Google announced extensions with its latest Chrome release on 21st January this year - implemented to slow down improve the features of the browser and give Firefox a run for its money. Now Google Chrome for me is the super-fast, shiny browser used occassionally that resolves pages in an instant, handling as many tabs as you can throw at it (and periodically having a meltdown). However, when the real work needs to be done, it's back to the trusty old Firefox.
So six weeks since the launch of the extensions, we had a browse around the library to see which ones could tempt us into using Chrome as a daily browser.
Ultimate Chrome Flag is a nifty little extension that sits in the end of the address bar. You can quickly diagnose any geolocation issues as this tool displays the relevant flag for your website location and- importantly- no flag when the location can not be determined. Click on the flag and a box pops up showing the country or region name as well as the Domain name and IP address, Google and Alexa rank as well as the Web of Trust ratings.
Chrome SEO aims to be an all-in-one SEO extension. Whilst you'll certainly need the help of some other extensions, Chrome SEO is great for some quick analysis of a website. The button sits in the top right corner of your Chrome page next to the address bar and clicking it opens up a scrollable frame containing lots of SEO-worthy metrics. The extension pulls in data from the search engines as well as popular tools such as Open Site Explorer and MajesticSEO if you're logged in. Combined with the robot.txt and sitemap detector, this is an extension that can save an SEO bags of time.
Meta SEO Inspector allows quick analysis of the meta tags of the page you are viewing. As well as the usual HTML meta tags you can see XFN tags, no-follow links and canonical tags. The box, which sits in the bottom right corner of your Chrome window, also displays warnings when tags are missing or wrong (ie. too short or too long).
SEO Site Tools is a great all round SEO tool which is talked about in much more detail over on SEOmoz. Using the free Linkscape API, this extension focuses on all aspects of SEO with the end result being a well-rounded SEO extension. With this tool you can measure external page data, social media stats, view your page terms such as meta and header tags, check your server and domain info and much, much more. If for some reason, you're bound to installing just one Chrome extension - choose this one!
SEO Quake is based on the Firefox plugin of the same name. It displays key SEO parameters at the top of any webpage as well as highlighting no-follow links.
The extension also appends these SEO parameters to your SERPs, allowing for a quick, basic analysis of competitors and the ability to re-organise the results by the metric of your choice.
Link Grabber extracts all the links from the current webpage and throws them into a list on another tab, all in a split-second. I like this tool as it's a great way to (very) quickly get a quick overview of the amount of links on any given page. Whilst it doesn't throw any SEO-specific metrics into the mix (anyone fancy taking up the mantle), I installed it and have found myself using it more than I would have expected. Did I mention how fast it is?
So here are seven Chrome extensions we have found pretty useful for SEO. Which ones do you recommend? If you haven't been too freaked out by the numerous screenshots of a close up Fabio Capello adjusting his glasses, then let us know which extensions are tempting you away from Firefox to the Google Chrome browser. For current Chrome users, what are you experiences using extensions with Google Chrome, does it actually slow down the browser?