Checking the backlinks to your website is an important aspect of Search Engine Optimisation. While it may sound obvious it is something that requires monitoring regularly to ensure that you are getting the best return from other sites who are linking, preferably directly and one way, to you.
Plenty of simple ways are available to check the backlinks to your site and the results you get while performing a backlink check can vary greatly and hence can cause some confusion as to their significance.
To complete a backlink check we can use three different methods to complete the process.
Google Backlink Checker
The information here tells me that I have 6 other sites and pages linking to my full website address. But by clicking the option along the bottom of the page where it says:
“In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 6 already displayed.If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.”
The new results tell me there are 11 links pointing to my site. The problem is quite are few of these links are my own pages linking to other internal pages and thus wont be generating me alot of traffic but these do help the traffic when it arrives by offering ways of navigating to other relevent content.
Yahoo Backlink Checker
So lets try the yahoo.com backlink checker. Follow the same process as for www.google.com in the Yahoo search bar.
Results are telling me I have 119 backlinks and 427 “inlinks”.
And finally lets go to the MSN backlink checker. Or rather lets not. MSN.com doesn’t allow you to do a “link:mysite.com” query at the moment as apparently they where being spammed by “bots”. Oh Dear.
iwebtool.com Backlink Checker
Now lets ask a third party. Lets use the backlink checker tool on iwebtool.com:
The information here is totally different to the google result as it tells me I have backlinks totalling 322. A handy little feature here is also the pagerank display showing each of these pages and how “valuable” they are in the backlink hierarchy.
Now the problem is, who do I believe? What information is relevent to me and my site?
All of the information provided by these backlink checkers is relevant in my opinion. The reason that the results differ will be down to each backlink checkers method of obtaining the results. For example, Google may only consider a backlink from a ranked page that has a Google PR of 1 or more (this isn’t fact is just to illustrate the point) so all the pages linking back to me are valuable in there own way according to Google.
Yahoo will follow the same format, but Yahoo does not employ the Page Rank system so will use a different method of establishing the links from other sites and may have different filters in place to return the result of backlinking pages.
The iwebtool.com backlink checker is exactly the same as both Yahoo and Google having set parameters against the results returned.
The best advice that can be given then is to review all three of these backlink checkers regularly and simply keep active on the internet, searching for relevant and quality websites related to your information specifically. Also the backlinks will occur naturally as you progress as other people will choose to link to your content (always nice) if they value it and believe it is relevant to them. The process can be long winded but the current internet based algorithms seem to like it and want it to continue.
Until that is they decide that some other method should be used…