It’s no secret that link development is a crucial part of search engine optimization. Agencies and companies that are serious about SEO often dedicate entire teams of resources to link development, all in an effort to increase search engine visibility. But how do you track the effectiveness of a successful link campaign?
AuthorityLabs recently announced their new backlink data tracking feature, which does exactly that. A welcome addition to their ranking reports, AuthorityLabs is pulling live data from multiple sources to report and graph the growth of your domain’s backlinks over time. It also gives you a list of blogs linking to your site, what the anchor text of the link is, whether or not it’s a nofollow link and other metrics to help you better understand what your link portfolio looks like.
Where the Data Comes From
AuthorityLabs is pulling data from Yahoo! Site Explorer, SEOmoz’s LinkScape, MajesticSEO and Google Blog Search. What’s the difference and why use so many sources? Chase Granberry, Founder of AuthorityLabs, says that no one service has really established themselves as THE link data provider yet, and a lot of their users already have accounts with SEOmoz and MajesticSEO. So they are essentially providing serious link developers with a dashboard to all their data.
Yahoo! Site Explorer
Yahoo! Site Explorer allows you to view Inlinks for any URL and provides filters for excluding internal links and viewing links from just a single page or for an entire domain. This tool has been around for a while and for many is the “tried-and-true” link reporting tool; however, there has been some speculation as to whether this tool will continue to exist with the upcoming Yahoo/Microsoft deal.
AuthorityLabs is pulling more than just the number of links pointing to your domain, but using LinkSCape to display individual links and their Page Authority score.
The total link score is the total number of links from all websites, including internal, external, followed and nofollowed links.
Top Domain links shows each unique root domain linking to your site, along with the anchor text (or image). Next to each individual link domain is the Page Authority score, which tries to predict how any given page’s content will perform in search engine rankings. It takes into consideration all link metrics like the number of links, linking root domains and SEOmoz’s own mozRank and mozTrust metrics.
Like LinkScape, MajesticSEO has its own index of the web that it uses to calculate and compile link data with. AuthorityLabs reports the total number of external backlinks to your domain and also graphs the growth of links to your site over time.
Google Blog Search
The last source of link data is pulled in from Google Blog Search. AuthorityLabs reports the total number of links by using the “link:” operator in Google Blog Search, and also provides a separate list of the latest blog links. In Chase’s own words:
“Some domains you’ll find have a lot of links, as reported by Yahoo!, LinkScape and Majestic SEO, but have very few blog links. I think this is an indication of opportunity, if a site is obviously link worthy but bloggers haven’t really caught on.”
We’re also excited to finally have a tool that lets us graph a site’s web rankings over time and correlate that data set with a link development campaign. For those already familiar with AuthorityLabs, you will know that you can track single pages as well as entire domains. So imagine monitoring rankings and links for each of your blog posts or site’s pages over time and how other bloggers are interacting with your content.
All in all, we’re impressed with the new reporting and are looking forward to new and improved features from the team at AuthorityLabs.