Whether or not you're a Chrome user, be aware that this browser offers several extensions that make life a lot easier for link builders. Since I use Chrome for all of my link building, I decided to share a few productivity boosters that have saved me a ton of time finding & analyzing prospects, reaching out to those prospects, and so much more.
This extension is essential because of its SERP overlay feature. The Mozbar shows Open Site Explorer data right under each search result, allowing you to quickly analyze link prospects right from the SERPs.
If you need to do large scale prospecting in the SERPs, SEOquake is great. This extension gives you plenty of link data next to each result – all of which can be exported as a CSV file. For more information on how to use this extension for link building, check out Jason Acidre’s detailed walkthrough.
Out of all the broken link checkers online today, Check My Links is probably the fastest. Once you’ve downloaded it, hit the icon and then wait roughly 20-30 seconds for the page you’re currently viewing to show the links that are no longer working. Then, reach out to the webmasters to let them know your links are broken, being sure to suggest a functional link back to your site as a replacement.
Although not as fast as CML, Domain Hunter Plus is another broken link checker that has a lot of great features. Here’s a look at the screen that pops up once the scan is finished:
From here, you can export the broken links as a CSV with OSE data included, check to see if the domains of the broken links are abandoned and available to register, as well as click on the two numbers to see OSE data to that particular broken URL.
For more information about this extension, check out my review here.
If you spend a lot of time reviewing potential link prospects, the Nofollow extension is a great way to check and see if the outbound links you’re looking at are nofollow or not. If they are, a red dotted box will appear around them.
By right clicking on a search result and clicking “Scrape similar”, you can use this extension to quickly & efficiently scrape the SERPs for similar sites. Justin Briggs goes into more detail on using this tool in this post.
When Ross Hudgens mentioned spell checking as a value-adding outreach strategy, I started searching for the best Chrome extension for the job and came up with the Spell Checker for Chrome extension.
To use this plugin, copy the text of the page you want to check, and then click on the green check mark icon in your toolbar once it’s installed. Input the text into the box, hit “Go! Spell check” and the corrections will show up in green as shown below.
While helping webmasters identify and correct spelling mistakes doesn’t work every time, I’ve found this technique to have the most success with libraries and college websites, as they tend to care about spelling mistakes more than other site owners. Notify them, and then suggest they add your link to the page (of course, assuming it’s relevant to the page in question).
8. A href++
If you have a long list of unlinked URLs to check, highlight them all, right click, select “A HREF++” and they’ll all open in new tabs.
This extension lets you open up a large number of links at once. After installing the plugin, hold the shift key, and then left click to create a box around the links you want opened. Once you let go, all of the links will open in new tabs.
WOT (Web of Trust) is a tool that shows you how trustworthy a site is based off of “a global community of millions of trustworthy users who have rated millions of websites based on their experiences.”
Although I don’t know how legitimate these ratings are, I do know that you can use this when filtering link prospects, as a trustworthy WOT score usually means it’s a solid link in Google’s eyes.
If you do a lot of outreach in Gmail, this extension helps you customize the Gmail interface and remove things you don’t need.
There are tons of options you can play around with, and I guarantee you’ll find something in the Gmail display that you don’t need and can quickly get rid of.
If you or your link builders spend a lot of time on submissions (i.e. directories), and you don’t want to give out your email for spam reasons, trashmail.net for Chrome creates a temporary email you can login with in order to make the confirmation so that you never have to give away your actual email address.
If you need a quick PR checker, this is the one I use. It’s quick and easy to use, and displays the Google Toolbar PR as one of your extension icons.
14. Fastest Chrome
I really like this extension. What it does is displays multiple pages on your screen, without clicking on the “Page 2” link. It’s a little tricky to explain, so let me give you an example.
Say I only have 10 results showing per page in Google. With this tool, when I scroll down to the bottom, it automatically loads the second page of SERPs with a fat black divider that says “Page 2”. This is great, because you can quickly see who’s ranking on which page in seconds. The extension does the same thing, even when you’re viewing other sites besides Google.
Also, when you highlight a word or phrase, a small pop up appears that allows you to search Google for it. This is especially useful when you’re scanning an article and trying to get familiar with the industry jargon; just highlight it and search, find the info you need, and then get back to reading.
15. Insert Text
If you’re consistently writing the same text, this extension can be a great time-saver. Just right click on the text box, choose “Insert Text”, and choose the specific text block you’ve saved.
For example, if you’ve got 30-40 directories to submit to, saving your site’s title and description within this extension will save you the hassle of typing it in each time.
16. Word Count
It’s a bit of a stretch to apply this extension to link building, but I use the Word Count plugin to quickly check the word count on a particular article or post (if it looks short). I then let the webmaster know that the content is thin (telling him the actual number of words usually gets his attention!), and finally I offer to fill some gaps in the content, with – of course – a link back to my site for my contribution.
What did I miss? Which Chrome extension should be #17? Let me know in the comments below!
Jon Cooper is an Internet Marketing blogger and if you liked his post, then you’re going to love his link building blog. He discusses all things link building, from strategies to resources and more. You can also find him on Twitter at @pointblankseo.