Development is going full steam after last week release. We decided to cherry pick a couple of new features and publish a minor update of the site analyzer software, code-named “Zêna”.
New feature: “Cross HTTP/HTTPS boundaries” crawl option.
When this new option is selected (the default value) links to and from the HTTP/HTTPS version of the same site are considered internal, and thus explored.
The new crawl option makes links to the wrong protocol version of the site being treated as internal links and crawled
Technically speaking the HTTP and HTTPS are treated by search engines as different sites, they could be two completely different things. Nevertheless, it's quite common for them to be two views of the very same content, one secured by SSL protocol.
While we strive to make Visual SEO Studio mimic at best the behaviour of a web search spider, we believe an SEO tool should before everything else help spotting potential issues, and simply not navigating those links as the previous versions did could have made users miss internal links issues, for example in case of a site migration from HTTP to HTTPS.
An image is worth a thousand words, so lets see two different images: a site crawl paths crawled with the old policy, and the same site as visited with the new crawl option.
A site with internal HTTP/HTTP links issues.
The old crawl policy doesn't outline the issues
The same site crawled with the new (default) option.
It just take a glance to realize there are internal links still pointing to the old protocol
Note: Mind you, you don't normally want having your content accessible with both the two protocols, much like you don't want it for both the www and non-www version, that's why you normally set 301 redirects to the preferred version.
New feature: “Show in code” context menu command
A simple feature which could potentially save you a lot of time, this new context menu option is available for the “Page Links”, “H1-H6 headings” and “XML Sitemap Validation” windows (in this last case only when the selected row is referred to an element in the source code).
The new “Show in code” context menu
It is available wherever a detail is referred to an HTML or XML element
choosing the option makes the related code to be highlighted in the Content window:
Effect of the “Show in code” command applied to an H1 header:
the header tag is highlighted in the source code view
There's a lot of potential in Visual SEO Studio, not always the user interface expresses at best yet. This feature just took a few minutes of coding, because it all was already there under the hood. Expect many other goods like this to appear in the near future.
An example of use
Suppose we are in the case of the previous example, with three URLs found belonging to the old HTTP version of the site.
The Crawl View made a good job showing us there are still internal links pointing to the wrong version, but how to know where they actually are?
Normally to know where a link to a page is in the Crawl View, you just need to see the parent node in the tree view. In this case the root node is different, so let's use the “Go to Referrer” command to select it in the tree view.
Use the “Go to Referrer” command to locate the page with the wrong link in the tree view
From the “Page Links” window it's easy to locate the line using the “Find value in grid...” command:
Using the 'Find' command to locate the link row
and then we can use the new “Show in code” command to view the anchor tag in the actual HTML code.
"Show in code" command from "Page Links" window
Conclusions, and what's next
We had these features ready on a medium-term development branch, and realized many users could benefit from them, so we decided to drop a new version.
The setup experience also has improved a lot; many users will appreciate the setup translated in their own native language.
There is a lot of stuff nearly ready, queueing for prime time, and other parts are progressing fast.
Visual SEO Studio is now widely used and appreciated among SEO professional even if still in the beta stage. The goal is to make it even more appreciated and loved.
We are working hard to reach a 1.0 version within the next few months.
Have you migrated a site to HTTPS?
Don't waste time, and audit your internal links with Visual SEO Studio!
Comments are open on linked Google+ page.