Screaming Frog SEO Spider Update – Version 7.0

Dan Sharp

Posted 12 December, 2016 by in Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog SEO Spider Update – Version 7.0

I’m delighted to announce Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 7.0, codenamed internally as ‘Spiderman’.

Since the release of rendered crawling in version 6.0, our development team have been busy working on more new and exciting features. Let’s take a look at what’s new in 7.0.

1) ‘Fetch & Render’ (Rendered Screen Shots)

You can now view the rendered page the SEO Spider crawled in the new ‘Rendered Page’ tab which dynamically appears at the bottom of the user interface when crawling in JavaScript rendering mode. This populates the lower window pane when selecting URLs in the top window.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider 7.0

This feature is enabled by default when using the new JavaScript rendering functionality and allows you to set the AJAX timeout and viewport size to view and test various scenarios. With Google’s much discussed mobile first index, this allows you to set the user-agent and viewport as Googlebot Smartphone and see exactly how every page renders on mobile.

rendered page screen shots

Viewing the rendered page is vital when analysing what a modern search bot is able to see and is particularly useful when performing a review in staging, where you can’t rely on Google’s own Fetch & Render in Search Console.

2) Blocked Resources

The SEO Spider now reports on blocked resources, which can be seen individually for each page within the ‘Rendered Page’ tab, adjacent to the rendered screen shots.

Rendered page blocked resources

The blocked resources can also be seen under ‘Response Codes > Blocked Resource’ tab and filter. The pages this impacts and the individual blocked resources can also be exported in bulk via the ‘Bulk Export > Response Codes > Blocked Resource Inlinks’ report.

Blocked Resources

3) Custom robots.txt

You can download, edit and test a site’s robots.txt using the new custom robots.txt feature under ‘Configuration > robots.txt > Custom’. The new feature allows you to add multiple robots.txt at subdomain level, test directives in the SEO Spider and view URLs which are blocked or allowed.

Custom Robots.txt

During a crawl you can filter blocked URLs based upon the custom robots.txt (‘Response Codes > Blocked by robots.txt’) and see the matches robots.txt directive line.

Blocked by robots.txt

Custom robots.txt is a useful alternative if you’re uncomfortable using the regex exclude feature, or if you’d just prefer to use robots.txt directives to control a crawl.

The custom robots.txt uses the selected user-agent in the configuration and works well with the new fetch and render feature, where you can test how a web page might render with blocked resources.

We considered including a check for a double UTF-8 byte order mark (BOM), which can be a problem for Google. According to the spec, it invalidates the line – however, this will generally only ever be due to user error. We don’t have any problem parsing it and believe Google should really update their behaviour to make up for potential mistakes.

Please note – The changes you make to the robots.txt within the SEO Spider, do not impact your live robots.txt uploaded to your server. You can read more about testing robots.txt in our user guide.

4) hreflang Attributes

First of all, apologies, this one has been a long time coming. The SEO Spider now extracts, crawls and reports on hreflang attributes delivered by HTML link element and HTTP Header. They are also extracted from Sitemaps when crawled in list mode.

While users have historically used custom extraction to collect hreflang, by default these can now be viewed under the ‘hreflang’ tab, with filters for common issues.


While hreflang is a fairly simple concept, there’s plenty of issues that can be encountered in the implementation. We believe this is the most comprehensive auditing for hreflang currently available anywhere and includes checks for missing confirmation links, inconsistent languages, incorrect language/regional codes, non-canonical confirmation links, multiple entries, missing self-reference, not using the canonical, missing the x-default, and missing hreflang completely.

Additionally, there are four new hreflang reports available to allow data to be exported in bulk (under the ‘reports’ top level menu) –

  • Errors – This report shows any hreflang attributes which are not a 200 response (no response, blocked by robots.txt, 3XX, 4XX or 5XX responses) or are unlinked on the site.
  • Missing Confirmation Links – This report shows the page missing a confirmation link, and which page requires it.
  • Inconsistent Language Confirmation Links – This report shows confirmation pages which use different language codes to the same page.
  • Non Canonical Confirmation Links – This report shows the confirmation links which are to non canonical URLs.

This feature can be fairly resource-intensive on large sites, so extraction and crawling are entirely configurable under ‘Configuration > Spider’.

5) rel=”next” and rel=”prev” Errors

This report highlights errors and issues with rel=”next” and rel=”prev” attributes, which are of course used to indicate paginated content.

The report will show any rel=”next” and rel=”prev” URLs which have a no response, blocked by robots.txt, 3XX redirect, 4XX, or 5XX error (anything other than a 200 ‘OK’ response).

This report also provides data on any URLs which are discovered only via a rel=”next” and rel=”prev” attribute and are not linked-to from the site (in the ‘unlinked’ column when ‘true’).

6) Maintain List Order Export

One of our most requested features has been the ability to maintain the order of URLs when uploaded in list mode, so users can then export the data in the same order and easily match it up against the original data.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as keeping the order within the interface, as the SEO Spider performs some normalisation under the covers and removes duplicates, which meant it made more sense to produce a way to export data in the original order.

Hence, we have introduced a new ‘export’ button which appears next to the ‘upload’ and ‘start’ buttons at the top of the user interface (when in list mode) which produces an export with data in the same order as it was uploaded.

Maintain list order export

The data in the export will be in the same order and include all of the exact URLs in the original upload, including duplicates or any fix-ups performed.

7) Web Forms Authentication (Crawl Behind A Login)

The SEO Spider has supported basic and digest standards-based authentication for some time, which enables users to crawl staging and development sites. However, there are other web forms and areas which require you to log in with cookies which have been inaccessible, until now.

We have introduced a new ‘authentication’ configuration (under ‘Configuration > Authentication), which allows users to log in to any web form within the SEO Spider Chromium browser, and then crawl it.

web form authentication

This means virtually all password-protected areas, intranets and anything which requires a web form login can now be crawled.

Please note – This feature is extremely powerful and often areas behind logins will contain links to actions which a user doesn’t want to press (for example ‘delete’). The SEO Spider will obviously crawl every link, so please use responsibly, and not on your precious fantasy football team. With great power comes great responsibility(!).

You can block the SEO Spider from crawling links or areas by using the exclude or custom robots.txt.

Other Updates

We have also included some other smaller updates and bug fixes in version 7.0 of the Screaming Frog SEO Spider, which include the following –

  • All images now appear under the ‘Images’ tab. Previously the SEO Spider would only show ‘internal’ images from the same subdomain under the ‘images’ tab. All other images would appear under the ‘external’ tab. We’ve changed this behaviour as it was outdated, so now all images appear under ‘images’ regardless.
  • The URL rewriting ‘remove parameters’ input is now a blank field (similar to ‘include‘ and ‘exclude‘ configurations), which allows users to bulk upload parameters one per line, rather than manually inputting and entering each separate parameter.
  • The SEO Spider will now find the page title element anywhere in the HTML (not just the HEAD), like Googlebot. Not that we recommend having it anywhere else!
  • Introduced tri-state row sorting, allowing users to clear a sort and revert back to crawl order.
  • The maximum XML sitemap size has been increased to 50MB from 10MB, in line with updated protocol.
  • Fixed a crash in custom extraction!
  • Fixed a crash when using the date range Google Analytics configuration.
  • Fixed exports ignoring column order and visibility.
  • Fixed cookies set via JavaScript not working in rendered mode.
  • Fixed issue where SERP title and description widths were different for master view and SERP Snippet table on Windows for Thai language.

We hope you like the update! Please do let us know if you experience any problems, or discover any bugs at all.

Thanks to everyone as usual for all the feedback and suggestions for improving the Screaming Frog SEO Spider.

Now go and download version 7.0 of the SEO Spider!

Small Update – Version 7.1 Released 15th December 2016

We have just released a small update to version 7.1 of the SEO Spider. This release includes –

  • Fix crash on startup for users of OSX 10.8 and below.
  • Show decoded versions of hreflang URLs in the UI.
  • Fix issue with connecting to a SSLv3 only web servers.
  • Handle standards based authentication when performing forms based authentication.
  • Handle popup windows when peforming forms based authenticaion.
  • Fix typo in hreflang filter.

Small Update – Version 7.2 Released 30th January 2017

We have just released a small update to version 7.2 of the SEO Spider. This release includes –

  • Prevent printing when using JavaScript rendering.
  • Prevent playing of audio when using JavaScript rendering.
  • Basic High DPI support for Linux (Configuration > User Interface > ‘Enable GTK Windows Look and Feel’).
  • Fix issue with SERP panel truncating.
  • Fix crash in hreflang processing.
  • Fix unable to start on 32-bit Linux.
  • Fix crash in tree view when moving columns.
  • Fix hreflang ‘missing confirmation links’ filter not checking external URLs.
  • Fix status code of ‘illegal cookie’.
  • Fix crash when going to ‘Configuration > API Access > Google Analytics’.
  • Fix crash when sorting on the redirect column.
  • Fix crash in custom extraction.
  • Fix ‘Enable Rendered Page Screen Shots’ setting not saving.
  • Fix ‘Inconsistent Language Confirmation Links’ report, reporting the wrong ‘Actual Language’.
  • Fix: NullPointerException when saving a crawl.

Dan Sharp is founder & Director of Screaming Frog. He has developed search strategies for a variety of clients from international brands to small and medium-sized businesses and designed and managed the build of the innovative SEO Spider software.


  • Glen 7 years ago

    Number 7 is incredible. Can’t wait to try that out :)

    Thanks for the update, Dan!

  • Peer 7 years ago

    Nice, good work! Now I only wait for the schedule feature with export function

  • Daniel 7 years ago

    This makes me extremely happy. Amazing work Dan & team, keep it up.

  • Per Pettersson 7 years ago

    Oh my. This is a very, very, very interesting update to the frog. Awesome sauce. Now let’s give it a go.

  • Mario 7 years ago

    This update is absolutely awesome! Thank you so much. The Fetch & Render helps a lot when looking for bad mobile pages and the hreflang saves me tons of time!

  • Nicholas Chimonas 7 years ago

    Absolutely amazing release. What a pleasant surprise to begin my workday with an excellent update to SF.

    I am very appreciative of your hreflang extraction upgrade! And the custom robots.txt! Just fantastic work, Dan and team. Time and time again you astound me with your upgrades, willingness to hear user feedback and integrate our ideas into future releases. You make my work so much more enjoyable and easy. <3

    • screamingfrog 7 years ago

      Hi Nicholas,

      Thanks for the awesome comment, really delighted to hear the release helps out! We’ve had so much amazing user feedback over the past 6 years, we’d be insane not to listen.

      You know where we are with any further feedback anyway. More to come, too!



  • ben 7 years ago

    This update broke my activation. My licence is no longer working.

  • Lorenzo Solís 7 years ago

    Screaming Frog 7.0 improvements are just great!
    Many thanks for the update! :D

  • David B 7 years ago

    Wow. These updates are great!

    And even with the price increase, Screaming Frog is still easily the best value SEO tool around.

    Only issue I have at the moment is with the way Screaming Frog displays on my laptop’s QHD display – everything is microscopic! I can change the screen resolution to make things readable but most programs automatically adapt for QHD displays. Will there be a fix for this anytime soon?

    I also have an idea for a future release, but I’ll send an email about that :)

  • Kabeer 7 years ago

    ‘Crawl Behind A Login’ is absolutely great!!

  • Susanne 7 years ago

    Congrats! This is amazing! Great work!

  • Vict winner 7 years ago

    Hi, cool news, in my opinion the frog is one of the best tools to analyze, thanks for the great product and good luck to you!!!

  • Daniel 7 years ago

    Major step up, Dan. Very impressed with the ability to now fetch and render all within the one screen. hreflang will also prove to be really useful for us.

  • Linda Ferguson 7 years ago

    Fetch and render in Screaming Frog! Yay! Keep up the amazing work!

  • Anton Shaban 7 years ago

    Great work! Blocked Resources and Maintain List Order Export – that’s I’ve been waiting for.

  • Adam 7 years ago

    What is “Missing Confirmation Links” I try to google it but still got no idea

    Thanks in advance for answer

    • screamingfrog 7 years ago

      Hey Adam,

      Google describe it in their hreflang guidelines here –

      “Missing confirmation links: If page A links to page B, page B must link back to page A. If this is not the case for all pages that use hreflang annotations, those annotations may be ignored or not interpreted correctly.”

      Hope that helps.


      • Adam 7 years ago

        Thanks! Now i see what seems to be issue – for ‘SC’ “/développeurs/” is not the same as ‘/d%C3%A9veloppeurs/”

        Great update!

        • Adam 7 years ago

          Update: Now I see that that wasnt the problem, Checked on ‘home pages’ ( links: “/” “/de/” etc ), can send you example na prv

  • Nico 7 years ago

    That’s a nice early Christmas present! :)

    You could top it by telling me if it is somehow possible to have Screaming Frog log into Google My Business. Specifically, I’d like to custom extract some data from the Google My Business Insights (via List Mode). Sadly, Google redirects the crawler (even after changing the identification) and crawling the list is then not possible.

  • Tmuna 7 years ago

    This is such an awesome update, ‘Crawl Behind A Login’ is absolutely perfect!

  • Calin 7 years ago

    Your tool works great to find broken links & duplicate pages. It helps to find out several bugs & issues in website!

  • President E. 7 years ago

    This is a really great update – ‘Web Forms Authentication’ is purely magic!

  • Staffan Ragnö 7 years ago

    Hi Dan, and thanks for an awesome product and customer service.
    Seeing as Google offers websites to implement Hreflang tagging in one of two ways (HTML or in Sitemap.xml), it would be an awesome future release feature (if possible) to be able to enter multiple market/language specific sitemap.xml-files into Screaming Frog and have it validate the “handshakes” between those sitemap-files. This is a really tedious task to perform manually and one that would be perfect for SF. Multiple CMS’, such as Magento for instance, has the ability to generate separate storeview sitemap-files, only listing that perticular storeview’s URLs and it’s own Hreflang-references – so to validate only one file won’t feedback any “handshakes” even if they do exist.
    Anyway, thanks for your awesome work – keep it up!

    /Staffan R.

    • screamingfrog 7 years ago

      Hey Staffan,

      Love the idea and the feedback.

      We do have full hreflang sitemap support on our ‘todo’ list and I have just added a note to our queue about your suggestion.

      Thanks again,


  • Simone 7 years ago

    The tool is awesome and superb. Now able to fetch and render simultaneously!

  • Lloyd Cooke 7 years ago


    You mentioned the improvements on the hreflang elements. I remember asking one of your team whether a hreflang .xml sitemap creation feature would be in future versions and they confirmed it’s in the roadmap.

    Just wondered if this is still the case?


    • screamingfrog 7 years ago

      Hi Lloyd,

      Improved XML Sitemap hreflang auditing, and generation are both on the roadmap.

      I can’t give you any dates on release, but they are in the prioritised list which is based on user feedback like this.

      Thanks for mentioning again!



      • Lloyd 7 years ago

        Thanks for the update Dan.

        There is still no comprehensive hreflang XML sitemap generation tool on the market, so this would definitely put Screaming Frog in an even stronger position.

        Whilst there is still a debate whether using hreflang XML sitemaps are as effective as having the hreflang code inline on the specified pages, hopefully Google will continue to improve how well they interpret hreflang XML sitemaps as they are often the lower maintenance option for hreflang management.

        Thanks again

        • screamingfrog 7 years ago

          Hi Lloyd.

          Appreciate the feedback, hreflang in XML sitemaps is a big pain point it seems at the moment.

          We will do our best to help!



  • Jesper 7 years ago

    Very nice update, packed with great new features and improvements. Keep up the awesome work guys!

  • Samuel Lavoie 7 years ago

    Feature 6 and 7 are incredible. Export in the same order will be a huge time saver when I recrawl on a working document where I also end up forgetting that last URL and adding it to the crawl and then messing with Excel in my custom report , no more! Feature #7 would be our secret weapon for all the SEOs doing QA, let’s evangelize the tool for QA people too! :-)
    Cheers to a *great* update!

  • Milan 7 years ago

    Please implement schedule feature with export function, and it will be completed tool

  • Olesia Korobka 7 years ago

    The tool is not loading any more. Just stopped this morning and I cannot get it working.

  • Mike 7 years ago

    Great update, I’m looking forward to trying out these new features. Thanks for all the great work you are doing, this tool is amazing!

  • James 7 years ago

    I finally have a way to win my Fantasy league, thank you

  • Great update, thanks!

  • David 7 years ago

    Only just got started with this tool, but it’s fantastic! Can’t believe I been missing this until now.

  • Jason 7 years ago

    Awesome SEO tool, and this update is well awaited. Some really neat features here guys. Cheers.

  • Hi there! my tools is keep on crashing, any idea what would be the caused? I already uninstalled and install.

  • indrajit 7 years ago

    Great news. thanks for keeping us updated

  • Ori Zilbershtein 7 years ago

    The last update looked really good, I admit that I haven’t fulfill the full potential of this tool yet but I can tell you that it is the tool I use the most out of all of the tools I use to spec my site. I will definitely use the Hreflang feature as I am about implement several languages. Thanks for the good work you are putting into this. Simply Amazing.

  • Biko 7 years ago

    Excellent work as always and really useful fixes (especially crashes in extractions) :) I also have to admit (as the user above) that i’m not using the frog on full power, but i count on the tool more and more every single day.

  • Chris L 7 years ago

    The new update is working well, great work. I was having random SC crashes 20 – 30 mins into the crawl previous on one of the sites I crawl weekly. Running fine since installing 7.2.


  • kırıkkale haber 7 years ago

    Great update, thanks!

  • Jim 7 years ago

    Awesome update! Screaming Frog is a great SEO tool. Highly recommended!

  • Daniel 7 years ago

    Version 7 looks awesome.

    • Gabriel rotch 7 years ago

      Great update. Thanks you guys, really appreciate all the great work you are doing.

  • Strony 7 years ago

    What I can say.. excellent work as always. High 5!

  • De todas las que he probado por ahora es la más fiable

  • Valdeir 7 years ago

    Man you are awesome!!

  • James A. 7 years ago

    Very much looking forward to version 8, great work on version 7.

  • Jenny Jackson 7 years ago

    This software is fantastic, I wouldn’t do without it! A+++

  • Ethan jones 7 years ago

    Awesome tool screamingfrog, going to recommend to everyone. Really like the look of the updates.

  • Peblo 7 years ago

    Hi. Can you please add export urls multiple sitemap index right after loading?
    Example – 300 sitemaps * 50K urls – SF can download it, but maybe nou enought memory to parse and crash. But anyway i want to save list of this 1.5M urls and to divide into several pieces.

  • Harry 7 years ago

    Nice program, this will go well with the other SEO apps we use. What I find particularly pleasing is the high speed parsing, finding links and problems.

  • Andreas Hatlem 7 years ago

    Great update. Ps. Would have been nice if one could circumvent blocked content.

    • screamingfrog 7 years ago

      Thanks, Andreas!

      You can do that already, by ignoring robots.txt, or using the new custom robots.txt feature above.



  • Slavcho Panov 7 years ago

    Hi Dan, The “rel=next/prev error report” feature is a gem. Trying the free version now and exploring the functionalities. I am definitely going to purchase the full version in a few days.

  • Tony 7 years ago

    Please can you add feature:
    In mode list or sitemap.xml show what urls is blocked in robots.txt first (Process them first. Now blocked urls are processed in the general order).

  • Great update! Well done as always!

  • I do everything on mobile, including managing my blog so I would appreciate if I see such great tool on mobile interface.

    Weldone for the great work you are doing.

  • Harold 7 years ago

    awesome upgrade! Super fast and accurate. everyone should have.

  • Nielsen 7 years ago

    Great update. Screamingfrog is a awesome tool!

  • Masa Media 7 years ago

    Great update. Thanks you guys, really appreciate all the great work you are doing.

  • Great update. Screamingfrog is a awesome tool!

  • Chris Velev 7 years ago

    The best SEO tool ever! It was the first tool I bought when I became freelance since then I use it on daily basis! The new UI made it so nice and welcomy :)

  • Gene 7 years ago

    If ones being scanned by this “Screaming Frog SEO Spider/6.2”, how does one determine the source IP doing the scanning?

  • Mughal 6 years ago

    Once again very nice stuff, beautifully written. Thanks for sharing. I have got a lot of help from your articles. Thanks alot.

  • Rowery Damskie 6 years ago

    This tool is incredible :) For me the best crawler on the market :)

  • Jakob Boman 6 years ago

    Hi Dan,
    Great article!
    I’m very interested in the hreflang attributes as I’m running an international site.
    Do you have any examples with sites that have aced hreflang tags and confirmation links?
    I would be a great help:-)

  • Paweł Kozłowski 6 years ago

    Magnificent tool for all SEO’s, especially if you need to create technical site audit. With Screaming Frog work with 404, crawl budget etc. is very easy :)

  • George Daskalov 5 years ago

    I’ve been using Screamingfrog paid version for some time and I really like how much time it saves me… I would say it gives much more comparing the money I pay for it – a lot of useful functionalities!

  • Hristo Babrikov 4 years ago

    I am using screaming frog from couple of years, I’ve tried some other softwares, still Screaming Frog is my choice number 1!

  • Bogomil Borisov 11 months ago

    Great article! Thank you!


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