Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

Competitive Link Research with the Linkscape Index

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Posted by Nick Gerner

Just before the SEOmoz PRO Seminar, over the weekend, we updated the Linkscape index.  This is great timing because we’re also unveiling (to PRO members only, sorry free members) the prototype for a new tool!  We’re calling it our competitive link finder, powered by Linkscape.  But Tom Schmitz was good enough to explain things in a blog post some weeks back.

But before I dive into the new tool, as is traditional, some numbers:

  • URLs: 39 billion
  • Root Domains: 55 million
  • Subdomains: 208 million
  • Links: 443 billion

The sharp members of our audience will recognize that this index is, in fact, smaller than our last.  Our index size is varying from update to update as we tune quality vs coverage.  And this creates some issues around historical tracking.  Believe me, we are working on the issue, stay tuned for more information around this scenario.

More interesting is an Index Quality Study we finished just before this update.  From that study two things are immediately interesting to me. 

Linkscape Index Coverage vs Yahoo! Site Explorer

First, we estimate that between 60 and 70% of what Y!SE might give you (including no follows, duplicate links) are in our index today (the small one, remember?).  Moreover, we estimate that nearly 50% of what Y!SE will give you, we could too, but we filter out as duplicates, nofollows, or otherwise less important than other data we’ve got in our top 3000 links.

Next we’ve gotten a lot of feedback about how mozRank matches intuitive understanding.  Sure it’s a 10 point scale, similar to Google Toolbar PageRank, but often people are finding it’s off from what they’re expecting.  This is because of the data we’ve been optimizing our index for:

Linkscape Index Focus on high PageRank pages

In the past we’ve been concentrating on a more or less random sample of pages users might care about (the red bars).  As it turns out, you guys care a lot more about important pages and want mozRank to be focused at describing the authority of these pages (the blue bars).  So we’ve dramatically shifted the focus of mozRank toward these pages.  Hopefully you should get a better experience out of mozRank and mozTrust for these high authority pages and sites.

We have more data for partners and power users.  PM me if you’re interested.

Finally, here’s the new competitive link tool. (I know you guys already took a peek at it!)  The idea is to identify authoritative sites and communities you could get links from, but don’t already. 

Linkscape Competitive Link Research Tool

What we do is take your site, and up to five related sites (maybe competitors).  From those we find all the links the related sites have, and find the common ones.  From that we create a check-list.  These are the big important sites your industry is engaging with, but you aren’t. 

Of course, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to get some of these endorsements too.  I mean, you’ve got great content, products, tools, and services.  Users want that stuff.  Google, et al. want to deliver those search results.

So go check out your latest updated data, our new tool, and stay tuned for a Linkscape FAQ adapted from my PRO training slides.  That’s a little something for those of you who couldn’t make it to the seminar :)

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