Quick Hack to See Top External Links via Google
You could always get a sub-sampled list of backlinks by using the link: operator, but now, as the owner of a site, you can get a much larger list in the Webmaster Tools component of Webmaster Central.This is going to be a popular feature, particularly in the SEO/M community. Right now when I look at a link: Google search for my firm's site, I can only see 44 links. With the new tool, I can see 4262 external links. Wow, quite a difference! Here's a screenshot:
The tool is quite cool, but I'd like to be able to sort by link count. Pages are listed in alphabetical order. It is possible to download the entire list of links in CSV format, though. That's useful for a dork like myself. I wanted to know which pages have the most links so cobbled together a quick script to do so. Here's the format of the CSV file from Google:
$ head -2 external_links.csv
"http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/","http://188.8.131.52/ReferencesSites.html","August 11, 2006"
Here's my unix shell script, linkSort.sh, (you can use it if you like) that outputs the list in link count order. Right now, I'm using it to see the top 20 links to my firm's website:
$ linkSort.sh external_links.csv |tail -23
total pages: 4262
unique pages: 227
I turned 2 of those pages into links for this blog post. I'd like more people to realize what's happening with Google AdWords and parked domains and I'm making TagBuildr free to use. That's a simple tool to create blog tags compatible with Technorati tags. Nice to see both of those in the list of top 20 external links, as reported by Google's new tool.
Tags (made with TagBuildr): webmaster central, google adwords, link operator, parked domains, seo tools, tagbuildr, technorati tags