Hub Finder Link Analysis Tool

Mar 21st

What is Hub Finder?

Hub Finder is a free link analysis tool which finds pages which link to related websites.

You enter in two or more related sites. If they have common backlinks in the Yahoo! Search database those pages will be returned in the results.

Try Hub Finder

When using it don't forget to use the full URLs including the http:// part. Why is Hub Finder Useful / Important?

  • Pages and sites which link to common related resources often exist in the same topical community.

  • Well themed pages have a tendency to rank well in search results since they use many similar variations to describe simarly related sites, products, and services.
  • Pages which rank well and are topically related may drive direct traffic which converts well.
  • As search advances more search technologies will likely place greater weight on links which come from pages and / or sites of the same theme.
  • One of the fundamental flaws with PageRank is that it looks at the web on the whole. Looking for thematically related links makes it harder for a person to manipulate relevancy with links from entirely unrelated powerful sites. By looking for thematically related links it forces websites to be well cited within their community of experts to achieve top rankings.

What does Hub Finder Cost?
Hub Finder is free.

Not only is Hub Finder free to use, but you can download the source code and place it on your site.

By default the tool has a link to this page and this site on it, but you can remove that if you like.

This software is released under a GNU General Public License. You can modify the source code and make the tool better.

Hub Finder was created in PHP. Your host must support PHP and DOM XML for the tool to work properly.

Problems with Hub Finder:
Some scraper sites tend to scrape thematically similar resources. Some of these may show in the search results. Along with those many of the actual hub pages will be returned.

Hub Finder usually works best if you look for cross referencing backlinks in well developed fields or check backlinks across a good number of sites.

Hub Finder works with the Yahoo! API, which I believe only allows you to query their database up to 5,000 times per day. This is part of the reason why the tool was made to be distributed, so that anyone can host it and so one central host site was not hosting a tool that frequently exceeded its limit.

Additionally other upgrade ideas are listed below.

Suggested Upgrades for Programmers:

  • Fetch top ranking sites: Currently the tool allows you to enter URLs one at a time, up to a limit of 10 URLs. This tool could be improved by also allowing the option of entering a search term and fetching the backlinks of top ranked sites.

  • Disclude: Option would be to disclude results from any specified URL. (This could be used to prevent you from sifting through backlinks on sites you already know well. Or sites which clog up the results with hundreds or thousands of rubbish scraper pages).
  • Paired with: Option would allow webmasters to look at pages which link to topical resources AND link to a specific page or site. An example use of this tool could be informing webmasters that they have a broken or outdated link when one of your competitors moves their site.
  • Find pages OR sites: On top of searching for common backlink pages the tool could also have another option or section of its results which looked for common root URLs between backlinks.
  • Grab more details: Tool could grab IP ranges, number of links on the page, and link text.
  • Multi Engine: the tool could allow people to grab backlinks from multiple engines. MSN seems to be more realistic than Google is in their policy toward SEO tools.
  • Sort: Tool could allow people to sort the search results by any of the topics it grabbed.

More Tools?
A cool friend made this tool. I have a few other tool ideas. Production depends on:

  • how quickly I can learn PHP

  • or how quickly I can find programmers who would like to make a few tools
  • or how quickly my friend is available to make more tools.

Try Hub Finder:
My friend Andy Hagans was one of the first people to host Hub Finder on his site, although his host seems to not support the tool sometimes. I created another mirror of that tool on the Link Hounds website.

If you would like to host Hub Finder or tinker with the source code you can find a copy of the original source code here. Change the file name to index.php and it should work if your host supports it. When using it don't forget to use the full URLs including the http:// part.

Upgrades & Mirrors:
If you upgrade or mirror the tool feel free to leave a comment below.

Published: March 21, 2005

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May 6, 2007 - 9:49pm

It's funny, I had an idea for a tool that included several of those improvements, except I didn't realize it would be doable with simple php.

September 1, 2006 - 1:07am

Hey! The Link Hounds site hosting this tool is down! Anywhere else I can use the tool?

September 21, 2005 - 7:14pm

Hub finder is a great tool. I can't wait to see where you go with this.

Rik Martin
24 Hour Computer Solutions

May 13, 2005 - 12:24am

Hub finder doesnt work, i get this error:

Warning: array_multisort(): Argument #5 is expected to be an array or a sort flag in /home/wmcommun/public_html/hounds/hub-finder/index.php on line 149

May 13, 2005 - 1:31am

Warning: array_multisort(): Argument #5 is expected to be an array or a sort flag in /home/wmcommun/public_html/hounds/hub-finder/index.php on line 149

that happens when you do not include the http:// part on the URLs. I likely will have a friend make it more user friendly by automatically detecting that and adding that if the user does not.

for now it works well so long as you put the http:// part in as well.


February 8, 2008 - 4:16am


I'm having problems finding the Google API key. When I go to use the hub finder it asks for the API. That then takes you to the Google developer website but I'm confused as to which API I need. There are a lot of API's to choose from. I would be really greatful if you could direct me to the one I need.

Thanks so much in advance


February 8, 2008 - 4:28am

You do not need to enter an API key...there is one baked into that tool.

February 8, 2008 - 10:54pm

HI Aaron,

First of all thanks so much for your response I always find it amazing how such a busy guy can afford the time to write back to blog posts!
I guess my question about the API's spans across the board. I need one for this tool for example . They have a link that takes you to the same Google developer's page but I still don't know which API to use. I also need an API for otherwise the results are limited to 10.
I have the same issue here as well. Could you offer me your advice on this please?

Cheers man


February 8, 2008 - 11:58pm

they decided to no longer support their useful api. thus if you want to use a tool like Digital Point's rank checking tool, but did not get an API code a few years back you can't use that tool to track Google.

July 31, 2008 - 4:27pm

Hi Aaron,

Links in this text at the bottom of the hub finder page are broken too:

Many of the major search engines have various algorithms which look at communities:

* Topic Specific PageRank (PDF) - converts search queries into their topical ideas. Speeds up the computation of PageRank by allowing a more rough estimation to be used by placing an additional topic biased layer on top of it. Most of TSPR calculations are
* Hilltop - looks for relationships between resources. Algorithm may boost the effectiveness of authority links from non affiliated pages and discount links which are viewed as nepotistic or controlled by a common owner.
* Topic Distillation (PDF) - background on topic distillation. Teoma calculates most of their connectivity scores in real time.



August 13, 2009 - 3:09am

This page says Hub Finder is free, but when I went to download it, the tools page says I have to be a premium member to access it. So... not free?

August 14, 2009 - 2:51am

The original version was free...but as we kept investing into it we decided to make it a premium tool.

May 20, 2015 - 7:38am

I'm looking at a post dated 8/13/2009 and downloading some free tools I noticed "If you are using FireFox 5...?"
Is it just me or does noticing such things make a person think something is wrong or not trustworthy with this site?

One thing is for sure the $300 a month price tag blew me out of being able to join. I don't think I have enough experience to even grasp what is being taught. Then again, if the pricing structure allowed for noob pricing in the beginning so one could pick up some knowledge that would be good.


Vincent Paretti

May 31, 2015 - 5:54am

...we should delete our old blog posts because they are old? or that we should spend all our waking hours re-editing free blog posts we wrote years ago?

If so, you wouldn't be a good fit for our site.

For many years search was a game with a low barrier to entry. When I got started (over a decade ago!) I was able to rank client sites for $100 to $150 ... it was literally that easy!

A somewhat competitive market might have cost a couple thousand Dollars. Not much at all.

That landscape is (for the most part) no more.

The current market is anything but easy. It is complex, challenging, hard, time consuming, hard to predict, and expensive.

If $300 seems like a huge sum to you AS A BUSINESS EXPENSE then you are not ready to be a member of our site. After you waste a year or two of your life trying to do everything for free, if you haven't washed out of the industry then you might at that point begin to value advice from people who have spent a decade or more in the industry.

A lot of the free advice which is publicly available is incomplete: given from the perspective of "in an ideal world" or from a faux altruism angle.

In that "ideal" world there would be no need for SEOs. And the search results wouldn't be polluted with PPC ads. But that ideal world doesn't exist. Each day we must live to fight another day.

Certainly it is easy to give feel-good info-lite generic advice for free, but individuals offering one-on-one in-depth feedback don't scale infinitely. There is no reason any self-respecting SEO with over a decade of experience and success should set their hourly rate anywhere close to minimum wage. If they want to do charity work, then they should do that in their free time.

Part of the reason our members value our community is the barrier to entry the cost provides. It keeps pikers out.

Make the community part of the site free & the barrier to entry disappears. Quickly the membership area becomes worth less than its price. This isn't idle theory either. There have been many well-known SEO forums which have died over the years.

If you research my background (or look at the satire in the page title on our homepage - which has been there for quite a while now) you will see that when I started out I cared deeply about the small independent player and focused heavily on trying to help them. Unfortunately, Google doesn't really give a shit about those sorts of businesses and has went out of their way to throw them overboard (read here or here).

Some industry "experts" go so far as to hint that the term "small business" is a euphemism for "spammer." They are so bad at shilling for Google they don't even realize how absurd they look when they write those sorts of posts. And yet most people are so ignorant they don't question that sort of thought leadership. That's the "industry" in a nutshell.

If you are a small business which is not local in nature & you want to compete on the commercial web on limited funding, then there is a good chance Google views your website as unneeded ecosystem duplication (thus something they don't care if they "accidentally" torch as a false positive) and/or outright spam (thus something they want to kill).

Like it or not, search is becoming pay to play.

If you are new to the market with limited funding and view strategy as a competitive edge, but you want that strategic advice to be free (or close to free), best of luck to you. You are certainly going to need it!

I wish you success, but the game is heavily rigged against you.

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