Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Check Indexed Backlinks

So, earlier today I ran across a blog where the blogger told his readers he was unsure how to check indexed backlinks. He said he "Googled it" and found http://backlinkwatch.com. I used to use that tool as well, but now they spammed it out (I HATE pop up ads) and they don`t give you the option of exporting the results! What`s up with that?

So, for you newbie’s who need a few shortcuts, here they are:

If you haven`t downloaded the Google Toolbar, go do it! Be sure to check the box that displays PageRank (PR). Once you have this installed, click on the PageRank button, it should give you options:

Google Links
Google Cache

By selecting "Google Links" you are giving Google a command to display all indexed link to that page ONLY. So, if you are on the homepage (HP) then you are only going to see the indexed link to the HP, not the entire site!

This same command can be manually done by simply going to Google.com and typing in the following:

links:_____________________(Domain URL here)

No spaces.

Let`s try it together using Nike.com:

Ask Google:

I get: Results 1 - 10 of about 3,830,000 for links:http://www.nike.com

That tells me 3,830,000 links are indexed to the HP - http://www.nike.com

WOW! That is a lot! But how do you know how many the entire site has? Good question. By installing and using the Google webmaster tools, for your own site, you can see quite a bit more.... but for the public, short of literally doing that link command on each page of the site, there is no way to ask Google for a list of all indexed backlinks.

So, now what? Why not try Yahoo! They allow the same commands, but it`s easier to follow these instructions:

Go to Yahoo.com
Type in site:_____________________(Domain URL here)
Again, no spaces.

You have now asked Yahoo to explore that domain. Google allows a site command as well, so if you are curious how many pages are indexed in a site URL with Google, simply use the site: command in Google instead of Yahoo (this works for Bing too)... but, the Yahoo site explorer functionality is going to make this task a LOT easier...

So, let`s do it together again:

Ask Yahoo:

You should land on the default page that shows you a number of indexed pages:

I see 22,114 indexed pages. Next to the pages button you should see InLinks, click on it. I see 698,853 indexed links.... but wait! These numbers include ALL links, which means I`m getting the internal links, and, if you look to the right, we are only looking at THIS URL. So, again, we haven`t asked Yahoo to give us the indexed links to the entire site, but only to this specific page. However, Yahoo, unlike Google, gives us the option to select all pages! YAY! Be careful though, if you are looking for unique links only, you should also select "except from this domain" in the next drop down, otherwise you will be getting all of the internal links as well.

So, let`s try this again. We are already on http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/search?p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nike.com&bwm=p&bwms=p&fr=fptb-&fr2=seo-rd-se

No, to the right of the InLinks button, you`ll see two drop down options, for the first one:

Show Inlinks: select "except from this domain"

For the second one:

to: select "entire site"

Now what do you see? I see:


1,409,131 other pages are linking to Nike.com according to Yahoo! WOW!

If you want to know if a particular link is indexed in Google, find out what page it points to and give Google a link command to that specific page. Concerned you don`t see your link? Worried this means your links aren`t "working".... well, before you get too worked up, a couple of things to know:

Google NEVER displays 100% of any sites indexed backlinks (they can`t give away all their secrets!)

It takes Google 3-6 months and often times much, much longer to fully index a link, so check for the frequency of the cache instead (cache:_____________________(Domain URL here)). If the page is caching, your link is getting seen!

If you really want to get a particular link seen, link to the page that is linking to you! This ensures the spider will crawl the page and boosts the authority of the site hosting your link as well!

The Nutshell:

If you want to know something, ask the engine! Just remember these commands:

site:_____________________(Domain URL here)
links:_____________________(Domain URL here)
cache:_____________________(Domain URL here)

Questions? Need help? Ask me!

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I use this to check how difficult it may be to rank a site, thought not very accurate it gives you an idea of the link building competitors are doing. I usually check 5th - 15th places at first before going deeper. But you often see sites below the fold or on page two can have more links than some on page 1 which tells you quality can play a big role, i've ranked sites up to 3rd place for the most competitive keywords and according to google 2nd and 1st had hundreds I had 3 when it felt like displaying them but usually said i had 0. I know exactly how many links it took me since it was a new site and the strategy and quality was what ranked the site. Not long after I got into 3rd i had emails from the 2nd place site asking to exchange links, and what an insult they wanted a link 1 click from my HP and they were going to place mine in their recip directory. Psshh amateurs... I read something about you needing a program to gather anchor text? Drop me a line let me know what you need