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Discover Who's Linking to You with Google Analytics New Backlink URL Report

3 MINUTE READ | May 24, 2012

Discover Who's Linking to You with Google Analytics New Backlink URL Report

Earlier this month Google announced a brand new way to monitor who’s linking to your site, allowing users to view all the backlink URL’s via Google Analytics,

“Have you ever wondered which other pages on the web link to your own? Wouldn’t it be nice to know which sites are talking about your content, and in which context? Well, a problem no more: now you can see all the backlink URL’s, post titles, and more right within the new Social reports.”

Google explains,

“These reports provide another layer of social insight showing which of your content attracts links, and enables you to keep track of conversations across other sites that link to your content. Most website and blog owners had no easy mechanism to do this in the past, but we see it as another important feature for holistic social media reports. When you know what your most linked content is, it is then also much easier to replicate the success and ensure that you are building relationships with those users who actively link to you the most.”

For most, this sounds like a breakthrough.  The ability to analyze your impact on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms is a valuable tool for any company website or blog.  However, the backlink reports currently lack the right configurations to view aggregated data.  This setup works great for Social Media experts who aren’t too concerned with the ability to segment or filter data but for SEOs who want the truth, keep reading.

A few simple tricks can shift the focus of these reports towards SEO, allowing users to see where links are originating, who’s linking the most and etc.  First, navigate through Analytics in this order: Traffic Sources > Social > Pages.

  • Once inside Pages, select a URL and then click on the Activity Stream tab near the top of the page to view the activity for a specific URL.  Click on the Events tab near the middle of the screen to see an event list for that same URL.

  • Backlink reports default to a view per page structure – to view all backlinks per site simply click “All” near the top of the screen.  This loads every backlink for the selected time period onto one page.

  • Click on the green Trackback arrow (see below) to see a list of all external sites that are linking to that page.  This will filter the Activity Stream to Trackbacks only – listing all of your pages Trackbacks by date.

  • To see how many new sites have linked to your website in the last day, go to the Date Range and change the date to Yesterday or choose a custom date.

  • Skip the navigation process of monitoring Backlinks by creating a widget on your Dashboard.  Simply follow the previously mentioned steps to arrive at your destination and select Add to Dashboard near the top of the page.

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Using these tips and tricks will better allow you to monitor which pages are getting the most links, and hopefully enhance your optimization process thereafter.  I expect we will be seeing more and more additions to this new Social Reports feature in the near distant future!


Posted by Christopher Davis

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