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14 Best Free Chrome Extensions for SEOs (Tried & Tested)

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14 Best Free Chrome Extensions for SEOs (Tried & Tested)

SEO-related Chrome extensions can help you work faster and smarter. 

I’ve tested a few dozen popular free Chrome extensions and included 14 of the most useful ones in this article.

This extension allows you to inspect the meta information on webpages, find issues, and get advice to fix them. It covers meta tags, canonicals, Open Graph tags, structured data, hreflang, subheaders, and more.

It also provides advanced data about the internal and external scripts used on the page.

Meta SEO Inspector

Unlike many other extensions, Hreflang Tag Checker does not simply list a page’s hreflang data. It actually crawls the links in hreflang tags to check if they link back to the page you’re visiting.

Hreflang Tag Checker

Sidenote.

Use our free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for auditing your whole website for hreflang and other SEO-related issues.

TextOptimizer describes itself as a writing assistant tool. It analyzes search results for relevant terms and extracts “intent tables” to suggest other words that you can use in your copy “to better match search engines’ expectations.”

There are more than enough premium content optimization tools on the market, but TextOptimizer does a good job as a free tool.

TextOptimizer

This extension gives away a good amount of data for a free tool: Keyword search volumes, keyword ideas, and domain-level traffic estimations are provided straight on Google’s SERPs.

Recently, it added a new feature called “Outline Generator.” This feature creates an article outline by analyzing the top-ranking search results in one click.

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Keyword Surfer

The SEO Minion extension is one of the multi-tools for SEO. It allows you to check on-page SEO data, highlight outgoing links, and check pages for broken links.

Arguably, its best feature is the multilevel “People Also Ask” query export from the SERP. This will provide you with related long-tail queries that you can consider when creating a new piece of content.

SEO Minion

With this extension, you can emulate Google searches from any location and check if a particular URL ranks in the top 100 results.

This will help you see how rankings vary for a query in different parts of the world.

SEO Search Simulator

Link Redirect Trace uncovers all URLs in a redirect chain, including 301s, 302s, and JavaScript redirects.

Besides, it displays some page-level metrics from LinkResearchTools at no cost.

Link Redirect Trace

The Glimpse Chrome extension turns Google Trends into a keyword research tool. It enriches Google Trends data with keyword search volumes, long-tail keyword suggestions, and a topic map.

However, you should note the free version allows only 10 searches per month. You’ll also need a paid subscription for extensive keyword research.

Glimpse

This is a must-have tool for those who work with JavaScript-powered websites.

It compares the raw page code and its rendered version. And SEOs can check, for example, if JavaScript overwrites titles, descriptions, or canonical tags.

View Rendered Source

With Similarweb for Chrome, you can check estimated traffic, traffic sources, visitor geography, and other key statistics for any website.

This extension is useful for evaluating link opportunities and analyzing your competitors.

Similarweb

This extension from Hunter finds email addresses associated with the website that you’re visiting. You get 50 free credits per month. There’s also a Google Sheets add-on for fast bulk-checking.

Hunter

Recommended reading: 6 Ways to Find Anyone’s Email Address

Gmass is a powerful and lightweight tool for organizing outreach campaigns. It integrates straight into Gmail and requires no additional resources.

It allows you to schedule emails, send mail merges with Google Sheets, create email sequences, and track email opens.

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Gmass

Data Scraper allows you to extract various data from any webpage and save it onto a spreadsheet.

You can extract tables and lists, get paginated results, and create custom scraping “recipes” for your needs.

Data Scraper

Our very own toolbar can easily replace a bunch of other SEO extensions for Chrome.

It offers the following features: on-page SEO report, redirects tracer, HTTP headers reader, link checker/highlighter, and search location simulator.

Ahrefs users also get page, domain, and keyword metrics for the URLs they visit and for search results. Besides, this extension can help you send URLs to Link Intersect and Content Gap reports easily.

Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

Final thoughts

There are quite a few Chrome extensions that bring the features of online SEO tools and services right into your browser. I hope this post helps you find an extension or two that will have a significant impact on your productivity and will save you lots of time.

Just keep in mind that using too many browser extensions may slow down your computer—so choose them wisely.

If you use a lot of extensions, you can always create multiple user profiles for different tasks.

Then you can install different extensions on each profile and switch between them as needed.

You can also use the One Click Extensions Manager to keep your extensions neat and orderly.

Got more extensions to suggest? Ping me on Twitter.

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When To Canonicalize, Noindex, Or Do Nothing With Similar Content

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When To Canonicalize, Noindex, Or Do Nothing With Similar Content

Picture your content as you do yourself. Are you carrying some baggage you could get rid of? Carrying something you want to keep but maybe want to repurpose or see differently?

This is no different when it comes to website content. We’ve all likely sat around as a group of minds thinking about the content we would like to slice off our website but realize there is still a need for it, whether it is for a specific prospect, internal team, etc.

While we look for ways to slim our websites as much as possible for content management purposes, we also want to do the same to appease crawling search engine bots.

We want their, hopefully, daily visit to our websites to be fast and succinct.

This hopefully shows them who we are, what we are about, and ultimately – if we have to have content that can’t be removed – how we are labeling it for them.

Luckily, search engine crawlers want to understand our content just as much as we want this of them. Given to us are chances to canonicalize content and noindex content.

However, beware, not doing this correctly could render important website content misunderstood by search engine crawlers or not read at all.

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Canonicalize?

Screenshot by author, July 2022

Canonical tags provide a great way of instructing search engines: “Yes, we know this content is not that unique or valuable, but we must have it.”

It can also be a great way to point value to content originating from another domain or vice versa.

Nonetheless, now is your time to show the crawling bots how you perceive website content.

To utilize, you must place this tag within the head section of the source code.

The canonical tag can be a great way to deal with content that you know is duplicate or similar, but it must exist for user needs on the site or a slow site maintenance team.

If you think this tag is an ideal fit for your website, review your website and address site sections that appear to have separate URLs but have similar content (e.g., copy, image, headings, title elements, etc.).

Website auditing tools such as Screaming Frog and the Semrush Site Audit section are a quick way to see content similarities.

If you think there might be some other similar content culprits out there, you can take a deeper look with tools such as Similar Page Checker and Siteliner, which will review your site for similar content.

Now that you have a good feel for cases of similarity, you need to understand if this lack of uniqueness is worthy of canonicalization. Here are a few examples and solutions:

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Example 1: Your website exists at both HTTP and HTTPS versions of site pages, or your website exists with both www. and non-www. page versions.

Solution: Place a canonical tag to the page version with the most significant amount of links, internal links, etc., until you can redirect all duplicating pages one-to-one. 

Example 2: You sell products that are highly similar where there is no unique copy on these pages but slight variations in the name, image, price, etc. Should you canonically point the specific product pages to the product parent page?

Solution: Here, my advice is to do nothing. These pages are unique enough to be indexed. They have unique names differentiating them, and this could help you for long-tail keyword instances.

Example 3: You sell t-shirts but have a page for every color and every shirt.

Solution: Canonical tag the color pages to reference the parent shirt page. Each page isn’t a particular product, just a very similar variation.

Use Case: Canonical Tagging Content That’s Unique Enough To Succeed

Similar to the example presented above, I wanted to explain that sometimes, slightly similar content can still be appropriate for indexation.

What if it was shirts with child pages for different shirt types like long sleeves, tank tops, etc.? This now becomes a different product, not just a variation. As also previously mentioned, this can serve successful for long-tail web searches.

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Here’s a great example: An automotive sales site that features pages for car makes, associated models, and variations of those models (2Dr, 4Dr, V8, V6, deluxe edition, etc.). The initial thought with this site is that all variations are simply near duplications of the model pages.

You may think, why would we want to annoy search engines with this near duplicative content when we can canonicalize these pages to point to the model page as the representative page?

We moved in this direction but still, the anxiety on whether these pages could succeed made us move to canonically tag each respective model page.

Suppose you canonically tag to the parent model page. Even if you show the content importance/hierarchy to search engines, they may still rank the canonicalized page if the search is relatively specific.

So, what did we see?

We found that organic traffic increased to both child and parent pages. It’s my opinion that when you give credit back to the child pages, the parent page looks to have more authority as it has many child pages which are now given back “credit.”

Monthly traffic to all these pages together grew five times.

Since September of this year, when we revised the canonical tags, there is now 5x monthly organic traffic to this site area, with 754 pages driving organic traffic compared to the 154 recognized earlier in the previous year.

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Monthly traffic to all these pages together grew five times.Screenshot by author with Semrush, July 2022

Don’t Make These Canonicalization Mistakes

  • Setting canonical tags that endure a redirect before resolving to the final page can do a great disservice. This will slow search engines as it forces them to try to understand content importance but are now jumping URLs.
  • Similarly, if you point canonical tags towards URL targets that are 404-ing error pages, then you essentially point them into a wall.
  • Canonical tagging to the wrong page version (i.e., www./non-www., HTTP/HTTPS). We discussed finding through website crawling tools that you may have unintentional website duplication. Don’t mistake pointing page importance to a weaker page version.

Noindex?

You can also utilize the meta robots noindex tag to exclude similar or duplicate content entirely.

Placing the noindex tag in the head section of your source code will stop search engines from indexing these pages.

Beware: While the meta robots noindex tag is a quick way to remove duplicate content from ranking consideration, it can be dangerous to your organic traffic if you fail to use it appropriately.

This tag has been used in the past to weed down large sites to present only search-critical site pages so that site crawl spend is as efficient as possible.

However, you want search engines to see all relevant site content to understand site taxonomy and the hierarchy of pages.

However, if this tag doesn’t scare you too much, you can use it to let search engines only crawl and index what you deem fresh, unique content.

Here are a couple of ways noindexing might be discussed as a solution:

Example 1: To aid your customers, you can provide documentation from the manufacturer, even though they already feature this on their website.

Solution: Continue providing documentation to aid your on-site customers but noindex these pages.

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They are already owned and indexed with the manufacturer, which likely has much more domain authority than you. In other words, you will not likely be the ranking website for this content.

Example 2: You offer several different but similar products. The only differentiation is color, size, count, etc. We don’t want to waste crawl spend.

Solution: Solve via the use of canonical tags. A long-tail search could drive qualified traffic because a given page would still be indexed and able to rank.

Example 3: You have a lot of old products that you don’t sell much of anymore and are no longer a primary focus.

Solution: This perfect scenario is likely found in a content or sales audit. If the products do little for the company, consider retirement.

Consider either canonically pointing these pages to relevant categorical pages or redirecting them to relevant categorical pages. These pages have age/trust, may have links, and may possess rankings.

Use Case: Don’t Sacrifice Rankings/Traffic For Crawl Spend Considerations

Regarding our website, we know we want to put our best foot forward for search engines.

We don’t want to waste their time when crawling, and we don’t want to create a perception that most of our content lacks uniqueness.

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In the example below, to reduce the bloat of somewhat similar product page content from search engine reviews, meta robots noindex tags were placed on child product variation pages during the time of a domain transition/relaunch.

The below graph shows the total keyword amounts which transitioned from one domain to another.

When the meta robots noindex tags were removed, the overall amount of ranking terms grew by 50%.

When the meta robots noindex tags were removed, the overall amount of ranking terms grew by 50%.Screenshot by author with Semrush, July 2022

Don’t Make These Meta Robots Noindex Mistakes

  • Don’t place a meta robots noindex tag on a page with an inbound link value. If so, you should permanently redirect the page in question to another relevant site page. Placing the tag will eliminate the valuable link equity that you have.
  • If you’re noindexing a page that is included in the main, footer, or supporting navigation, make sure that the directive isn’t “noindex, nofollow” but “noindex, follow” so search engines that are crawling the site can still pass through the links on the noindexed page.

Conclusion

Sometimes it is hard to part ways with website content.

The canonical and meta robots noindex tags are a great way to preserve website functionality for all users while also instructing search engines.

In the end, be careful how you tag! It’s easy to lose search presence if you do not fully understand the tagging process.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Jack Frog/Shutterstock

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