Yesterday we released the Beta 2 version of the IIS Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit. This version builds upon Beta 1 adding a set of new features and several bug fixes reported through the SEO forum:

  1. Report Comparison. Now you have the ability to compare two reports and track a lot of different metrics that changed in between such as New and Removed URLs, Changed and Unchanged URLs, Violations Fixed and new Violations introduced. You can also compare side-by-side the details as well as the contents to see exactly what changed both in markup, headers, or anywhere. This feature will allow you to easily keep track of changes on your Web site. More on this feature in a future blog.
  2. Authentication Support. Now you can crawl Web sites that have secured content through both Basic and Windows Authentication. This was a feature required to be able to crawl Intranet sites as well as certain staging environments that are protected by credentials.
  3. Extensibility.
    1. Developers can now extend the crawling process by providing custom modules that can parse new content types or add new violations.
    2. Developers can also provide additional set of tasks for the User Interface to expose additional features in the Site Analyzer UI as well as the Sitemaps UI.
  4. Canonical Link Support. The crawler now understands Canonical Links (rel="canonical") and contains a new set of violations to detect 5 common mistakes such as invalid use, incorrect domains, etc. The User Interface has also been extended to leverage this concept, so you can generate queries using the "Canonical URL" field, and the Sitemaps User Interface has been extended to filter in a better way those URLs that are not Canonical. For more information on canonical links see: http://www.bing.com/community/blogs/webmaster/archive/2009/02/12/partnering-to-help-solve-duplicate-content-issues.aspx
  5. Export. Now there are three new menu items to "Export all Violations", "Export all URLs" and "Export all Links". They get saved in a CSV (comma-separated-value) format that can easily be opened with Excel or any other Spreadsheet program (or even notepad). Log Parser is another tool that can be used to issue SQL queries to it.
  6. Open Source Files and Directories. To facilitate the fixing of violations now when you crawl the content locally you will get a context menu to open the file or the directory where it is contained in the pre-configured editor with a single click.
  7. Usability feedback. We did tons of changes in the User interface to try to simplify workflows and discovery of features based on usability feedback we had.
    1. Now we have a Start Menu Program to open the feature directly (IIS Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit).
    2. New Search Engine Optimization Page. Now all the features are surfaced directly from a single page as well as common tasks and the most recently used content within them so that with a single click you get into what you need.
    3. Query Builder updates, better UI for aggregation, auto-suggest for some fields, and better/cleaner display in general.
    4. Automatically start common tasks as part of a workflow.
    5. Less use of Tabs. We learned users felt uncomfortable getting multiple Tabs opened such as when "drilling-down" from a Violations query to see the details. In this version the "drilling-down" happens on a popup dialog to facilitate navigation and preserve context on where you were before. We also kept the option to open them in Tabs by using the "Open Group in New Query" context menu option for those that actually liked that.
    6. Added a new Violations Tag in the details dialog to facilitate fixing page-by-page from the Details Dialog.
    7. New grouping by start time in the reports page.
    8. Many more…
  8. Many bug fixes such as Fixes for CSS parsing (Comments, URL detection, etc), URL Resolution for relative URLs, Remove noise for violations in redirects, better parsing of CSS styles inside HTML, Fixes for HTML to Text conversion, better handling of storage of cached files, fixed format for dates in sitemaps, better bi-directional rendering and Right-to-Left, etc.
  9. Flag status codes 400-600 as broken links.
  10. Robots now can open the robots.txt file and fixed a couple of processing issues.
  11. Sitemaps has better filtering and handling of canonical URLs
  12. Many more

This version can upgrade Beta 1 version and is fully compatible (i.e. your reports continue to work with the new version) so go ahead and try it and PLEASE provide us with feedback at the SEO Forum in the IIS Web site.

Click here to install the IIS SEO Toolkit.