It’s been over a year since Google conducted a survey asking webmaster which features they wanted the most. Our analysis of that survey showed that people were desperate for more information on backlinks.
Google obliged by updating ‘Links to your site’ in Webmaster Tools to provide a full list of all backlinks which could be exported in full. This posed a few problems for large sites which have a lot of links. One of our bigger clients had about 80,000,000 backlinks and the downloaded CSV was in the region of 800MB. Working with this amount of data is not easy.
Somebody must have realised that this was either unusable in some situations or perhaps giving away too much information because Google have recently updated the tool again.
The reports are now broken down in a new way.
Who links the most
Top 1,000 domains that have links to pages on your site.
This report shows the top 1000 domains with the most links to your site. Unfortunately this probably means you can’t get information about single links from high authority sites which will get pushed down below sites linking to more than 1 page.
You get both a number of Links and Linked Pages figures for each domain which is very interesting. You can combine the 2 figures to get a rough idea of the linking profile. e.g. A site with lots of links to lots of pages is probably more interesting than a site with lots of links to just a single page.
For any domain which links, you can see up to 1000 pages which it links to. For each of your pages, you can then drill own and get up to 1000 backlinks pointing to that URL.
Your most linked content
Your top 1,000 pages that are linked from other domains.
The report shows the top 1000 pages which the most backlinks so you might not be able to analyse a specific page that only has a few links.
For any of the top 1000 domains linking to one of your top 1000 pages, you can see the top 1000 linking pages.
How your data is linked
Top 200 anchor texts used in backlinks.
The information in this report is initially very interesting but you quickly start to see issues. It looks like it’s including anchor text on internal pages. The order doesn’t seem to make much sense but this could be because internal links are included which skews things. You can’t view any more information about any of the anchor texts that are listed. Apart from giving a few ideas about new keywords, it’s hard to see what value you can get from this report. Suggestions are welcome.
Google has broken Webmaster Tools as a good source of extractable backlink information. They’ve taken away the comprehensive information and added a new interface which makes some things easier but prevents you doing anything particularly valuable such as looking at the growth of links to new pages.
We’re looking back to MajesticSEO and LinkScape as our primary sources of backlink data.