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

Doctor HTML 
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
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
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. Screen Size Tester 
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 Script 
", 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 
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 
Though also not a tool, this handy list is something that we 
should all be aware of. For example, don't use horizontal 

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. 

Robin Nobles with Search Engine Workshops teaches SEO strategies
the "stress free" way through hands-on, search engine marketing
workshops ( in locations
across the globe and online search engine marketing courses
( Visit the World Resource
Center, a new networking community for search engine marketers.

Copyright 2003 Robin Nobles. All rights reserved.