Google’s John Mueller Discusses June 2019 Update Recovery via @martinibuster

Google’s John Mueller was asked in a Webmaster Hangout what to do if a site is suffering a traffic loss due to Google’s June 2019 broad core algorithm update. John Mueller’s answer provided insights into understanding what is happening.

Then Mueller provided hope that Google may offer further guidance on what to do.

Webmaster Asks If It’s a Content Issue?

The person making the question states they’re a news publisher. They ask that because they deal in content, that it may be that the core update issue for them is content related.

Here is the question:

“We’re a news publisher website, primarily focusing on the business finance vertical. we probably have been impacted by the June Core Update as we’ve seen a drastic traffic drop from the June 1st week.

Agreed that the update specifies that there are no fixes and no major changes that need to be made to lower the impact.

But for a publisher whose core area is content news, doesn’t it signal that it’s probably the content, the quality or the quantity which triggered Google’s algorithm to lower down the quality signal of the content being put up on the website which could have led to a drop of traffic? “

The questioner states that webmasters need more guidance:

“…it would really help if Google could come out and share some advice to webmasters and websites.

Not site specific, but category or vertical specific at least on how to take corrective measures and actions to mitigate the impact of core updates.

It would go a long way in helping websites who are now clueless as to what impacted them.”

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller in a Webmaster Hangout

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller in a Webmaster HangoutGoogle’s John Mueller was asked how to recover from a Google broad core algorithm update.

Why Nothing to Fix

John Mueller did not suggest fixing anything specific. He explained that the reason there’s nothing specific to fix is because a core update encompasses a broader range of factors.

Google’s John Mueller explains:

“I think it’s a bit tricky because we’re not focusing on something very specific where we’d say like for example when we rolled out the speed update.

That was something where we could talk about specifically, this is how we’re using mobile speed and this is how it affects your website, therefore you should focus on speed as well.”

Core Update, Relevance and Quality

John Mueller then discussed the core updates within the context of relevance and quality updates. He did not say that core algo updates were specifically just about relevance or just about quality. He seemed to mention those to aspects as a way to show how these kinds of updates do not have specific fixes.

Here is how John Mueller explained it:

“With a lot of the relevance updates, a lot of the kind of quality updates, the core updates that we make, there is no specific thing where we’d be able to say you did this and you should have done that and therefore we’re showing things differently.”

John Mueller then explained, as an example, of how changes that are external to a website could impact how Google ranks websites.

This is what he said:

“Sometimes the web just evolved. Sometimes what users expect evolves and similarly, sometimes our algorithms are, the way that we try to determine relevance, they evolve as well.”

That may be the most a Googler has said so far to explain about core algorithm updates.

It follows along with what I’ve been saying, that factors like how Google determines what it means for a page to be relevant to a user can change. Some continue to focus on “quality” issues, fixing things like missing biographies, too much advertising on a page, but that kind of advice ignores relevance issues.

John mentions quality, but he also mentioned how users and the web evolve. That’s not a quality issue. Those are factors that are external to a website that need to be considered.

Nothing to Fix

John Mueller related that there aren’t specific things to fix. But he suggested that it may be useful to understand how users see your site, how useful your site is to users.

Here’s what John Mueller said:

“And with that, like you mentioned, you’ve probably seen the tweets from Search Liaison, there’s often nothing explicit that you can do to kind of change that.

What we do have is an older blog post from Amit Singhal which covers a lot of questions that you can ask yourself, about the quality of your website. That’s something I always recommend going through. , That’s something that I would also go through with people who are not associated with your website.”

John Mueller may have been citing a Webmaster Central blog post from 2011 titled, More Guidance on Building High-quality Sites

In it, the author provides a large number of questions a site owner should ask themselves about their content.

Here is a sample of the kinds of questions Google suggests you should ask yourself:

  • “Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?”

Ask a Third Party For a Critique

John Mueller then suggested that a third party that is unfamiliar with your site may be able to see issues that are not apparent to you.

What John Mueller said:

“So, often you as a site owner you have an intimate relationship with your website you know exactly that it’s perfect. But someone who is not associated with your website might look at your website and compare it to other websites and say, well, I don’t know if I could really trust your website because it looks outdated or because I don’t know who these people are who are writing about things.

All of these things play a small role and it’s not so much that there’s any technical thing that you can change in your line of HTML or server setting.

It’s more about the overall picture where users nowadays would look at it and say, well I don’t know if this is as relevant as it used to be because these vague things that I might be thinking about.

So that’s where I’d really try to get people who are un-associated with your website to give you feedback on that.”

John Mueller suggested asking in web communities, including the Webmaster Help Forums, to see how others see your site, if they could spot problems.

One issue with that is that every community have specific points of views that sometimes don’t allow them to get past their biases to see what the real problem is. That’s not a criticism but an observation on the nature of opinions is that they tend to vary.

Here’s what he said:

“…you can talk with other people who’ve seen a lot of websites and who can look at your websites and say well, I don’t know the layout looks outdated or the authors are people that nobody knows or you have stock photos images of instead of author photos. It’s like, why do you have that?

All of these things are not explicit elements that our algorithms would be trying to pinpoint but rather things that kind of combine to create a bigger picture.”

That’s good advice. Familiarity does make a person unable to identify what the problems are in a website.

I know from experience that it’s not uncommon for a site owner who comes to me for help with their site is sometimes surprised that their site contains problems with their content, is outdated in some way or has room for improvement in the way the content is written.

Sometimes they intuit that something is wrong but they can’t see it. I once had a site owner come to me with a negative SEO problem but the feedback I received directly from Google was that they were suffering from content issues related to Google’s Panda algorithm.

It was a shock for them to hear that their content was bad. But having it confirmed by Google made them better able to see that yes, there were problems with the content.

Google May Provide Additional Official Guidance

John Mueller appeared to be moved by the situation experienced by the web publisher. He offered more advice and insight into core algorithm updates than has previously offered and it went beyond the “nothing to fix” advice that, while true, is still felt to be unsatisfactory by many in the web community.

Mueller then offered hope by suggesting he would inquire about providing additional guidance for web publishers.

“I know a lot people have been asking for more advice, more specific advice so maybe there’s something that we can put together. We’ll see what we can do internally to put out a newer version of a blog post or kind of provide some more general information about some of the changes we’ve been thinking about there.”

Takeaway: See the Big Picture

The important takeaways are to be able to step back and see the big picture, which means:

Some issues are external to the website. For example, many fashion brands no longer publish blogs. An SEO recently attributed that to a failure in the content strategy. But that’s missing the big picture. The reason many fashion brands no longer publish blog posts is because users don’t consume that kind of content. They consume content on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites.

That’s an example of how users evolve and how it’s not a problem with your site, but rather a change in user habits that may be reflected in the kinds of pages that Google shows in the search results.

Takeaway: Algorithms Evolve

Google’s algorithm does not really match keywords to web pages. It’s about solving problems for users. Google’s increasingly updating how it understands what users want when they type a query. Google is also updating how it understands the problems that a web page solves.

A website that focuses too much on keywords and not enough on providing quick information to users who need it quickly and deep information to users who need depth, may find that Google’s algorithms no longer favor them. Not because your site is broken and needs fixing. But because it does not solve the problem for the user in the way Google has determined users want them solved.

Takeaway: Have a Third Party Review Your Site

Lastly, it may be helpful to have a fresh set of eyes review your website. If that doesn’t provide insights, then someone with experience diagnosing relevance issues may be useful.

Read: June 2019 Broad Core Algo Update: It’s More than E-A-T

Read: What is a Broad Core Algorithm Update?

Watch: Webmaster Hangout

Screenshots by Author, Modified by Author 

Google’s John Mueller Predicts Dynamic Rendering Won’t Be Needed in a Few Years via @MattGSouthern

Google’s John Mueller predicts that dynamic rendering will only be a temporary workaround for helping web crawlers process JavaScript.

Eventually, all web crawlers will be able to process JavaScript, Mueller believes. So in a few years’ time relying on dynamic rendering may not be necessary.

Mueller made this prediction during a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout when a site owner asked if there’s any reason why they shouldn’t use dynamic rendering.

Here is the question that was submitted:

“We’re thinking of the option to start only serving server-side rendering for bots on some of our pages. Is this an accepted behavior by Google & friends nowadays? Or do you see any objections on why not to do this?”

In response, Mueller said dynamic rendering is definitely something that Google considers to be an acceptable solution. In the near future, however, sites won’t need to rely on it as much.

Googlebot can already process every type of JavaScript page, and Mueller suspects all other crawlers will follow suit.

Mueller says dynamic rendering is a temporary workaround until other crawlers catch up. Although “temporary” might mean a couple of years, he clarifies.

What makes this prediction particularly interesting is that dynamic rendering was only introduced last year at Google I/O 2018.

Now, a little over a year later, Mueller predicts this innovative solution for serving JavaScript to bots will only be needed for a few years.

It will be interesting to look back on this and see how Mueller’s prediction pans out.

Hear Mueller’s full response below, starting at the 18:38 mark:

[embedded content]

“So you can definitely do this, from our point of view. This is what we call, I believe, dynamic rendering, which is basically when you’re pre-rendering the pages for a specific set of users. Usually, that includes crawlers, social media user agents, all of those things that are basically not normal users that wouldn’t be able to process JavaScript.

That’s certainly something you could do. Sometimes it also makes sense to use server-side rendering for users as well. Sometimes you can significantly speed up the delivery of HTML pages to them. So it’s not something that I’d consider that you only need to do for bots, it’s probably worthwhile to check to see if there are ways you can leverage that same setup for users as well. Maybe you can, maybe that doesn’t make sense in this specific case.

In any case, from our side specifically, it’s something that you can do. I suspect over time, over the long run, it will be something that you’ll have to do less and less. Googlebot is able to crawl pretty much every JavaScript-type page nowadays. I suspect other user agents will follow up with that over time as well.

So I would see this as something kind of as a temporary workaround – where temporary might mean a couple of years – but it’s more of a time-limited workaround. At some point pretty much every irrelevant user agent will be able to process JavaScript.”

Coming soon to the Lone Star State: more office space and a data centerComing soon to the Lone Star State: more office space and a data center

We’re investing $600 million to develop the Midlothian site, which will create a number of full-time jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs to build the new data center. As part of this investment, we’re also making a $100,000 grant to the Midlothian Independent School District to support the continued growth and development of the region’s STEM programs in schools.

In Austin, we already have more than 1,100 employees working across Android, G Suite, Google Play, Cloud, staffing and recruiting, people operations, finance and marketing. As we continue to grow, we’ve leased additional office space at Block 185 and Saltillo—located in downtown Austin and east Austin, respectively—to accommodate our short and long-term growth.

A father-son team uses technology to grow a 144-year-old businessA father-son team uses technology to grow a 144-year-old business

Founded in 1875, Merz Apothecary is considered a Chicago landmark. For five generations, the pharmacy has been home to a collection of unique, hard-to-find goods from all over the world. Abdul Qaiyum bought the business in 1972, managing to grow the business during a time when most independent pharmacies were giving way to large chain drug stores. Abdul’s three sons worked there growing up and today, Merz Apothecary is run by Abdul and his son, Anthony. “We’re not your traditional pharmacy,” says Anthony. “We carry everything from natural remedies to grooming products to home fragrances.”

One of the secrets to their continued success? Quickly embracing the power of technology. They turned to the internet while it was still in its early days, taking their first online order in 1997 and starting an e-commerce site, smallflower.com, in 1998. In 2001 they started using Google Ads to reach customers searching for their specialty products and their business began to double. They now have 60 employees and the web continues to play a critical role in their business. A YouTube channel has expanded their reach—videos sharing fun and informative product reviews have garnered over 1.5 million views. “I view the web as a way that we can deliver what we do, to everybody,” says Anthony. “Everyone is going online searching for information all the time. Google is the place where most of that gets done, so I want to be there and I want to be seen.”

Google Rolls Out a New Look for Desktop Search Results via @MattGSouthern

Google has widely rolled out a new design for desktop search results which features colorful icons in the top navigation bar.

Google was initially spotted testing the new look back in March. As of today, it appears that everyone has access to the new design.

Previously, the top navigation menu was just text, so this adds a little more character to the search results pages.

You can see in the examples below how the new icons light up with color when they’re selected.

Google Rolls Out a New Look for Desktop Search Results

Google Rolls Out a New Look for Desktop Search Results

Google Rolls Out a New Look for Desktop Search Results

Google Rolls Out a New Look for Desktop Search Results

Today’s changes to desktop search results are purely cosmetic, as everything still functions the same way.

There are no noticeable changes to how search results are presented underneath the top navigation bar.

Location Extensions Augmented Advertisements

When a Google Patent uses the word “Content” they often mean advertisements, rather than just the content on a website. That was true when I wrote about a Google patent about combining advertisements and organic results in the post Google to Offer Combined Content (Paid and Organic) Search Results

I don’t often write about paid search here, but sometimes see something interesting enough to write about. We’ve been seeing some of the features from organic search appearing in paid search results, such as sitelink extensions, and Structured Snippets extensions. Google has written up extensions, which are ways of adding additional information to advertisements “to maximize the performance of text ads.”

One specific type of extension is a location extension. Location Extensions can add information to an advertisement that you bid upon that can exhibit more information to your ad, such as:

Google Ads location extensions allow you to show your business address, phone number and a map marker along with your ad text.

.

That information isn’t shown to everyone but may be shown to people within a threshold distance from an advertiser’s location. The location extensions page doesn’t provide much in the way of details as to when location extensions might be triggered which is why I thought it helpful to write about this patent application that appears to cover location extensions.

A Google patent application was published this week about location augmented advertisements. The patent tells us about when a location extension that could be shown with an ad might be triggered to show:

The method includes receiving a request for content from a user device. The method further includes identifying, by one or more processors, a content item for delivery to the user device responsive to the request. The method further includes determining a location of the user device. The method further includes determining a threshold distance that a user is likely willing to travel when visiting a physical location associated with the content item or content sponsor. The method further includes identifying a bounding region associated with the location of the user device. The method further includes identifying one or more location extensions that are associated with the content item. The method further includes determining, by one or more processors, when one of the one or more location extensions is included in the bounding region and when a distance between the location extension and a current location of the user is less than the determined threshold distance. The method further includes augmenting, based on the determining when the distance is less than the determined threshold, the content item with the one location extension.

A Think with Google article on location extensions provides more information about ways to use location extensions.

The location extensions patent application provides more details on how location extensions work. It points out the following features:

  1. The request for content can be associated with a search query, a map request or page request.
  2. The user device can be a mobile device, and location information for the user can be provided as part of the request.
  3. Determining the threshold distance can include evaluating requests from plural users and determining the threshold distance as a mathematical function derived from the evaluating.
  4. Evaluating can include evaluating driving direction requests received from users that terminate at a location associated with the one location extension.
  5. The mathematical function can be a numeric average and the threshold distance can represent an average distance a user would drive to visit the location.
  6. The threshold distance can be determined based on a characterization associated with a sponsor of the content item.
  7. The characterization can be based on a type of product or service offered by the sponsor.
  8. Identifying one or more location extensions can include identifying plural location extensions that are included in the bounding region and selecting one of the plural regions.
  9. The selecting can be a random selection.
  10. Augmenting can include providing the one location extension for presentation in proximity to the content item when displayed on the user device.
  11. Identifying a bounding region can include: identifying a first bounding region; determining that no location extensions for the content item are included in the first bounding region; identifying, based on determining that no location extensions for the content item are included in the first bounding region, a second larger bounding region; determining when one of the one or more location extensions is included in the second larger bounding region; and augmenting the content item with the one location extension.

The underlying purpose of this patent about location extensions is that they will show location information to searchers who are within a certain distance from an advertiser based upon travel time, and what they are offering. The patent application is:

Determining Relevant Business Locations Based on Travel Distances
Inventors: Derek Coatney, Eric L. Lorenzo, Yi Zhu, Amin Charaniya and Gaurav Ravindra Bhaya
Assignee: Google LLC
US Patent Application: 20190180326
Published: June 13, 2019
Filed: February 19, 2019

Abstract

Methods, systems, and apparatus include computer programs encoded on a computer-readable storage medium, including a method for providing content. A request for content is received from a user device. A content item is identified for delivery to the user device responsive to the request. A location of the user device is determined. A threshold distance is determined that a user is likely willing to travel when visiting a physical location associated with the content item or content sponsor. A bounding region associated with the location of the user device is identified. Location extensions are identified that are associated with the content item. A determination is made when one of the location extensions is included in the bounding region and when a distance between the location extension and a current location of the user is less than the determined threshold distance. The content item is augmented with the one location extension.

Takeaways

A query that triggers a location extension on an advertisement can be a query that includes a location such as [italian resturants in Carlsbad, Ca.] or it could involve a query that doesn’t include a location such as [French food].

It appears that to have working location extensions as an advertiser, you need to register your location with Google My business (and link that account with Adwords) and you have to set up location extensions in adwords. You can have multiple locations displayed as well if you have those.

Location extensions look like they could be helpful in attracting attention to local consumers who may be interested in what you offer on your site.


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Video SEO: New tool by Trint helps make spoken words in videos crawlable

trint makes spoken words videos crawlable

June 13 saw the release of a new tool by London-based company Trint which can assist the crawlability and visibility of video content in search engines.

The Trint Player has been unveiled at the Global Editors Network Summit in Athens where it will be used to publish video and transcripts of keynotes by Google News founder Krishna Bharat and Bloomberg Editor-In-Chief John Micklethwait.

Video to dominate traffic and SERPs

In two years, video content is expected to make up 80% of online traffic. Google is increasingly returning video content in its SERPs and delivering it in a variety of ways, depending on device used and the type of content that is searched for.

To date, search engines can only find a video based on words in the title, the description and in a small amount of accompanying metadata. The embeddable Trint Player works by automatically attaching a transcript to videos using AI.

A search engine indexing a page with a video published in the player will be able to record all the words from the attached transcript and show the spoken words in search results.

The transcript functionality is interactive. Users can click on a word and the tool will navigate to that part of the video. It auto-scrolls as the video plays and you can easily follow along or view the text without image and/or sound.

I gave the searchability of the above Elon Musk video a quick test by Googling “we have an amazing product to show you tonight.” Indeed, the page on the Trint site which is hosting the video ranks very well – just below some news sites which have manually taken some quotes from Musk’s presentation. It is also worth noting that the embed in this instance is a fair way down the page.

Benefits for news sites and marketers

To date, manual transcription has been a very laborious and timely job. Understandably, taking time on such a task for SEO benefit is not necessarily a big priority for journalists. The Trint Player can do this job for them with minimal legwork from the user – and with 99% accuracy according to the press materials. Trint already boasts enterprise clients in The Associated Press, NBCUniversal, The Washington Post, Vice News and Der Spiegel.

It is also easy to see the potential for marketers and brands keen to get the most from their video content. According to Vidyard, 83% of marketers say video is becoming more important to them. Webinars and demos – precisely the types of videos which include a lot of unique content – are the most common types of video marketers are investing in.

Looking beyond YouTube

The player has been available to Trint customers in beta since February. It is currently compatible with videos published on YouTube and the company is awaiting feedback from users before exploring compatibility with other video hosting sites.

It builds on existing work the company have been doing with their productivity platform which uses automated transcription to change the way professionals work with audio/video to produce content and insights.

The company has been backed by Google Digital News Innovation Fund and the Knight Enterprise Fund. The launch of the Trint Player comes on the heels of the business closing $4.5 million in Series A funding, with follow-on investment from Horizons Lab, the Hong Kong-based seed fund operated by the managers of Horizons Ventures, as well as institutional investors including TechNexus and The Associated Press.

Related reading

Five ways blockchain will impact search marketing
New visual search innovations tap human emotions and biological buying triggers
Digital marketing strategy guide for B2B industrial manufacturers

Google: Self-Referencing Canonicals Are Not Critical via @MattGSouthern

Google’s John Mueller recently stated that self-referencing canonical tags are not absolutely necessary, but they do help.

In Mueller’s words: “It’s a great practice to have a self-referencing canonical but it’s not critical.”

This topic came up during a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout when a site owner asked about the importance of using self-referencing canonicals.

Canonicals are typically used to link a non-canonical page to the canonical version, but they can also be used to link a page to itself.

Self-referencing canonicals are beneficial because URLs may get linked to with parameters and UTM tags.

When that happens, Google may pick up the URL with parameters as the canonical version. So a self-referencing canonical lets you specify which URL you want to have recognized as the canonical URL.

Google recommends using self-referencing canonicals as a best practice, but they’re not required in order for Google to pick up on the correct version of a URL.

Hear Mueller’s full response in the video below, starting at the 28:53 mark:

[embedded content]

“It’s not critical to have a self-referencing canonical tag on a page, but it does make it easier for us to pick exactly the URL that you want to have chosen as canonical.

We use a number of factors to pick a canonical URL, and the rel-canonical does play a role in that.

So, in particular, things like URL parameters, or if the URL is tagged in any particular way – maybe you have links going to that page that are tagged for analytics, for example – then it might happen that we pick that tagged URL as a canonical.

And with the rel-canonical you’re telling us that you really, really want this URL that you’re specifying as the canonical…

So it’s a great practice to have a self-referencing canonical but it’s not critical. It’s not something that you must do, it’s just something that helps to make sure this markup is picked up properly.”

Why giving blood matters, and how you can helpWhy giving blood matters, and how you can help

My father’s journey has made me passionate about ensuring that people like him have access to blood when they need it. Although 45 percent of Americans have been personally affected by blood donation, only 3 percent of Americans regularly donate blood.

I’m personally unable to donate blood, but I’ve found another way to give back to the cause: organizing blood drives at Google. Through my work organizing 20 blood drives, I’ve encountered countless others who have personal ties to blood donation, including Googlers like Daniel Otts, who regularly donates blood in memory of his son Ferris who required plasma infusions after being born prematurely. Losing Ferris forever changed Daniel’s outlook on blood donation. “I remember how thankful I was that someone, an anonymous stranger, had given of themselves so unselfishly for the benefit of someone else, quite possibly in a life or death situation,” Daniel told me.

Through these drives, we’ve collected thousands of pints of blood. And through Google’s partnership with the American Red Cross, which uses Google Maps Platform to help people find a blood drive near them, we’ve reached thousands more people across the U.S.

This technology also helped Temie Giwa-Tubosun, a Nigerian native and founder of LifeBank, an app that uses Google Maps Platform to connect blood banks with drivers, hospitals, and patients in need. To date, Temie’s app has drastically cut delivery time of blood from 24 hours to less than 45 minutes and helped save more than 4,000 lives.

Five backlink analysis tools agencies should try out

Five backlink analysis tools

A healthy and quality backlink profile can help you stay ahead of the competition. After Google rolled out the Penguin algorithm in 2012, it became clear that the quality of backlinks matters, not just their quantity. The more is not the merrier anymore. 

Luckily, over the years, it has become easier to analyze and monitor backlinks thanks to a number of specialized tools available on the market.

Through the use of such tools, you can dissect any backlink profile and discover where the competitors reverse engineer their SEO strategy to generate new backlinks. Plus, you can find out what kind of content performs best for obtaining certain types of backlinks or social engagement.

This post focuses on five tools agencies can take advantage of to benchmark the link quality of their clients against competitors, keep an eye on specific backlinks, and discover opportunities to partner up with other websites to reach the set SEO goals.

1. SE Ranking

Backlink listing of SE Ranking

Source: SE Ranking

SE Ranking offers a complete range of tools designed to help you stay on top of your entire SEO workflow, including backlinks.

With the Backlink Checker tool, you can discover all incoming links to any website, regardless of whether it belongs to you, a client, or a competitor.

Along with the full list of backlinks, referring domains, and Do/NoFollow links, the tool provides data on the backlink’s status, specifies the anchor text, the date the link was last seen and added on, the destination URL, and the Domain Trust score. Plus, you can add filters to conveniently sort the data.

The entire list of backlinks can then be added to a website in a single click where the data can be further analyzed. That’s where the other backlink tool comes into play.

SE Ranking's Backlink checker tool

Source: SE Ranking

The Backlink Monitoring tool enables you to work closely with the backlinks that have been added to a website, and get daily reports on any changes. This is where all the day-to-day backlink management tasks are performed.

By connecting Google Search Console, the list of backlinks will constantly get updated automatically. Otherwise, you will have to use Backlink Checker every now and then to pull up an updated list of backlinks.

Furthermore, you can switch between tabs to get an overview of the backlinks, see all the anchor texts, and set up a Disavow file to signal to Google what backlinks you don’t want it to take into account when analyzing the reference weight of the website.

Now, in addition to the parameter data provided in the Backlink Checker tool, the Backlink Monitoring tool offers a lot more information on each backlink, such as Google Index Status, Moz DA, Referring IP, Country, External Links, Alexa rank, and Social shares. This data gives you a good grasp of the backlink profile at hand.

Besides providing an array of backlink parameter data by default, the Backlink Monitoring tool gives you an opportunity to specify additional information on each backlink via custom parameters that need to be filled out manually, such as Source, Price, Anchor type, Category, Backlink manager, Setting up dates, Validity period, and Notes. Doing so will give you a convenient way to go through large amounts of data.

All in all, the tool provides comprehensive data, the interface is very clean, modern, and definitely not an eye-ache to look at. On top of that, the white label feature along with automatic reporting makes it easy to communicate with clients.

What else comes with the package

  • Website audit
  • Keyword rank tracker
  • Keyword suggestion tool
  • Competitor research
  • Page changes monitoring
  • Social media management
  • Keyword Grouper
  • Lead generator
  • Search volume checker
  • Index status checker
  • Page changes monitoring
  • API

Pricing

It’s a paid tool (starting at $39/month) but it offers a free 14-day trial. The Enterprise package suitable for agencies is available for $189/month.

2. LinkMiner

Listing of backlinking opportunities in LinkMiner

If you’re looking for a backlink analysis tool that’s specifically designed to help you find backlink building opportunities, LinkMiner is the right solution for you.

Just like other backlink analysis tools, LinkMiner also enables you to check the backlinks of any imaginable site, including your clients’ and their competitors’. Naturally, it also has a lot of other useful features.

With LinkMiner, you can analyze up to 50 backlinks a day at no cost regardless of the access level. And when analyzing such backlinks, you can click any one to get an instant preview of that website along with the highlighted anchor text, referring website title and URL — and decide whether or not it makes sense to replicate the backlink.

Furthermore, the service automatically breaks backlinks down into groups based on their category like Q&A, blog, forum, making it easier to spot new backlink opportunities and tag your favorite backlinks for later use. LinkMiner also provides a number of third-party metrics such as Citation Flow, Trust Flow, Do/NoFollow attributes to help you evaluate a link’s strength.

The provided third-party metrics can be a great way of analyzing the backlinks and determining the most valuable ones. Plus, the system will notify you if any backlinks break or go missing, but it’ll be up to you to reclaim the link from the site owner.

As for LinkMiner in general, it has some flaws that are a result of the tool being too simple for experienced SEO specialists, but it’s great if you’re just starting out with building links, so be sure to give it a go.

What else comes with the package

LinkMiner is a part of the Mangools SEO suite which also includes:

  • KWFinder
  • SERPChecker
  • SERPWatcher

Pricing

It is a paid tool (starting at $44/month) but it offers a free 10-day trial. The Agency package is available for $79.90/month.

3. URL Profiler

Screenshot of bulk data listing that URL Profiler provides at a URL and domain level

URL Profiler is a powerful software-based SEO tool that can pull bulk data from sites at a domain and URL level. Considering the fact that there are plenty of SEO tools out there like Majestic, MozScape, Ahrefs, Google, MY Addr and Copyscape, to name a few, URL Profiler was designed to group such tools to provide comprehensive insights under one roof.

The tool can actually be used to perform a number of SEO tasks that include the audit of content, social media, and Google penalties, link prospecting, keyword rank tracking, and, most importantly, backlink analysis.

URL Profiler analyzes the quality of backlink profiles, allowing you to quickly go through a huge number of links by analyzing various data such as location, link type, and the anchor text for spamming and unnatural use of keywords.

Since there’s a lot of data to work within this tool, it is up to your knowledge and experience to select the metrics that you value most.

Once you fill everything out, the tool produces an Excel file with multiple sheets containing a detailed analysis of every specified URL. You can look at the link score together with its explanation, view a list of URLs on Google’s blacklist, automatically get the contact info of all the sites you want to reach out to, and a number of other metrics.

With the power of this data, you can make informed decisions regarding every single backlink. To facilitate data analysis, you can customize the settings and look at URL and domain data separately to have a clear grasp of why certain URLs rank higher.

To sum up, URL Profiler is a tool for advanced SEO professionals as there’s a learning curve newbies will have to go through. Moreover, if you’re already using a number of the biggest SEO tools on the market, then URL Profiler is a what you need as it puts everything in front of you in a single data-rich, but, unfortunately, boring interface.

What else comes with the package

  • Keyword tracking
  • Analytics
  • Data export
  • External integrations
  • Link tracking
  • Data import
  • Multi-user

Pricing

It is a paid tool (starting at $19.95 + VAT/month) but it does offer a free 14-day trial. The Agency package is available for $64.95/month.

4. Monitor Backlinks

Monitor Backlinks' dashboard that helps keep track of backlinks and Google keyword rankings

The name is an instant giveaway, but, either way, Monitor Backlinks was designed to help professionals check their and their competitors’ backlinks.

With this tool, you can find and keep track of backlinks, and Google keyword rankings on autopilot via email notifications. So, whenever a competitor successfully uses a keyword to obtain a new quality backlink, you’ll have a chance to act quickly and not let your clients fall behind.

Monitor Backlinks gives you an overview of your backlink profile, providing details on the domains that are helping your SEO efforts, and those that are not. Additionally, the tool sends out reports full of insights on the competition, highlighting what keyword resulted in a high Google rank, as well as backlink data. With data like that, all that’s required from you is to reverse engineer the process to devise a solution that works for your clients.

The tool is aimed at helping you build a strong backlink profile and come up with an SEO strategy to foster business and traffic growth. To help you achieve this, the tool is packed with the most critical SEO metrics that give you all the data you need in one neat interface.

The graph in the dashboard deserves a special mention. It allows you to measure keyword-based site traffic dynamics, as well as the efforts to build a healthier backlink profile. Such graphs provide information to clients that they can easily visually comprehend without doing any digging.

What else comes with the package

  • External link count
  • Backlink status
  • Import/Export
  • Bookmarklet
  • Expiration date
  • Disavow links export
  • Tags and notes

Pricing

It is a paid tool (starting at $24.90/month) that offers a free 30-day trial. For agencies, you can request a custom quote, if you want to control more than 10 domains ($187.43/month).

5. Mention

Monitoring and managing web and social media brand reputation in Mention

The last tool from this roundup is a web and social media brand reputation management and monitoring solution called Mention. Evidently, unlike the other tools described here, this one isn’t a backlink analysis tool per se.

In fact, we included it in the list because it can really help you get good topical backlinks by notifying you of all online mentions you’re interested in. Say someone is discussing a client’s brand, product, service, or content, but doesn’t link out — join in on the conversation and request that a link to the target website be added.

The tool can easily keep track of keyword-based mentions in over 40 languages across billions of sources online in real time. But what you want to be on the lookout for are articles that mentioned your client but did not link out to the site. Plus, the tool’s influencer discovery features can assist you in finding popular people who can help you get the word out.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do this work manually. Set up to receive daily email alerts of all mentions on that day, or, alternatively, get notified via the desktop/mobile app. Plus, you can get laser-precise results by filtering them by sentiment, location, and gender.

The best part for agencies is that all the data, reports, and mentions can be white-labeled with the client’s logo and sent to them automatically.

What else comes with the package

  • Filter out online resources you don’t want to track
  • Share alerts with clients and assign tasks to colleagues
  • Get notified about priority alerts
  • The service studies your behavior to hide irrelevant alerts

Pricing

It is a paid tool (starting at $29/month) but it has a free 14-day trial that allows you to track 500 mentions for 3 search terms. The Enterprise package is available for $600/month or even more.

Summing up

Although all of these tools aren’t free, they offer some type of cost-free trial. For this reason, we’d recommend trying them all out before choosing one solution for your backlink analysis and monitoring needs.

The bottom line is that you should consolidate the data from all these tools to get a clear picture of your clients’ and their competitors’ backlink profiles. Even some of these solutions with huge amounts of data are lacking in user-friendliness and design, and may even provide different crawl depths, index stats, and other valuable metrics for the same URLs.

So, if you’re serious about backlink analysis, it’s best to start using several of the mentioned tools and deciding on those that suit your needs most as you go along.

Diana Ford is a digital marketing specialist with writing expertise that spans across online marketing, SEO, social media, and blogging. She can be found on Twitter @diana_ford.

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