Find Links To Your Site

Greg Parmer sent me a private tweet asking how to find what sites are linking to your pages. He later left a comment on Improved Google Ranking with one answer, and hinted at this follow up post.

Greg commented that one way is to use Google search. For example, he could search for “link:networkredneck.blogspot.com” to see some of the links to his blog, Network Redneck. My experience has been that using Google in this way will show some of the links, but for my blog it only shows a few of the actual links.

A second way is to use the web logs to your site. Most of the major analytic tools should show you the URL’s for the top referrers to you site. In addition, I will frequently load parts of ISU Extension‘s raw log file into Excel, and use that see who is referring people to your site. Using the log file, you see the URL’s of people linking to you, and also how many times people follow the link.

A third way to see who is linking to you is by using the Google Webmasters Tools. To use these tools, Google requires you to verify that you are the owner of the site. Once verified, the tools give you a lot of information about how Google sees your web site. The links to your site are located in the External Links option under the Links button.

The Google Webmasters Tools gives the most complete list that I’ve seen of links to your site, including links that have not referred people to your site. They show what page is linking to you, which page is being linked to, and the latest date that Google saw this link. I would like to see them add a column for what text is used in the link to you, maybe someday.

If you are using another method, please post a comment as I’d like to hear about it.

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