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Google Webmaster Tools reporting LOTS more link info

Much improved over what you get with link:

     
12:08 am on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Ran across this in my account - an extra links tab for each site, which reports a LOT more links (internal and external) than the link command. A welcome addition indeed.

Official word here [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com].

We've extended our support for querying links to your site to much beyond the link: operator you might have used in the past. Now you can use webmaster tools to view a much larger sample of links to pages on your site that we found on the web. Unlike the link: operator, this data is much more comprehensive and can be classified, filtered, and downloaded. All you need to do is verify site ownership to see this information.

To make this data even more useful, we have divided the world of links into two types: external and internal. Let's understand what kind of links fall into which bucket.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 1:21 am (utc) on Feb. 8, 2007]
[edit reason] added quote [/edit]

3:06 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think google just gave webmasters the ability to find the scrapers. Time to file some DMCA complaints...
3:11 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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nice addition to the webmaster tools.

my only disappointment was to see that it only has about half the pages listed from one site even though a few of these missing pages are currently ranking very well for several keywords/phrases.

Though a little of something is better than nothing at all :-)

3:16 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am not sure this new tool is anywhere close to accurate.

I was checking the external links to one of the internal pages on one of my sites and strangely enough google shows external links to that internal page coming from one of the other sites that I take care of.

I checked the coding on the pages from the other site and there is not a single reference to the particular internal page in question so I do not see where google is seeing the link.

3:34 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The tool just stopped working for me, and now the tab seems to be gone. Am I nuts or is anyone else experiencing this?
3:36 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yea, it's gone from mine now too. Must be working a few bugs out? Or maybe it was all just a dream...

and you were there... and you were there

3:39 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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not having the "Link" tab.
Belgium here.
3:41 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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nothing here in California
3:48 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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it was an excellent tool to research your competition because it was really easy to use this powerful tool to check the inlinks of your competitors. I guess when then put it back online, it will work only with the domains with proven ownership...
3:56 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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they removed it because some people found you could check anyone's backlinks in it not just your own site. See Phillip Lessen's blog for more
4:09 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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silly me, I never even thought to try that...
4:20 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Oh boy, that really was a schoolboy error by Google - I only wish I'd tried to download some of my competitors backlinks but I would never have expected it to work!

It is a nice tool though, about time they gave us something a bit more useful.

4:23 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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OK, add me to the list of people not seeing the Linsk tab. I even tried logging off and back on to Webmaster Tools- nothing.

For those who were able to use it, are you still able to or is it gone for you as well?

4:36 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The whole push for personal identification of sites (required to use this tool, for instance) raises another privacy issue (again)... Some old discussions of WebPositionGold and other things like that point out that Google can't penalize your site even if you use tools they don't like because there's no way to connect the two. Now there is -- Google knows what you're searching for, what other pages you visit (if you use toolbar or the pages have adsense) and what site is your own.

Paranoia hat -- Google could start penalizing your site if you use Yahoo search too much! Or if you're looking up or visiting spammy link farm sites or affiliate programs they don't like.

Benefit hat -- this is a required step to starting true, use-based rankings of results. Identifying personal biases will help Google provide better results once they switch to a Netflix-style ranking algorithm.

4:47 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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they removed it because some people found you could check anyone's backlinks in it not just your own site.

Why is it bad to be able to check anyone's back links?

4:52 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Vanessa Fox has just commented on google blogoscoped that the links tab will be back soon.
5:21 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's not there for me too.
5:41 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's back for me. :D

Added: And the "see competitor backlinks feature" is fixed. :(

5:44 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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mine is still gone - 'twas good while it lasted
5:52 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The links tab should be available again, so go check it out. :) Let me know if you have any trouble.
5:56 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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OK, working now. I guess it will be a lot more useful to download all the data and view it that way.

Hey Google, 1 tiny request that would make a HUGE difference in Webmaster Tools (not to mention the AdSense admin), serve everything from a secure server so we don't get the "This page contains both secure and nonsecure items" popup "error" message.

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 6:04 pm (utc) on Feb. 6, 2007]

6:00 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Why is it bad to be able to check anyone's back links?

I'm just guessing but I assume that, if you could query Google for a million tons of data about all the sites in the world, somebody would. Multiple somebodies would. Everybody would.

A Google API Key allows you to check your rankings through different interfaces (which IMO is not something they should ever take away from us!) but if you could use your API key to check out all the link relationships for your competitors, that'll run you up over the limit for your daily queries really fast.

Generally speaking, I think they'd rather you not exploit their resources like that. Vanessa?

6:05 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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it's back
6:28 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A reminder, to help clear up some of the confusion earlier in the thread: this link data is still just a subset of the complete universe of links Google knows about.

As explained on the Google's webmaster central blog:

"Google knows about more links than the total we show, but the overall fraction of links we show is much, much larger than the link: command currently offers."

And, of course, Google isn't given any indication which links are considered important (given any weight) within Google's ranking algorithms.

6:32 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Holy cow ... I cannot believe just how many site scrapers were "stealing" from us.

Google... if you're reading this please make a way that we can report these spammy/undesireable pages from this external links list without us having to search for their types of results in google.com and then making the reports.

6:38 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Super tool Google, thanks
8:03 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google... if you're reading this please make a way that we can report these spammy/undesireable pages from this external links list without us having to search for their types of results in google.com and then making the reports.

Excellent idea!

10:53 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What does "Last Found" mean?

We are seeing links with dates after Nov06 , yet our sites had links recorded some 3-4 years previously, so I'm wondering what the significance of "last found" is. It seems like a term comparible with "last crawled" when Google last recognised that particular link.

Can anybody verify this?

11:48 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Am I the only one thinking if Google gives you more infos about backlinks they become less relevant.

Remember fighting spam can also be psychological warfare. :)

Why first obfuscate the links and then help you hmm.. inconsistent behaviour.

11:50 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Would be nice to have another column for a "originally found" date.
11:52 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I'm with LifeinAsia...
Google, please take care of "This page contains both secure and nonsecure items" - it's really annoying! I have almost 200 sites in Webmaster Tools and I have to click "ok" every 2 seconds...

Good job on "links" thing!

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