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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Quick Hack to See Top External Links via Google

Google announced a new Webmaster Central feature that will show actual links to your own website. Here's the gist:
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:

Google external links

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
"Pages","Links","Last found"
"http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/","http://66.201.84.221/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
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/blogger/2006/12/top-7-reasons-andy-beals-answer-to.html 46
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/sem_tools.html 53
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/web_analytics.html 53
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/sem_articles/contextual_advertising_google.html 54
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/sem_articles/google-adwords-tips.html 66
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/blogger/2006/12/reading-9rules-blogs.html 73
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/cgi-bin/tagman.pl 80
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/tools/track_google_content_ads.html 95
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/blogger/2007/01/not-search-engine-spam.html 97
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/tagman/2006/12/ted-leonsis-seo-contest-is-misguided.html 102
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/blogger/2006/12/search-engine-reputation-management-on.html 108
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/tagman/tagbuildr.php 108
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/adwords.html 114
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/tagman/FAQ.html 114
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/cgi-bin/tagman_flickr.pl 136
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/tools/keyword_tool.php 223
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/ 293
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/tagman/ 395
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/tagman/tagblog.html 414
http://www.apogee-web-consulting.com/blogger/blog.html 547
========================
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): , , , , , ,

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