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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why Many Freelance Writers Use Firefox As Their Internet Browser

Firefox is not just a regular internet browser to many freelance writers.

As you'll soon realize if you keep visiting this blog everyday, there are numerous applications out there that we take for granted. Many of them actually have hidden tools that can help you perform better as a freelance writer or blogger. Mozilla Firefox is one of them.

A lot of oDesk buyers (clients) look for writers who are familiar with certain Firefox plugins. These are software add-ons that run on the browser itself. The plugins that oDesk clients typically look for are those that either help in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), marketing, or simply determining a particular site's standing in the World Wide Web.

One particular information that clients usually want to know are sites' Page Ranks or PRs. Let me elaborate on this a little. When you run a search on Google, you'll notice the results span over a great number of pages.

For example, if I search for 'Firefox plugins', I get 20,300,000 results. See image above. Surely, I wouldn't want to read the 20,300,000th result. In fact, any result on the 3rd page would already be extremely lucky if I clicked on it. I'm sure most of you rarely go beyond the first page when looking for something.

Generally speaking, those sites with high PR's are found in the earlier pages. So obviously, site owners (at least most of them - some don't rely on PR at all) prefer to have high Page Ranks.

oDesk buyers who are into Internet marketing will also want to submit articles to sites with high Page Ranks. This is for the purpose of what is known as backlinks (links that point back to their sites).

As a freelance writer, you might also want to write for clients whose sites have high Page Ranks, as that generally means you'll get more exposure. I forgot to mention that high PR sites also bring in more visitor traffic via the search engines than sites with low PR. That means more people will get to read your articles.

So where does Firefox come into the picture?

Firefox allows you to install a plugin that shows the PR of each site you visit. Below are screencaps of two sites having different PRs.

This feature is available in what is known as the Google Toolbar. You may download the Google Toolbar here.

Another nifty plugin is the Alexa toolbar a.k.a. Sparky. Sparky displays the traffic trend, a reach meter representation, and the traffic rank of the currently active site on your web browser's lower right corner. Below are the Alexa displays of the two sites shown earlier.

Just like PR, the information Sparky provides will help you determine the popularity of a site. By the way, a lower Alexa traffic rank indicates a more popular site. Note that that's opposite to PR.

You may download the Alexa toolbar here.

This is just the surface. We'll be featuring more plugins in our future posts, so stay tuned. If you like our posts, do keep on dropping by. Seeing more visitors on the Live Traffic Feed on the right will inspire us to keep on writing.

Have a great day!

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