Discover the Best Tools to Monitor the Value of Inbound or Outbound Links to Your Website
The rules of ‘SEO’ for retail websites change all the time. Because search engine algorithms change all the time. And it can be frustrating. What exactly is Google looking for this week when it ranks what it considers to be the most relevant sites for any given search? While it is true that best practices in SEO are never static there is one thing that Google has always looked for, and almost certainly always will; great links, both incoming and outgoing.
By now most people who own and maintain any website, especially a business website, understand just how hard their site, and ultimately their business, could be impacted negatively by an unnatural links penalty. Over the years Google has implemented several large algorithm changes to do this and lots of businesses suffered in the process because they were not following ‘the rules’.
Hopefully, you have conducted a link audit on all of your ‘old’ links and cleaned up any that could have been problematic at least once or twice. Going forward though it is still important to monitor new links, especially the incoming links that you have little control over. Many wonder if there is an easy way to do this that will not entail spending hours pouring over an Excel spreadsheet (hours that you really don’t have to spare). The good news is that the answer is yes and there are a number of utilities available to help. Here is a little about some of the best of them:
Google Webmaster Tools Latest Links
Some people do not even realize that there is a section of the Google Webmaster Toolbox that monitors new links separately.
To access the functionality head to the “Search Traffic” radio button in the left sidebar, and then to “Links to Your Site”. If you then click on the more option under “who links the most” at the top of the next screen you will see the option to “download latest links”. By doing so you will be able to see – and analyze – any new links fairly quickly and easily.
Link Explorer “Just Discovered”
Link Explorer is a newly debuted analytics tool from the SEO experts at MOZ that has both free and paid tools and offers what is possibly an even easier way to keep track of new links via the “just discovered” functionality. The results are close to real time, often a link may have been placed just minutes ago and you can quickly create a report that will define both the origin of the link and its category – followed, nofollowed, 301, etc – which will allow you to determine its quality more easily.
Ahrefs – New Backlinks and New Referring Domains
This may be the best tool of all when it comes to trying to determine whether a new inbound link is going to be a help to your site or poses a threat. For each new link, you will be able to see the referring link itself, its title or anchor text, how many external and internal links that particular URL contains, its status code, the number of social shares, the destination URL being linked to and exactly when the link was placed. A lot of information for sure, but really all you need to understand the quality of the new link.
How Often Should These Tools Be Used?
For the average small business site performing a link audit with these tools once every one to two months should be more than adequate. The exception to that would be if your site has had major problems with unnatural links in the past. In that case, for at least twelve months after such an event, you should probably be checking once a week.Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.