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Link Discovery - What Google Webmaster Tools can Tell You
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Link Discovery - What Google Webmaster Tools can Tell You



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  • 1. Discovery, What Google Webmaster Tools Can Tell You?by DiTescoWith the advent of all the changes that has been happening in the SEOrealm, one of the things that all webmasters should be doing is trackinginbound links. Inbound links or backlinks simply put, are “of f -site” linksthat point back to your homepage or inner pages.There are many ways you can identif y “who links to you”. You can makeuse of SEO tools that are f ree, paid or those so called “f reemium” (workswell but normally with limited f unctionality). What I will show you today is af ree tool that not only is pretty accurate, its data comes directly f rom oneof the most important search engines around. Guess you already knowwho I am ref erring to here, right?If you guessed Google, you are spot on. Google’s webmaster toolsactually has a neat tool that provides you with a list of your inbound links. This list has a lot of inf ormationthat you can use to take several actions that may be important to you. Actually you should really be usingGoogle’s webmaster tools because in one way, this is how they “communicate” with you regarding stuf fabout your site.Why Is It Important To Know Who’s Linking To You?Without a doubt, one of the of the most important reasons is because your link prof ile matters a lot f oryour websites rankings on Google and other search engines, f or that matter. Penguin 2.0, which you knowhas recently been rolled out, targets primarily webspam. In many cases, webspam is in the f orm of unnaturalor manipulative inbound links. If you think you have been hit, one of the things you will eventually need todo is to analyze and identif y suspicious inbound links and do some work to remove it f rom your link prof ile.That’s really the f irst thing you should do to recover f rom Penguin 2.0.Aside f rom the obvious SEO implications of your inbound links, there are some other important reasonswhy you would want to know who links to you.When you identify who and where the links pointing to you are coming from, you should or can:Leave a comment and say thanksAssuming that the link is coming f rom a non-spammy site, when someone links to you, you should at thevery least be very thankf ul and let them know that, by simply leaving a meaning comment and thanking thesites owner (or author). The site owner will def initely appreciate that and perhaps it could even be thebeginning of a meaning relationship with them. Of ten times, this is how relationship are built.Strengthen the article by sharing itLeaving a comment alone is good, but while you are at it, why not share it on your network? The moreinteraction that article has, the better f or you and the site that linked to you. When you do this, you are“strengthening” that article that has a link back to your site. You may say, yeah but that link is “nof ollow”, sowhat’s the benef it? Well the obvious benef it is that you are helping the site owner and yourself to increaseexposure, regardless of the SEO benef its. Plus, how do we know f or sure how Google and other search
  • 2. engines treat those links anyway?Your Content being scrappedYeah, this one can be a problem, and to keep this short, you would want to know where these links arecoming f rom. Most of the time, content scrappers (despite linking back to its original source) are spammysites, and f or this reason, you may not want links f rom that site pointing to you.With that said, here’s how to get a list of your backlinks f rom Google’s Webmaster Tools.How To Discover Inbound Links With Google Webmaster Tools?From your webmaster dashboard, select the site you want to download the links f romOn the lef t side, go to traf f ic > links to your site > and click more at the endYou can choose any option f rom here. Download this table, download more sample links or Latest Links. Ilike the “latest links” option.Once you click on the latest links option, it will let you download a CSV f ile of all links that have discoveredby the webmaster tools (by date). Open the f ile with excel and transf orm the f ile to “columns”. Then youcan sort the inf o by URL to make things easier f or you.Note that depending on how many inbound links you have, it may be a very long process, so I suggest to
  • 3. start f rom the f reshest once f irst.Now, all you have to do is to go to those URLs and do, whatever it is you f eel you should do, as mentionedon some suggestions I noted above. If you are specif ically trying to evaluate the “quality” of the linkpointing to you, a quick way to do this is by using MajesticSEO or SEOMoz Open Site Explorer.
  • 4. On MajesticSEO just enter the URL and see the citation and trust f low of the site you are analyzing. Youshould at least by looking f or a citation and trust f low of 20+, respectively.On SEOmoz, what you are looking f or is the Domain (DA) and Page Authority (PA) of a site. A good startwould be a DA and PA of 50+.That’s it!. Have you used this Google webmaster f eature bef ore? If so, what do you use it f or? I’m sure I’mmissing some things out, so do let us know what you make use of it f or.