Google Offers More Link Data

Google's Link: command has been broken forever, but now Google is letting you see a far more representative sample of external links to your site and your internal link structure if you verify that you are the owner of your site by signing up at Google Webmaster Central. They also allow you to export your linkage data in an excel file. Some ways to use this data:

  • look at internal link structure of important pages and make sure they are well represented

  • look at internal external structure of important pages and make sure they are well represented
  • look at which pages on your site are well represented and make sure they link to other key pages
  • download your external linkage data and sort by date to look for new link sources (and why they are linking at your site)
  • run the excel sheet through a duplicate site remover or c class IP range checker to see how diverse your linking profile is

If you have shifty sites obviously there would be little to no upside in verifying those sites with Google, but if your sites are generally above board you might find this tool useful.

Thanks to Adam.

Published: February 6, 2007 by Aaron Wall in seo tools


February 6, 2007 - 7:15am

The Excel download is great -- it seems like one nice use for this will be to throw it into a database, import a new excel file every month and look for variances (new links,missing links,etc)

Also, when looking at internal linking, I'm seeing some of my pages capped in increments of 100 -- some at 100, others at 200. I think this is interesting and am wondering if I can find any rationale behind the different levels.

February 6, 2007 - 2:58pm

Great observation Mark. I've not experimented with that. Does it seem like the number of internal links it shows is correlated at all with the prominence or traffic of the site?

February 6, 2007 - 3:34pm

Aaron, can't you update the FF extension to show data in there? that would really rock :D

February 6, 2007 - 4:00pm

I don't understand why this tool hardly shows any external links, yet when I search for my domain I get all sorts of links from other sites - any idea if they only count certain types of links?

They are showing three (3) external links, when a search for '' returns hundreds, if not thousands.

February 6, 2007 - 5:15pm

Good Point Razvan, that would be a great addition to the FF tool. Aaron would that be hard to do?

February 6, 2007 - 7:27pm

It is not showing the links tab in the webmaster tools for any of my sites. Perhaps not everyone can use it yet.

February 6, 2007 - 7:42pm


Google implement features gradually, so in the next few days we should all have this feature i.e. if they determine the sample users was a success.

February 6, 2007 - 8:11pm

It's nice to see a more 'real' benchmark to base this type of information on - thanks for the heads up ;-)

February 6, 2007 - 8:41pm

I don't intend on placing this in SEO for firefox since it only shows data points for your own websites AND requires you to already be signed up for Google Webmaster Central to see results.

Hi Allen
I guess the feature is not rolled out for everyone yet. But part of the reason they showed so little link information in the past is that they wanted to make it hard to reverse engineer manipulating the rankings, whereas a search for is just matching text...even if that text is part of an ad.

February 6, 2007 - 10:07pm

It is a long expected tool. I just can't understand why Google did not release that before.

February 6, 2007 - 10:46pm

I'm very excited about this. I had given up on getting any valuable link information from Google. As an SEO I wish we had the ability to see any site, but I understand the reasons why we can't.

Good for Google, I like the trend I'm seeing from them.

February 7, 2007 - 3:42am

Greg, after investigating things further I no longer believe that there are two different page caps going on in regards to internal links. I am finding that, for the site I am investigating, there is a hard cap of 200.

I'm curious if anybody is seeing this cap out at a higher or lower level?

I'm also trying to see if I find any common pattern to which pages are listed in the select group of 200. It does seem as if my better (# links/PR) tend to make the cut, but am not sure if this is true across the board.

I will say that this seems like a great tool to identity things that you thought had been excluded in robots.txt but may have snuck past you (happened to me).

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