Friday, 11 April 2014

Scrutiny v5 (webmaster tools) - new features

The first of the new 'killer' features is website monitoring. It's very easy to add a url for monitoring, and with the 'enabled' checkbox checked and while Scrutiny is running, it'll check that url at the interval you set.
Options include sending GET or POST requests, and the code you expect back. You can choose what happens if the expected code isn't received - an on-screen alert, email, and/or writing to a log file.

Next, a couple of new options to make the crawl more flexible.
The support desk has received a few questions over the years about Scrutiny failing to find links on pages where the page requires javascript. If a page has 'nosscript' text then this is what Scrutiny has received, and if the page uses javascript to write content into the page Scrutiny hasn't seen it. We can debate whether this is the best way for a site to behave but Google now seems able to exectute js before parsing it and Scrutiny can now do the same.

Sites sometimes contain documents in pdf format which contain hyperlinks. Scrutiny can now scan those documents and check the links. It's an option turned off by default because pdfs can be huge and loading them in will obviously have an impact on the amount of memory Scrutiny is using.

The first thing you'll notice on starting Scrutiny 5 is the new interface. As Scrutiny has become bigger, the interface has become cluttered and bewildering to some. We hope that the new interface looks more welcoming. The list of sites shows more information than before with bigger icons.
It takes a step-by-step approach with Previous and Next buttons. When you click past the settings screen, you'll see a new list of tasks with a simple checkbox allowing you to run a new scan or use data already gathered.
Workflow is important to many, and I can tell you that setting a site to run on schedule is the best way to ensure that your site stays free of problems. With this in mind, this screen allows you to set a scheduled scan. Press 'Schedule', choose some options including the day and time, and then 'OK'.
From the task list mentioned earlier, it's possible to start a scan manually and then leave Scrutiny to take these actions when it's finished.

I hope that's sparked your interest. Scrutiny 5.0 is ready for beta testing and if you'd like to be involved in return for a free upgrade from v4 then contact

[update added 28 April 2014]
Scrutiny 5 is still in beta but is now on v5.0.3 and the following enhancements have been added:

  • Page character encoding detection is improved, and character encodings now supported include CP1251 (Cyrillic script eg Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian Cyrillic)
  • Now supports urls which include non-ascii characters. Some may argue that this is against web standards, but it's becoming more common and accepted by Google and browsers
  • New option to include <lastmod> in xml sitemap. If this is checked, the last modified date for internal pages is logged (if the server gives it) and shown in the sitemap table


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  2. Could you add spell checking? Some of my customers find it annoying to check each page manually.

  3. Hi Morgan, thanks for your interest. Yes, spell checking has been on the enhancement list for a long time. It's good to hear what features users would like, it helps to prioritise these new features.