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Identifying Your Backlink History with Google Webmaster Tools

Posted by in SEO

Today I’m going to continue on from where Dan left off in his post about unnatural link warnings from Google, about why you shouldn’t panic if an unnatural link warning from Google comes your way.  And why should you? You’re not doing anything wrong are you? …ARE YOU?

No, of course not. But what if someone else is doing something wrong FOR you? How can you tell if suddenly your site is being bombarded with unnatural links in an attempt to get you penalised?

By unnatural, we mean any obvious links that have been created deliberately to manipulate the search results, usually anchor text rich from websites selling Viagra, mail-order Russian brides, or link farms full of low grade and largely nonsensical content.

Enter the Google Webmaster Tools function, ‘Download latest links‘.

 

Download latest links‘ can be found by accessing ‘Links to Your Site’ from your Google Webmaster Tools menu on the left hand side of the screen. Once clicked, the data of all your links can be downloaded in either .csv or Google docs format, and sorted by date with the most recent links appearing at the top of the spreadsheet.

How do I use it?

If you have noticed a recent influx of unnatural links pointing to your site, downloading the latest links is a quick way to identify the domain(s) and recentness of the links. From there you can look into further strategies and tools that can be incorporated to identify the creator(s) of the ‘negative’ SEO.

But ‘Download latest links‘ isn’t all doom and gloom. The data can also be used to identify popular topics on your site. For instance, if you are noticing natural incoming links from different domains to one page on your website, it can indicate that people are finding that particular page helpful and an authoritative source of information that they want to share with their audience. From here, relationships with domains are able to be established for an ongoing mutual  link acquisition strategy, such as guest blogging.

For more of Google Webmaster Tool changes in the past week, see our other blog posts:

About

is a digital communications specialist helping businesses grow through targeted content. She has been featured on prominent websites including Wordpress.com and Slideshare.net. Paula enjoys photography, internet memes and watching cats on YouTube.

1 Comment

  1. Patrick Wagner Reply

    Thank you, Paula. This is great post on something few Google Webmaster Tool users know about. Now with the Google Disavow Links Tool you can use your backlinks info from Google to audit your backlinks and ensure no one is pointing crappy links to your website. Great job sharing this tidbit of valuable info.

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