The 4 Best Things in the new Link Capabilities from Google

The SEO world has been abuzz with the announcement of “accurate” link information from Google. This is, in fact, really good news for webmasters. If you care about building traffic to your site, you care about links. And having the tools to find out when you have new links is very good news indeed. It just makes our job easier.

There are a few things worth commenting on, with regard to this new tool:

  1. The link counts are less than those shown on Yahoo’s Site Explorer. A quick check today shows about 13,100 links to the Stone Temple site. The results I got from Webmaster Tools was around 8800 (67%).
  2. So Yahoo shows some links that Google doesn’t. However, the converse is also true. Google shows some links that Yahoo doesn’t. So for those of you who are into the gory details, looking at both will make sense for you.
  3. Webmaster Tools provides you the ability to download the data in a spreadsheet. This is just a fabulous feature. It allows you to quickly and easily manipulate the data to see what pages are linking to to each of the pages on your site. This is pure gold.
  4. Philipp Lenssen at Google Blogoscoped reported earlier today that you can also use Google Webmaster Tools to download other people’s backlinks. Of course, Yahoo let’s you see any site’s links with Site Explorer, but the ability to download these into a spreadsheet on the fly is really, really precious.

So lots of good stuff in this release. Kudos to Google for making this available.


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