Photo credit: cdharrison
We talk a lot about getting inbound links to your website. The reason is, because the more links that point to your site, the more ‘points’ you get with search engines. The more points you get with search engines, the better you do in search results. The better you do in search results, the more traffic to your site. The more traffic to your site… I think you get the picture.
You don’t just want any and all websites to link to your website, you want quality websites to link to your website. What search engines consider a quality site is a site that also has a lot of links pointing to it (and a bunch of other factors).
One of the biggest reasons to participate in social media is to reach new people, build relationships with them and encourage people to link back to your website, blog or content.
So how do you know who IS linking to your website or blog?
There are quite few ways to determine who is linking to your site. I am going to quickly discuss 3 of them and they are each free.
- Google Analytics – I hope by now you have an analytics program on your website, like Google Analytics. An analytics program will tell you how many people are coming to your website, where they are coming from, what they do when they are there and much more. I like to regularly look at the Traffic Sources coming to my website. This will tell you who is not only linking to you, but who has clicked on those links and actually made it to your website.
- Yahoo! Open Site Explorer – With Yahoo! Site Explorer you can explore any URL to see who is linking to it. After you enter a site, choose InLinks, then set the first drop down to Show InLinks Except From This Domain and then to: The Entire Site. That should give you way too much information about who is already linking to your site.
- Open Site Explorer – SEOmoz has a free tool called Open Site Explorer. With it you can crawl a website and get some more data on those sites that are linking to you. You can see what those pages page rank is, if there is a nofollow link, if they are linking an image, that websites page and domain authority and more. Just like Open Site Explorer, choose to view External sites and if you want to view links to this Root Domain or the Subdomain.
Now that should give you enough information to get your hands dirty! A few more thoughts:
- Sometimes these large, free tools don’t work very well on small websites
- If a tool is free, there will be a catch. They probably want your information or they will give you limited information and ask you to pay for more
These few tools should just give you an idea on if people are linking to you, if that is making any impact on your website and what they are saying. Give it a whirl! Knowledge = Power.