What is a browser?

Browsers, also known as web browsers, are programs that are used to display websites on the Internet. Today’s browsers can display PDF, images or videos in addition to HTML documents without any problems, as well as reading and processing Java Script and PHP files.

Most common browsers

According to acronymmonster, the most popular browsers include Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari.

The Internet Explorer from Microsoft is still one numerically indeed among the most used browsers frequently, but this can be applied to fixed settings on computers by offices, bureaux or similar lie. Microsoft announced in March 2015 that from Internet Explorer 11 onwards, no further versions of the browser would come onto the market. Instead, the “Spartan” browser is being developed, which is currently (May 2015) on the market as a test version.

At the beginning of 2015, the Russian search engine Yandex offered the first version of its browser ” Yandex Browser ” for download in Germany. The browser is based on Chrome and is compatible with Chrome Extensions / Plugins.

Browser settings and search engines

The settings in the browser can have a significant influence on the results of various search engines. In order to get a neutral picture of the SERPs, it is often necessary for SEOs to consider a few things:

clear browser history

The browsing history can be deleted in practically all browsers. The data that can be deleted also includes the cache, saved passwords, search history, cookies, or content licenses. It is recommended to delete this data regularly for security reasons. In the Chrome browser, this is done via “Settings”, in other browsers there is a similar button.

Set the search engine in the browser.

Every browser currently available offers the option of setting the standard search engine. Depending on the manufacturer and country, there are different preset search engines. As a rule, there is the option of setting a search engine as the default under “Settings” in the respective browser.

Browser and SEO

Browser extensions

So-called browser extensions, or browser plugins, are programs with which browsers can be individualized. For example, the visibility index of a page, the robots.txt or other metrics can be displayed at a glance without going to an external website. A non-exhaustive list of the most common SEO plugins:


The plugin “ MozBar ” from the SEO company MOZ from the USA is available in a free and a paid version. The free version shows, among other things, the following metrics of a website directly in the browser: the title tag and the meta description, H-headings, existing canonical tags, no-follow links, internal and external links.

The paid version creates an API for the MOZ software.

Sea robots

Seerobots shows the status of the meta information of a website, e.g. noindex, nofollow and the HTTP header.

Sistrix toolbar

The Sistrix toolbar shows a quick overview of the website’s performance. The data are not sufficient for more in-depth analyzes, but the toolbar is sufficient for a rough assessment.


SEOquake is a fairly comprehensive extension that is installed by default in many search engine optimizers. Among other things, the PageRank, the number of indexed pages, social signals, age of the domain and many other metrics are displayed. The toolbar is correspondingly large, but can be customized.


Firebug is only available for the Mozilla Firefox browser. It can be used to read the HTML and CSS code as well as Java Script and PHP files from a website. In addition, the code can be changed live, the effects are simulated in the browser. Many other functions, such as a network analysis, make Firebug a popular plug-in for website developers and search engine optimizers.

Representation on different end devices

It is often important for search engine optimizers to see what a website looks like on smartphones or tablets, for example to test the implementation of responsive design.

The Chrome browser offers such a test by default. To do this, you have to right-click the mouse on a website and go to “Examine element”:

In the window that then opens, click on the “Smartphone” symbol:

You can now examine the page for different devices and display sizes. This function is permanently implemented in the Chrome and Firefox browser.

What is a browser

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