Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau - image used under 'fair use' HTML validation: parsing errors
HTML parsing error, inspected
HTML parsing error, Custom Filter
Show in DOM, a closer look
Blocking robots.txt directives
Columns customization persisted
Conclusion, and What's Next

 

HTML validation: parsing errors

Remember the "XML Sitemap validation" window? Now it's even more complete.
Renamed "Validation" and with a brand new icon, it also does HTML validation!

HTML validation: Parse errors found in HTML code - Visual SEO Studio
HTML validation: Parse errors found in HTML code

While not a full W3C HTML validation, it's a super-fast, local (no need to call a web service) validation of only those errors which could prevent content being correctly understood by humans and search engines. HTML parsing errors are shown in the selected language.
HTML validation does not impact directly SEO ranking, but some errors in the HTML can impair the way a search engine sees your site and have better being fixed.

Note: yes, it still does XML Sitemap validation, and is the fastest and most complete tool on the market for the task!

HTML parsing error, shown in DOM and in source code

OK, now you've seen the errors list, but where do they exactly are in the page code? Here come to rescue a couple of nifty tools.
Did you notice the Line and Column values are links? Click on them and a couple of options will pop-up: "Show in code" (a feature already introduced with the former release for Page Links and H1-H6 page headers), and the brand new "Show in DOM".

clicking on the cell links pops the two menu commands - Visual SEO Studio
clicking on the cell links pops the two menu commands

This is a shortcut for the two options related to the cell value, the same context menu commands and others more are available by right clicking anywhere on the current row)

Now, select the entry "Show in DOM", et voilà! The chosen element is highlighted in DOM view.

the element is highlighted in DOM view
the element is highlighted in DOM view

Oh, by the way, from any node in DOM view (element, comment, text...) you can decide to visualize it in Content view:

'Show in code' command now available also from DOM view - Visual SEO Studio
"Show in code" command now available also from DOM view

element highlighted in HTML view - Visual SEO Studio
the same element, highlighted in HTML view

HTML parse errors, a new dedicated property for Custom Filters

OK, now for a single page you can see the HTML errors to fix, and where they are... but how to know all the pages needing some love?
Hey, don't forget Visual SEO Studio comes with a powerful and flexible SEO-oriented query engine, to dig your crawl data as you need.
Now it has a new property the query engine can inspect: "HTML parse errors":

Custom Filter set to 'Retrieve all pages with parse errors' - Visual SEO StudioCustom Filter set to "Retrieve all pages with parse errors"

It just take a single row filter, the syntax is straightforward. Now click on the "Apply filter" button above, and you get a table view loaded with all pages obeying to the search criteria. Cool!

Show in DOM, a closer look

The above mentioned helper "Show in DOM" is available everywhere it companion "Show in Code" is.
To make it easier to spot where the helpers are available, we made Line and Column cell values links like in the Validation tool.

'Show in DOM' command, available from Page Links - Visual SEO Studio
"Show in DOM" command, available from Page Links

'Show in DOM', available from page H1-H6 headings
"Show in DOM", available from page H1-H6 headings

Blocking robots.txt directives

When Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) just told you a rough number of pages blocked by robots.txt, Visual SEO Studio has been the first SEO tool to tell you exactly which pages were blocked. Now it tell you also which Disallow directive and which actual robots.txt file is responsible for the block.

robots.txt blocking directive in 'Non-crawled items' - Visual SEO Studio
robots.txt blocking directive in "Non-crawled items"

The "Non-crawled items" lists all URLs found but not crawled. When the reason is a block by a robots.txt Disallow line, it is now shown in the "robots.txt blocking directive" column.

Wait a minute, did you notice the 'Disallow' line is a link?
I know you can't resist, so go ahead, click on it... and wow, look at what happens: the robots.txt file is selected and shown in Content View, and the referred line is highlighted. Cool!

The blocking 'Disallow' directive highlighted in robots.txt - Visual SEO Studio
The blocking 'Disallow' directive highlighted in robots.txt

Note: you can access the option also via the context menu command "Show blocking robots.txt" by right clicking anywhere on the desired row.

Little known to many users, the Page Links tool since ever tells you whether an internal URL pointed by a link is robots.txt blocked.
Now it also tells you which Directive is responsible for the block, again with a dedicated "robots.txt blocking directive" column:

robots.txt blocking directive in 'Page Links' - Visual SEO Studio
robots.txt blocking directive in "Page Links"

Columns order and visibility are now persisted

Long time asked by our user base, this simple feature aims to make you save time when repeatedly dealing with your SEO tasks.
Table View columns order and visibility are now remembered, no need to arrange them again!

Did you know you can reorder and switch the columns visibility since ever, didn't you?
Just as a quick refresher, here is how to do it:

To switch visibility, right click anywhere on the table header, select the "Pick columns" entry, and choose which columns to see.

How to switch column visibility in Visual SEO Studio
How to switch column visibility in Visual SEO Studio

To rearrange the columns order, click and hold on the desired column header, and drag it where you want it to appear.

How to change column order in Visual SEO Studio
How to change column order in Visual SEO Studio

Now, back to the persistence point. Once you close the Table View window, the options will be remembered next time you'll open a Table View.

Note: while the customization persistence is - for now - available only for the Table View grid, changing the column order and visibility (and all other options you can see in the right-click context menu) are available for all grids in Visual SEO Studio.

"Hey Fred, what if I want to set the columns order and visibility back to the factory default?"
Not a problem, there's a new menu option for you (Main menu -> Tools -> Preferences):

the new options menu to restore grids to their default settings
the new options menu to restore grids to their default settings

Conclusions, and what's next

There is a lot more in the 'Clouseau' 0.9.2 release of the SEO analysis tool: tonnes of other usability improvements, performance improvements, and a few fixes as well. For a full and boring list, please consult the official Release Notes.

Once again, we tightened our schedule and published little more than a week after the previous release. It would have been a shame not to push all these goodies out.

Next release is planned in about a two or three weeks, with more new features.

Note: Fred will be attending two web marketing events the second half of September: BrightonSEO in England, and SEMDays in Romania (if you happen to be there as well and keen for a chat and a beer, just shout).

Surely you are hitching to start inspecting your site, so don't waste time and update Visual SEO Studio to the latest release!

Comments are open on linked Google+ page.