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Who is linking to your website? - Google "Link" command is dead! Hint -- Google Webmaster Tools!

I've be dabbling in SEO from the early days, 2003 and since then I've focused more on Web Development and now Video Production. But Search Engine Optimization fascinates me and I'm always looking at ways to expand my SEO knowledge so here's an invaluable tip to see ALL the sites that link to you, including the ones that use the NO FOLLOW htm attribute.

Back in the day you could see who was linking to you by simply typing LINK:www.mywebsite.com into the Google search bar. However a few years ago the LINK command appeared to not list all the links and with a tests on this site I get 4 results, 4 BLOODY RESULTS for a site that has an article that's been read by a MILLION PEOPLE!

So upon further investigation it appears that Google has moved this functionality into its Webmaster tools - www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ - section. So, you obviously need to be running Google Analytics on your website (adding this is easy and free) and all one needs to do once you have Analytics installed is to log into your Google Webmaster account and then:

  • On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want.
  • On the left-hand menu, click Your site on the web, and then click Links to your site.

The you'll see a sampling of links to your website and how many links, in my case 2000+, that's more bloody like it! You can also download all these links to a CSV file and throw it into a spreadsheet to see the exact links.

Some really interesting things to note:

  • Google DOES list links that have the NOFOLLOW attribute - very, very interesting!!!!!
  • If you have a message board signature that links to you website you'll see it in here for all of your posts: obviously

If you get some bugger who really likes you and puts your URL on a side menu of his website that appears on every page of his site you'll get a ton of links - a link on every page of his site! Not sure if this will help your SEO mojo but it'll add to your link count none the less

So in summary: use Google webmaster tools with Analytics to see the exact links to your website. You may be pleasantly surprised! Remember SEO is not about fannying about trying to game the system or buying links from dodgy strangers - write content people want and people will come. My silly article on iPhone call blocking at a million unique users is a case in point. Will it make you money, sure, will you get rich, probably not but SEO is a black art and seeing who links to you is a powerful tool.