Ladies and gentlemen, we've come to the end of our short-lived series, Firefox Plugins for the Search Professional. In closing, I present to you Alexa Sparky and the Compete.com Toolbar.
Sparky is a free Firefox browser plugin built by Alexa, that accompanies you as you surf, providing useful information about the sites you visit without interrupting your Web browsing. [It helps answers questions, such as the following:] Is this site getting more popular, or less popular? How does this site's traffic compare to other sites on the Web? If I like this site, are there others that I might want to visit?
The Compete Toolbar
The Compete Toolbar automatically creates two alerts for every web site you visit: Trust Scores help you experience a safer web by warning you of potentially malicious (spyware, phishing) web sites, [and] Site Profiles tell you how popular the web site is, its rank, and how fast it is growing
For competitive analysis, owning both toolbars allow you to have a better sense of the amount of traffic a site receives. Alexa or Compete metrics are skewed on their own. Though they are by no means perfect when joined, you can get a better idea for discrepancies. (On a side note, traffic is factor in search engine rankings, so it's an important metric to watch for.)
And that, in a very quiet fashion, s the wrapup for our plugin roundup. If you haven't already, don't forget to check the posts on SEO for Firefox, Keyword Checker, Firebug and YSlow. They're fantastic tools that have probably saved us hours, if not days in work. Lastly, if you find your Alexa and Compete rankings to be lacking, please get in touch with us and we'd be happy to consult with you.