Thursday, June 04, 2009

IIS Search Engine Optimization Toolkit

I love Google Webmaster Tools since it tells me things I’m doing wrong on the websites I maintain (in fact I love any tools that tell me what I’m doing wrong, FxCop, the HTML editor in Visual Studio, compilers… I’m sure a psychiatrist would draw some scary conclusions from this admission). But the problem with the Google webmaster Tools is that they aren’t very responsive. If I fix an issue, I have to wait for the Google bot to crawl that page again before I know it’s been fixed.

So I was pleased to be directed to the Search Engine Optimization Toolkit by ScottGu’s post. It’s only in beta but it’s already a powerful tool. It will tell you about lots of potential problems on your site, such as missing alt tags on images, missing description meta tags, broken links, no h1 tag etc… I’ve spent the day trying it out with the Process Mapping site and have cleaned up a lot of potential problems, that no other tools had told me about. Only time will tell if this improves our ranking a lot, but I’m guessing even in the worst case, it won’t cause our ranking to drop, since all the suggestions seem perfectly sensible.

It’s simple to install, requires nothing special on the website to get it working and provides instant feedback, so I’m sold on it. The only possible downside is that it will only install on IIS 7 I guess (although that doesn’t mean your website needs to be running IIS 7, just the machine running the toolkit). 

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