Uppity is a FireFox extension that allows to go up one directory level in the URL of a webpage. This way it allows to do “reversed” browsing: from the deep page to the home page.
How can this tool turn useful?
(!) Research your competitor’s URL structure and learn how they handle content management, nonexistent pages status responses, etc.
(!) Easily browse any website – use the tool as the breadcrumbs even if the site itself doesn’t offer them: discover new folders and directories.
(!) Better understand the usability and accessibility issues of the site you diagnose.
Browse always one level up:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ (which redirects to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page)
- https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/reviews/display/ (“Missing argument: addon_id”-page that redirects to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/)
Here’s how the tool works:
- Clicking either the button on the toolbar or status bar (OR: Using the keyboard shortcut ALT-Up (Option-Up on the Mac)) moves from one page to the next in that list;
- Clicking the drop-down arrow next to the toolbar button (OR: using ALT-Down (Option-Down on the Mac) key) presents that entire list, from where you can navigate directly to any of those options.
Note: the tool is not visible immediately after installation. You will need to install either a toolbar or status bar button:
- To enable the statusbar button, go the extension options. Go: Tools – > Addons, find Uppity in the list and click on “Option“;
- To enable the toolbar button, right-click on your toolbar, choose Customize, and then just drag-and-drop the Uppity button to where you like it.
A tiny tip aside: if you are using Opera, you can browse this way as well: CTRL+Backspace is the shortcut for that.
Using the tool you are likely to come to the conclusion that each part of an URL should return a meaningful content: this is the perfect URL structure. I tend to support this URL structure for a couple of reasons:
It is Google-friendly: Google may be using “URL stripping” (i.e. dropping the file path to discover and crawl the folder), so if you are using “virtual folder” which returns no content or 404 status code when queried directly, this may result in extra crawl errors.
(There’s also a theory that too many “virtual” directories, i.e. those that do not resolve to anything meaningful, in a file path results in Google treating the URL suspiciously).
It is good for usability:
- A guessable URL allows users to guess directory paths in URLs and directly type the name of the folder / strip the folder to access the information they need. For example, landing at example.com/seo-tools/keyword-tool-1 the user may browse directly to the list of ALL SEO tools by simply stripping the URL: example.com/seo-tools/
- An obvious URL allows users to guess content of the page before ever reaching it.
Quick note: There’s a reason I said “tend to support”. When it comes to URL structure I try not to be too straightforward. Don’t get me wrong, an “ideal” URL is always good and I recommend thinking your URL structure thoroughly before launching the site. When the site is live (and indexed and visited), more often than not it is safer and wiser to keep the URL structure as it is. I don’t want you to go ahead and change your URLs, especially if you don’t have a good tech support: most often that results in the screwed site structure and lost traffic (and rankings).