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Cool Tools . . . that are also FREE!
by Robin Nobles

When working with my workshop or online SEO students, I’m often told of a really neat tool that I’ve never heard of before.

So, I thought it would be a great idea to share these tools with you, just like they were shared with me.

A special thanks goes to all of you who told me about these unique tools. And, if anyone else has a “cool tool” to share, be sure to let me know. I’ll publish a part 2 of this article!


Customer Focus Calculator (“We We Monitor”!)

http://www.futurenowinc.com/wewe.htm

This has got to be one of my favorite cool tools. It analyzes a Web page and lets you know if the Web page is focused on YOU or on your customers. After all, shouldn’t our Web pages be written for our customers . . . not ourselves?


Search Engine Optimization Tools

http://www.webconfs.com

This site has three different tools that are really cool. One is a Search Engine Spider Simulator, which displays exactly what a spider would see when it visits your page. Another free tool is the Google Backlink Checker, which lets you know who’s linking to your site and what link text they’re using. The last tool is the Similar Page Checker. We all know that “duplicate content” is a no no. This neat tool will determine the similarity between two pages.

Marketleap Search Engine Marketing Tools

http://www.marketleap.com/services/freetools/default.htm

My favorite tool on this page is the Link Popularity Check. Enter your URL and up to three comparison URLs, and the site will let you know what your link popularity is in AllTheWeb, AltaVista, Google, Inktomi, and MSN. It also compares your site’s link popularity to other URLs you listed as well as other sites on the Net. The Search Engine Saturation tool determines how many pages a given search engine has in its index for your Web site. You can compare your site to five other sites with this tool. Finally, the Keyword Verification Tool checks to see if your page is in the top three pages of a search engine’s results for a certain keyword or keyword phrase.

Website Security Report

http://security.computer-concierge.net/security/website_security_report.asp

This very cool tool lets you find out how secure your Web site is. When I first used it, it found more holes in the security of my Web site than the laws allows, and I promptly changed to a different hosting company!


Your Computer’s Security

http://grc.com/default.htm

Gibson Research Corporation offers a really neat (and free) tool for checking the security of your computer: ShieldsUp. Scroll down on the page to the Hot Spots area, where you’ll find the link to ShieldsUp. Be sure to go through each of the checks in the ShieldsUp section (File Sharing, Common Ports, etc.).


Reverse DNS Lookup

http://remote.12dt.com/rns/

This service converts an IP address to the host name by searching domain name service tables.


Doctor HTML

http://www2.imagiware.com/RxHTML/

Click on Single Page, and the free service will analyze your Web page based on document structure, image syntax, table analysis, browser support, verify hyperlinks, and much more.


GifBot by NetMechanic

http://www.netmechanic.com/accelerate.htm

GifBot will compress your GIF, JPEG, and animated GIF images by decreasing the file size without sacrificing the quality of the image. So, your pages load faster!


Bobby Online

http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/index.jsp

This online service allows you to test Web pages to help expose and repair barriers to accessibility and encourage compliance with existing accessibility guidelines. It’s very important to make sure your Web pages are accessible for those who surf the Internet with disabilities.

 

AnyBrowser.com Screen Size Tester

http://anybrowser.com/ScreenSizeTest.html

Have you ever been to a Web site and not been able to scroll to the bottom of the page? The scroll bar is there, but you can’t get down that far to scroll. It’s not a pleasant experience. At the Screen Size Tester, you can test your Web pages in different screen resolutions so that you can be assured that all of your visitors can view your site in its entirety.


Anti-Spam and Security Fix for FormMail.pl Script

http://mailvalley.com/formmail/

“Formmail.pl, one of the most-used perl scripts on the Web, is designed to send data entered into a Web form to an e-mail address. This script could be exploited by a malicious user who could use Formmail as a spam server. If you use this script, spammers may be able to use it to send spam freely using your server's resources.” This site offers a patched version that prevents the script from being used by spammers.


Comprehensive Guide to .htaccess

http://www.javascriptkit.com/howto/htaccess.shtml

Though not a “tool” per se, this comprehensive tutorial about how to use the .htaccess file is excellent.


Top Ten Web Design Mistakes for 2002

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20021223.html

Though also not a tool, this handy list is something that we should all be aware of. For example, don’t use horizontal scrolling!


Again, thanks to all of you who shared these wonderfully helpful tools with me. If I missed any (which I’m sure I did), please let me know. I’ll send out a part 2 of this article.

About the Author: 

Robin Nobles is the Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops with John Alexander. They teach 2-day beginner, 3-day advanced, and 5-day all-inclusive "hands on" search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe. She also teaches online search engine marketing courses through http://www.onlinewebtraining.com, and she’s a member of Wordtracker’s official question support team. With partner John Alexander, she's co-authored a series of e-books called, "The Totally Non-Technical Guides to Having a Successful Web Site." And, they opened a networking community for search engine marketers called The World Resource Center for Search Engine Marketers.

 

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