Making use of the New ‘Download Latest Links’ Option in Webmaster Tools
This week, Matt Cutts announced via Twitter the launch of a new feature in Google Webmaster Tools – the ability to download your site’s ‘latest links’. Basically, this allows site owners to export a list of the backlinks that can be sorted by date, allowing them to see the more recent links that have been crawled by Google. Personally, this makes Webmaster Tools that little bit more appealing in terms of me tracking a site’s own backlink profile, particularly at a time that sees many sites being penalised for spammy links.
Monitoring your backlinks before they turn nasty
Personally, I’ve already found this new feature useful. After the series of ‘unnatural links’ warnings began rolling out a few months ago, I made the effort to analyse my site’s extensive backlink profile to ensure there were no reasons for Google to penalise the site. Using the links shown in Webmaster Tools, I was specifically looking for sites with 100′s of links pointing to my site as these could be identified as spam. Having felt satisfied that I had cleaned up any rubbish links like these, I thought I could stop worrying about Google picking up a load of links from one domain.
However, a quick look at my ‘latest links’ download revealed a couple of sites that were generating links to my site almost every day over the past 3 weeks. This indicates that the site is going to continue generating more and more links to my site and probably end up having hundreds of links showing in Google Webmaster Tools – something which I would want to investigate. I’ve since managed to get in touch with the owner of the site which is generating the tens of links to sort out it out, as the link is actually coming from a decent guest blog post so I want to make sure it maintains its value before being viewed as a form of spam.
How to access the latest links report
To download a list of your latest links, simply log into your Google Webmaster Tools account, click on ‘Traffic’ in the left-hand column, then click on ‘Links to your site’. Under ‘Who links the most’ you should see a link to view ‘more’, you’ll then be taken to a new screen showing a table of domains. At the top, select ‘Download latest links’ and choose whether you want to download in CSV format or to Google Docs.
Downloading to Google Docs is pretty quick and smooth. Just don’t set your expectations too high, the report is just a list of simply linking pages, and the date Google crawled them. So handy for monitoring links to keep a clean profile, but not for gauging the quality of those links without doing some leg work. Go ahead and download your latest links – if you see a particular domain(s) appearing in your list regularly – you might want to check it out before it generates thousands of links and it could be too late.
If you’ve been penalised by Google or feel that you could be having reviewed your backlinks, Creare have actually launched a specialist team to help sites re-gain their search engine ranking positions. Contact us today for more information.
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