Despite all the changes over the last years, backlinks remain one of the important search ranking factors. A good and healthy backlink profile should be one of the goals of every SEO campaign. Not only by chasing a large number of backlinks, but to focus on their quality as well. However, when the number of links starts to grow, it’s easy to lose track of them. Fortunately, you can easily monitor new backlinks in Google Webmaster Tools and keep track of all the changes. It will give you insight into a lot of useful information, and help you discover problems that require your attention.
Set up your Google Webmaster Tools (Google Search Console) and Monitor New Backlinks
Generally speaking, backlinks serve as a vote of confidence for your website. Search engines, like Google, are using these votes to evaluate your website’s authority and relevance. Given these points, you need an appropriate tool to help you monitor and analyze your current backlink profile. And Google Webmaster Tool is one of the best you can find for your backlinks.
Since the major update, it brings a plethora of convenient features every webmaster can use. From submitting your sitemap to disavowing questionable links to prevent harm to your website. On the other side, if you are a first-time user, it might take a while to get used to the interface. Also, finding experienced SEO experts might be a better option if you don’t know how to interpret the results.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are basically links that lead to your website from other websites. They can help you improve your ranking position, but only if they are quality links. Since search engines crawl your website looking for keywords, backlinks will allow you to take leverage in case two websites are using the same keywords. They can be do-follow and no-follow links and each type serve a specific purpose.
Google Webmaster Tools features
Here are several generally useful tasks you can do with Google Webmaster Tools:
- You can submit your Sitemap
- Check the coverage of your website
- Review URLs for any issues
- Inspect your website’s mobile usability
- Analyze your search queries
- Monitor your links and check their effectiveness
- Find out what data appears as rich results in Google SERPs
- and many more
*Google officially changed the name of their Webmaster Tool to Google Search Console and included many additional features.
Connecting your website with Google webmaster tools
If it’s the first time you need to set up your website with this tool, or you have a brand new website, there are a few steps to pay attention to. First, you need to go to Google Webmaster Tools page. Before you proceed, you will have to sign in with your Google Account. If you are already using Google Analytics, that would be a preferable option.
Once you are in, you will be given verification options to select “property type”:
- Confirm with domain or subdomain
- Confirm verification with URL prefix
Also, there are other ways to verify if those two don’t suit you. For example, you can verify by connecting Google Analytics with Webmaster Tools. Depending on the size of your website, it may take a day or two until verification is complete.
Check and monitor new backlinks in Google Webmaster Tools
Checking and monitoring backlinks in Google Webmaster Tools is possible in a few simple steps.
Step 1: Selecting your website
After logging in, you will be given a page where you will need to select a website you want to manage. On the top-left corner, you will find the drop-down menu with the list of your websites. You can simply select one of the websites if you have more than one, and you will be sent to the “Overview” page in the dashboard. On the left side, you will see a sidebar offering you different options like:
- URL inspection
- and so on
In this case, the option you are looking for is Links.
Step 2: Selecting links
Google Webmaster Tools allow you to see the list of all sites that link to yours. And also what link texts are in use. In general, this tool provides you with a comprehensive list of pointing websites, because it’s coming straight from the source. And that is Google search engine directly. Most importantly, you can sort and filter the results to display new backlinks on top.
You will get a complete overview of your internal and external links, however, there is a more detailed report available:
- The total number of links – for external links, provides you with the total number of backlinks.
- Top linking sites – show you the websites with the number of backlinks from every website.
- Top liked pages – gives you an insight into your pages that are linked the most by other websites.
- Primary linking text – shows keyword your pages are linked for and anchor texts of those backlinks.
With the given information, you can analyze various aspects of your backlinks, and check the performance of your website.
You can export the information
In addition, Google Webmaster Tools allows you to export your backlink information. This will help you save the data and use it for additional analytics. For example, if you want to export bad links and deal with negative SEO. Or find and fix broken links and correct other errors. You can download the data to CSV for manipulating with Excel or for Google Docs.
Other tools to monitor your backlinks
When it comes to monitoring your backlinks, there are numerous free and paid tools on the market. Besides Google Webmaster Tools, here are some tools that can help you automate the whole backlink monitoring process:
- Monitor Backlinks
- and others
And tools for manual monitoring:
- and more
When you want to see the performance of your website, tools like this can help you greatly. With access to information that will help you monitor new backlinks in Google Webmaster Tools, you will always know if your SEO campaign is successful or not. Overall, knowing how to proceed further and what things to correct will be essential for the success of your business. And in the digital marketing world, having an eye on your backlinks provide you with exactly that.