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Yesterday Google announced that their webmaster tools would now be displaying relatively accurate back link data. So we rushed in to take a look and viola there was this new tab at the top between statistics and sitemaps called links.

It's best to familiarize yourself with your own site's data but here is quick review.

  • Google now shows external links – "This table provides a list of pages on http://www.vkistudios.com/ that have links pointing to them from other sites. Click the number in the External links column to see a sample list of links to the page."
  • Google now shows internal links – "This table provides a list of pages on http://www.vkistudios.com/ that have links pointing to them from other internal pages. Click the number in the Internal links column to see a sample list of links to the page."

You can even export the data to a CVS spreadsheet for further analysis and sorting.

Big note from Matt Cutt's Blog (Google Guy) "Do not assume just because you see a backlink that it’s carrying weight" In other words, just because Google is reporting the link does not mean that their algorithm is passing any credit along to your site based on that link. I wonder if Google will report the no follow links? We may have to do a test to see.

This is big news, and is really helpful from an SEO perspective. Now we can easily see which pages in our site has the most link reputation (externally) and we can also evaluate the same thing internally. Right away I found some interesting things. One of our least important pages (a page I would rarely if ever check the links on) had thousands of links from one domain name. When I investigated further it appeared to be some sort of arbitrage site (a spammy, scrapper site with Adsense). So not only will this new tool help you analyze your SEO efforts, but it will help you find potential SEO problems and other "black hat" issues you may not have been aware of before.

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