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Visual SEO Studio

Published: sabato 6 aprile 2013

This is both a feature-release and a bug-fix release.
What follows is a fully detailed Release Notes; for a quicker non-exhaustive overview with pretty screenshots, please read: Talking about Visual SEO Studio 0.8.5


Full support of URL decoding of all Unicode characters shown in paths.
The program has always correctly displayed Unicode characters, but what if they are URL-encoded in the URL?
While for several western countries it is considered a best practice limiting URL characters to a restricted set (e.g. avoiding accents on vowels in the URL), for many other cultures not only the rule might not apply, it is common practice. Showing the original encoded URLs in most views would make them very hard to use.
This release makes a huge step towards those users who have to deal with Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Japanese, Hindi, Tamil, etc... in the URLs.
Please notice the feature is probably unique in Visual SEO Studio, at least is not present in the most known competitor products.
The URL decoding support is added throughout the whole application: all URL related properties (Path, Location, Canonical, Referrer, HREFs...) are shown both in the original and URL-decoded version, using the URL-decoded (and human readable) as preferred one for all the views where user has quickly spot what the pages are about.

Related changes:

  • Tabular View, added URL decoded versions of Canonical Path and Referrer;
  • Find Pages Dialog - now searching also decoded URL paths (performance wise)
  • XML sitemap editor now shows paths url-decoded, to make it usable for many non-western cultures as well
  • URL Suggestions, duplicated canonical now url-decoded
  • Referrer Path shown url-decoded
  • HTTP issues, now also the Location path is shown with an URL-decode to correctly represent all Unicode characters
  • URL suggestions, Canonical Path shown url-decoded
  • URL Suggestions grids, added Path Encoded column
  • Suggestion Trees (HTML and URL suggestions), now the grouped pages path is shown with an URL-decode to correctly represent all Unicode characters
    Sorting is performed accordingly using the URL decoded text
  • Page Links, now the internal path is shown with an URL-decode to correctly represent all Unicode characters
  • Tabular View, Find Results and HTTP issues, now the path is shown with an URL-decode to correctly represent all Unicode characters
  • Index View, Crawl View, now the path is shown with an URL-decode to correctly represent all Unicode characters
  • SERP snippet, now the path is shown with an URL-decode to correctly represent all Unicode characters

Other new features:

  • HTML Suggestions, added reports "Duplicated titles (canonical)" and "Duplicated meta-descriptions (canonical)". It can make perfect sense having duped pages if one has canonical pointing to the other (happens often in e-commerce sites).
    The new logic returns totals better resembling the incomplete reports you can find on GWT.
    The old "Duplicated titles" and "Duplicated meta-description" are kept for comparison for a while, but might be dropped soon (and the new report will take the old names); I'm waiting for users feedback on this.


  • FIXed real world crash - user launched long crawl on Friday night; PC went in suspend mode while fetching an HTTP stream; on Monday when PC resumed, the program attempted to read the stream and crashed. Now it does not crash and can continue crawling (but the page is lost)
  • Robustness - minor change to better handle case of tabs closed before the asynchronous data computation were completed. This should hopefully FIX a real world crash experienced by three users
  • FIXed crash condition in HTML Suggestions if user closed the tab before the data was ready and shown. It never occurred in the wild, so no beta tester has been harmed to fix this issue :)
  • Crawl and Index views - FIXed performance issue on loading/expanding huge trees
  • Session grids, minor UI issue: when switching project, session lists were reloaded in ascending order
  • Fixed error in detecting pages with canonical path different from crawled one in some cases where there is a query-string
  • HTML Suggestions, minor UI fixes in new report tabs


  • Crawl Options, default crawl-delay shown as 10s (instead of 1.0) when no "override crawl-delay" option is selected, to avoid create false expectations; when selected, it automatically is set to 0.0s (the most common choice), but one can of course change it.
  • Interactive Crawl: now progress bar adjusts it's maximum based on the queued elements (so it might vary over time) keeping the set max number of pages to visit as top limit. Before the program used such value as progress bar maximum, but did not mean much if the number of visitable pages - unknown a-priori - was (much) smaller.
  • Interactive Crawl, now the progress bar shows a text with the current value, maximum and percentage
  • HTML and URL Suggestions: added a break down of analyzed pages
  • Tabular View: now rows are coloured using the same visual clues used for on the Tree Views (crawl and index view)
  • Crawl and Index View: non-canonical URLs evidenced in green
  • Start Page: current project pre-selected in projects list
  • Sessions Management - now all commands available via context menu are also available via a visible toolbar; added button to perform a new crawl; changed explanatory text
  • Session picker, added columns ID (fixed) and number of visited pages
  • Session grids, now new sessions are always added at the top of the grids
  • Property grid, user-friendly property names (not using the db column names)
  • HTML suggestions, report "Duplicated Meta-Description tags": evidenced page titles
  • HTML suggestions, now for Duplicated title and meta-description, canonical path is shown instead of pseudo-Referrer
  • Usability issue fixed - Create Sitemap, changing checked state of a tree node made the top node to be selected; this was particularly annoying when working on nodes at the bottom of a huge tree


  • Tabular View, minor changes: renamed headers to "Crawl depth" and "Crawl progressive"
  • Robots.txt viewer - added comment box to explain the feature is still under development and there will be much more to come
  • URL suggestions, report "Duplicated Canonical tags", evidenced page titles (instead of pseudo-referrer)
  • Html Suggestions - char-long titles and meta-descriptions reports moved in order. They do not really tell you the picture, user should rely on the pixel width based reports (Truncated Title and Truncated meta-descriptions)
  • SERP item - adapted to new SERP layout (path font is now 14px, spacing slightly changed)
  • URL suggestions - "Pages with weird characters" renamed as "Pages with Encoded characters", because that's what it is. While it's not a "best" practice for languages as Italian or Spanish, in many non-western cultures it's at least "common" practice, and saying "weird" sounded disrespectful.