Why do we monitor backlinks?
There are various tactics and methods online of achieving links for your brand. A lot of methods on the internet are unproven and untested but when we debate both internal and external links, the fact remains that they are positive for your domain. Links will always be an important factor of search, and it can be seen as bad practice to not link out at all. If you’re the owner of a business, which portrays a successful brand image and message, it is worth considering how people talk about your brand online and capturing ‘quick wins’, wherever you can.
This blog post will explore 3 simple ways you can make the most of monitoring backlinks for your brand online.
We’ve seen that external links can present to Google that your website is naturally linking to other domains that are relevant to the content you’re linking to. Sticking to the basics can often be the best method for link building. Modern and successful approaches to link building such as content marketing campaigns, influencer research and PR-focused campaigns all lead you down a legitimate path to pushing your brand out there and of course, people will on occasion decide they would like to link to your website.
Google manual check & Google Search Console
Before all the current SEO tools, (trust us, there are hundreds of third party ones!) appeared, Google was very much the only place where ‘search’ was conducted. Simple questions were input and Google gave what it believed was a relative result back to the user. Simply using Google News for your ‘brand mentions’ can flag up instantly which publication or website has talked about you and gives you the ability to contact the website asking them if they would be happy to link. Search can be very simple, we believe sticking to the basics of SEO reaps the best results.
Google Search Console is a much more sophisticated way of being able to check which links have dropped (removed) and which haven’t. Using the crawl tool, you can request pages to be indexed more quickly and check the status of pages.
Stealing results quickly
You can use third-party tools to crawl results from the pages on Google; a good example of a scraping tool is Linkclump. However, be warned because this tool will pull through any link it comes across as you scrape through the pages. Remember to always proof your pages, before you go and ask for the mention to be linked as sometimes automating your requests for links can lead to some pretty nasty responses from the editor/news reporter. An example of this can be found below!
Ahrefs – External Software SEO tool
A brilliant, fully automated backlink analysis tool which allows you search for your brand and download the results in a CSV file. The best way to quickly see if your brand has had any new mentions online is to input the anchor text that is often used and see what recent mentions you have had, again contacting the author of the piece requesting the link.
Parallax Creative Hack Day
It can be time-consuming manually logging into several applications that check your brand mentions and it can be long winded checking if the links you have attained are still active! That’s why, for the latest Parallax hack day including our SEO team and front end developer Sam Beevors, we produced the Parallax automatic backlink checker. This innovative tool uses three separate Google apps scripts to crawl a website’s page status and link status, delivering the results back to us in a sheet.
On average, each page could take around 6 seconds to manually check, which is over a minutes worth of admin time, however, when that number continues to grow so does the admin time involved. However, now we have a tool which crawls each linked mention to give the status of the link and the percentages of ‘live’ and ‘dead’ links. Sam Beevors, the developer and mastermind behind the code, lists the scripts in order as seen below:
Script One – HTTPResponse
The first script simply uses Google’s API to send a request to a server where the website is hosted – this will simply see if the website is live essentially.
Script Two – Check Backlink
The second script actually downloads the page behind the scenes, scanning the HTML looking for the requested command (which is a link in this case).
Script Three – Domain Authority
The third script sends the URL of the page off to MOZ (an SEO metric tool) and requests MOZ to send back the website’s Domain Authority number, which is displayed within the sheet.
In the future, we’re hoping to launch the backlink checker to the wider public as a Google Chrome Extension tool. For more information on the SEO services available at Parallax, visit expertise.
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