation

Store images in a directory of their own - Instead of having image files spread out in numerous directories and subdirectories across your domain, consider consolidating your images into a single directory (e.g. brandonsbaseballcards.com/images/). This simplifies the path to your images.

Use commonly supported filetypes - Most browsers support JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP image formats. It's also a good idea to have the extension of your filename match with the filetype.

Inbound links

SEO Doctor uses Yahoo API to get backlinks information for your current page. You need to register for Yahoo API key and enter it in the options to get Inbound links information in the SEO Score.

If there are no links to your page an error will appear, and it is advisable to link to your page form at least one location. Notice that several days can pass until the Yahoo bot finds your new link.

SEO Friendly URLs

SEO Friendly URLs or so called static URLs represent an URL structure where links on the site appear to have a static structure like "/category/subcategory/page" in contrast to dynamic structure like "index.php?cat=3&subcat=4&page=11".

The value of SEO friendly urls is that it can provide more information to search engines about the intended structure of the site (category, subcategory and page hierarchy) and for the fact that keywords can be used in the links. Also these keywords will be presented in bold in search engine results, drawing more user attention and improving click through rates.

Use words in URLs - URLs with words that are relevant to your site's content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site. Visitors remember them better and might be more willing to link to them.

Avoid:
• using lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs
• choosing generic page names like "page1.html"
• using excessive keywords like "baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseball-cards.htm"

Create a simple directory structure - Use a directory structure that organizes your content well and is easy for visitors to know where they're at on your site. Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL.

Avoid:
• having deep nesting of subdirectories like ".../dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html"
• using directory names that have no relation to the content in them

Provide one version of a URL to reach a document - To prevent users from linking to one version of a URL and others linking to a different version (this could split the reputation of that content between the URLs), focus on using and referring to one URL in the structure and internal linking of your pages. If you do find that people are accessing the same content through multiple URLs, setting up a 301 redirect from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL is a good solution for this.

Avoid:
• having pages from subdomains and the root directory (e.g. "domain.com/page.htm" and "sub.domain.com/page.htm") access the same content
• mixing www. and non-www. versions of URLs in your internal linking structure
• using odd capitalization of URLs (many users expect lower-case URLs and remember them better)

Title Tag

Browser title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO factors. Recommendations include:

  • Always include a title tag on your pages
  • Keep the title length up to 11 words or 70 characters
  • Use relevant keywords in your title tags
  • Do not duplicate title tags throughout the site. Every page should have it's own title.

Accurately describe the page's content - Choose a title that effectively communicates the topic of the page's content.

Avoid:
• choosing a title that has no relation to the content on the page
• using default or vague titles like "Untitled" or "New Page 1"

Create unique title tags for each page - Each of your pages should ideally have a unique title tag, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site.

Avoid:
• using a single title tag across all of your site's pages or a large group of pages

Use brief, but descriptive titles - Titles can be both short and informative. If the title is too long, Google will show only a portion of it in the search result.

Avoid:
• using extremely lengthy titles that are unhelpful to users
• stuffing unneeded keywords in your title tags

Number of links represents number of links found on the page. It is generally accepted that search engines consider only a certain number of links on a page and would ignore others for purposes of page rank calculation.

SEO Doctor will warn you if your page contains more than 100 links.

Page Rank Flow

Page rank flow is a number expressed in percentage of the links on the page going out of your domain, versus the total number of links. A page where all links are internal (going to the same domain) will have Page rank flow of 100% while the page where all links go to external sites will have page rank flow of 0%.

In a nutshell this number represents how much of the incoming Page rank is kept on your site.

Sitemap

This feature is still in beta. SEO Doctor will try to detect if a sitemap file is present on the site by looking up sitemap.xml and sitemap.xml.gz files. This is a simple test and if the location of your sitemap is different SEO doctor might not be able to find it.

An XML Sitemap (upper-case) file, which you can submit through Google's Webmaster Tools, makes it easier for Google to discover the pages on your site. Using a Sitemap file is also one way (though not guaranteed) to tell Google which version of a URL you'd prefer as the canonical one.

Put an HTML sitemap page on your site, and use an XML Sitemap file - A simple sitemap page with links to all of the pages or the most important pages (if you have hundreds or thousands) on your site can be useful. Creating an XML Sitemap file for your site helps ensure that search engines discover the pages on your site.
Avoid:
• letting your HTML sitemap page become out of date with broken links
• creating an HTML sitemap that simply lists pages without organizing them, for example by subject

Loading time

Loading time is most commonly associated with user experience. Fast sites are more likely to attract visitors and convert sales. And since Google announced that page loading speed is becoming a ranking factor, SEO Doctor features page loading timer.

To improve page loading time use tools like YSlow, sites like WebPagetest test and articles on website optimization.

Web analytics

SEO Doctor will try to detect major web analytics codes on the page and inform you if they exist. You want to use Web analytics to better understand sources of your traffic, user behavior on the site and insights on conversions. Practically speaking web analytics allows you to have a measurable insight for your SEO efforts.

You can use Google Analytics which is still a free service, or real time web analytics services like Cleveritics.

Inspect Links

Inspect tab (shown below) is available as a panel after you left click anywhere on the status bar.

It shows list of all links found on the page with their count and percentage of total number. The list can be sorted by pressing the table column headers and exported as CSV.

Clicking any link here will highlight it on the page.

Menu

Menu is available by right-clicking anywhere in the status bar. Items in the menu represent links to most popular online services to get further information about the page/site you are viewing.

Also if you are not currently using SEO Doctor, for example just browsing and otherwise using large number of open tabs, I suggest using Disable option from the menu (or clicking red disable incon on the status bar) to temporary turn off all calculations and make your browsing comfortable. When disabled SEO Doctor will literally sleep and do nothing. You can invoke it again by clicking SEO Doctor text on the status bar.

The services accessible through the menu currently include a number of popular SEO tools.

Conveniently you can open all of them at once if you click 'Open all in tabs'.

You can also define your own tools in the User menu, which will be saved even after upgrade of SEO Doctor.

Options

SEO Doctor Settings

SEO Doctor Settings

SEO Doctor has a variety of options to better tailor it for your needs.

Ignore www. prefix on domains instructs SEO Doctor to treat www and non-www versions of the domain as a same site for purposes of calculating external links.

Show stats on document ready will attempt to show the stats even before the document is fully loaded (for the impatient ones).

Ignore links containing keywords is for filtering out links in caclualtions,  for example those that appear on the page only for logged in users etc.

Compete API key will allow you to retrieve daily visitors metrics.

Further you are allowed to edit the right click menu in the 'SEO Links' tab of the Options window

That will allow you to add new links, edit the existing ones or delete them. You can also set their position in the menu by moving them up and down.

Privacy Policy

SEO Doctor is privacy aware and never sends or stores any information to any servers other than those used for strictly scoring purposes (normally Google and Yahoo servers).

My services

SEO Doctor really shines in quickly determining any problems that could cause poor ranking of your pages in search engines. If you need more then that, you can hire me for a professional SEO audit.

31 Comments

  1. Aug 20th, 2010 8:33 PM

    seo doctor is cool free tools, very useful for check site information. such as back links.

  2. Olivia Jade
    Aug 16th, 2010 7:04 AM

    Great post! Thanks for sharing... I'm already trying dome on my website... I came across a list of tools and SEO resources that helps beginners and advanced SEOs... It's on http://www.socialpeel.com/2010/08/11/21-most-informative-seo-resources-of-all-times/

  3. Aug 12th, 2010 1:54 PM

    Nice tool. Just starting to test it and its very easy to use. Thanks

  4. Aug 9th, 2010 2:14 AM

    very good addon, thank you. i am using. thank you again.

  5. Aug 8th, 2010 1:15 PM

    I could not understand why you are giving this away for FREE!!!!!!

  6. Aug 6th, 2010 7:05 PM

    Dear Victor all I can say it's ... your add-on rocks, from my opinion it's the most complete and most helpful add-on related to SEO ...

    Short Question: For your addon, SEO Doctor Mozilla dose not warns me when you're updating the addon ... I have to check it once in a while manually .. it's from my browser or it's a Mozilla error ... problem haded with over 5 different computers - 2 notebooks, 2 desktops and 1 laptop ...

    Cheers !

  7. Aug 3rd, 2010 7:23 AM

    I just got this plug in because I heard about it through auto blog blueprint2.0. This plug in is so simple yet so effective. Thank you so much for creating this. I will spread the word.

  8. Aug 2nd, 2010 6:05 PM

    SEO Score and Twitter Feeds. It seems like if I have a twitter feed on say a sidebar of a website, this will usually throw off the Page Rank Flow for the page it is on. What are your thoughts on the twitter feeds?

  9. Jul 29th, 2010 1:21 AM

    Very interesting, but I'm not sure of my abilities to use it ;(

  10. Jul 28th, 2010 10:38 PM

    Love your SEO tool. Works like a charm. Like your sitemap detection, I would also like it to detect for the existence of robots.txt file. Both of those would be an added benefit when reviewing websites.

  11. Jul 28th, 2010 1:35 PM

    Great tool to keep track of my competitors.. Thanks

  12. Jul 17th, 2010 4:06 PM

    I could not hold back :

    I would go to war along your side Vladimir !

    I heard a story about you once where a guy came in telling you what he wanted done and while you looked like you where busy doing something , by the time he was done explaining you simply flipped the screen and he saw the end result of his conversation come to live in front of him ..

    I heard more stuff but to be honest ,
    just this plugin alone shows the character of a master mind at work with a very solid intention and insight in to the future of this very intention.
    while everyone thinks your giving things away , in reality your setting a new standard to "FREE SEO" market making everyone pull up their pants or perish ..

    "if he is giving this away for free, i must have the thinks he actually charges for"
    i will be contacting you for an SEO audit on my latest development which was already audited by Joost whom i also respect very much so it will be great to see your audit on top of Joost's remarks after we take care of them.. B2B jewelry market is our game and makes up for some very fun , challenging seo project.

    Vladimir , any interesting remarks ,tips on "Silo" method for e-commerce you can point me to...

  13. Jul 6th, 2010 2:23 PM

    Great Tool!

    Have you considered making a Chrome Extension?

  14. Jul 6th, 2010 12:44 PM

    Interesting plugin. Easy way to extract information of a website.

  15. Rashid khan
    Jun 30th, 2010 8:45 PM

    Vladimir, you've really done a great job . I've already installed your seo doctor and using it . keep up the good work .

  16. Jun 24th, 2010 5:36 PM

    Thanks for good tools like this. I will tell my friend about this.

  17. Jun 24th, 2010 3:42 PM

    Bravo, Bravo! This article is as good as it gets, should anyone care about the opinion of a Internet professional since 1993 ;)

    I was told about the program from a peer who is always trying to compete with me on the web site grader site. We both carry 99.* scores, and this software shows us that there is still room for improvement! I also loved the well written descriptions of the various elements for effective SEO.

    If everyone read this it'll make my job a lot harder!

    Oh yea, your Plug-in is pretty great too and I'd consider it a must have!

    Best 'net regards,

    Joe

    • Jun 24th, 2010 6:24 PM

      On the contrary Joe, if everyone read this it would make good SEOs more valuable ;)

      Thanks for the praise, feel free to review it for your circle.

  18. Jun 22nd, 2010 11:35 AM

    Could you add in support for the excellent Piwik analytics service? I dont like seeing crosses in my reports!;)

    • Jun 23rd, 2010 9:37 AM

      Sure, can you send me what their code looks like?

      • Jun 24th, 2010 9:03 PM

        Sure. Thanks very much:

        var pkBaseURL = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://wherecodeisinstalled.com/" : "http://wherecodeisinstalled.com/");
        document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + pkBaseURL + "piwik.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));

        try {
        var piwikTracker = Piwik.getTracker(pkBaseURL + "piwik.php", 11);
        piwikTracker.trackPageView();
        piwikTracker.enableLinkTracking();
        } catch( err ) {}

  19. Jun 22nd, 2010 8:27 AM

    This looks pretty useful What I dont understand is why nofollow seems to make no impact on the pagerank flow score.....

    Other than that it is really useful. Helps us at Vashon Media ensure that our clients SEO is everything it should be..... Expect a donation sometime in the not too distant future!

    • Jun 22nd, 2010 8:41 AM

      Nofollow links do not pass page rank to the target page, but they take away page rank of the source page nevertheless hence they are counted equally.

      • Jun 22nd, 2010 9:08 AM

        Good to know that nofollow links takes away page rank of source.
        do they take away Trust of the source page/outgoing nofollow link ?
        which PageRank formula is applied while dealing with nofollow links ?

        Please give us some suggestions in dealing with new Google Algorithm.

        Thanks,
        Shreyas Borse

  20. Jun 21st, 2010 3:21 PM

    I help to do SEO to my friend with him site and write tags meta like this form

    and you beautiful program mark me this like mistakable
    Please explain me why?
    Best regards

  21. Jun 19th, 2010 1:06 PM

    Good job on this plugin. I plan on writing a review on it this weekend.

    I got a very good score, 100/100 Flow: 80% Links: 5/74. Still a little room for improvement, but not bad at all for a score.

  22. Jun 16th, 2010 6:22 PM

    Its looks like a good tools but I've failed when try this tools... could you help me how to set up please.......

  23. Jun 10th, 2010 1:25 AM

    I recently found out about SEO Doctor and now I wouldn't be without it. Great tool. I've been using it to tweak optimization on wholehousewaterfilter.us and my other sites also and it's been real help. Thanks.

  24. Jun 5th, 2010 3:28 PM

    Vladimir - WELL DONE!

    I too would like to thank you very much for this extremely useful plug-in, which I'm sure is going to make my life (as well as others) so much easier. I've really come to appreciate and highly respect your work, and you are most definitely and without a doubt...THE MAN! LOL

    Thanks again

  25. May 31st, 2010 1:25 PM

    It's great!!! Thanks! Cannot understand why it doesn't find my Analytics... It's active in the footer through Yoast plugin.

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