Google's official position on webmaster best practices really hasn't changed much over the years. What has changed is the search engine's ability to enforce these guidelines through improved algorithms. The implementation of Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird has had a profound impact on the SEO landscape.
Google's Matt Cutts has remarked that no one should be surprised when a website that hasn't followed the guidelines is penalized. What Cutts overlooks or chooses to ignore is something that I have dubbed the "Google Paradox". I suspect the Google paradox is the root cause for one black hat forum member expressing his desire to "punch Matt Cutts in the face" (perCutts' Pubcon 2013 keynote).
In order to reach the top of the SERPsand stay therein 2013 and beyond, your website must deserve to be there. It needs to be the best in class. It must offer the best user experience in that niche. Fortunately, there are a number of free tools that can help you achieve that goal.
Developing the right list of keywords remains a staple of SEO, even in 2013. Because the keyword selection has such a profound impact on the overall performance of a website, the keyword selection process shouldn't rely on a single tool.
TheWordstream Free Keyword Tooloffers thousands of keyword ideas from a huge database of more than a trillion unique searches. This tool outperforms some of the paid alternatives in the market.
2. Keyword Eye Basic
Keyword Eye Basicis a visual keyword suggestion tool, that works particularly well for brainstorming sessions.
Übersuggestutilizes the "Suggest" data from Google and others. A terrific tool for developing long-tail phrases.
Everyone knows by now that Panda ushered in a new era for content quality. No longer will cheap, spun, or duplicate content frequently find its way to the top of the SERPs. These tools will help you with your content development
Robots.txt Checkeris a "validator" that will analyze the syntax of a robots.txt file to verify the format is valid.
11. URI Valet
Use theURI Valet Header Checkerto view total number of objects (http requests), time to download, object details, document internal links, and external links along with verifying server headers for each.
Fiddleris a web debugging tool which logs all HTTP(S) traffic between your computer and the Internet.
21. Microsoft Free SEO Toolkit
Now that you have run each of these tools over your website, it's time to run a full blown SEO audit, complete with detailed reports. Fortunately, Microsoft has created aFree SEO Toolkitwhich does just that.
What are some of your favorite tools for on page optimization?