Great Free SEO Tools: Rex Swain’s HTTP Viewer
I am not a fan of the million tiny SEO tools which barely do anything, that can be found on site after site, but every so often someone puts something out that does some heavy lifting and is extremely useful. Every so often when I come across a great free SEO tool that’s worth looking at I’ll do a rundown here.
One old-school, great SEO tool that has been around for awhile is Rex Swain’s HTTP Viewer.
It allows you to examine a single page’s HTTP header (or headers, if it redirects in a chain), and see what is returned to the browser.
You can use it to:
Make sure your web pages are redirecting properly
Confirm that non-www versions of web pages are properly redirecting to the www version, as outlined in my recent posting The Highest-ROI One-Line SEO Change You Will *Ever* Make
Check for sneaky cloaking techniques
It could be that you’re working on a website that previously had a shady webmaster or SEO who put some cloaking in place, presenting non-user-oriented, keyword-stuffed pages to the search engines in order to try to rank highly for something, but everyone has since forgotten this is in place. Or, if you have a competitor who is presenting something different to Googlebot’s user-agent than to end-users, why not report them in to Google? Rex’s tool allows you to specify the user-agent, so you can put in Googlebot’s User-Agent string or any other you’d like.
Fake Referrer Strings
There is an interesting, fairly new feature that allows you to fake the referrer string, I suppose to see how your web server or anlaytics package will handle it – I am unaware of interesting applications for this, but if anyone can think of any please comment below.
Overall this is a super-useful and great little tool that every SEO should keep in their bat-utility belt.