How To Check Backlinks In Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console)

Jasmin Hukic, 2016-08-06 16:10:34

Checking backlinks may be a tough job for businesses with a tight budget. Luckily, Google Webmaster Tools (now Search Console) makes the task available for everyone. No matter what they say, backlinks are still a major Google ranking factor. I'm sure that you've already implemented all of the following:
  • SSL
  • Fast loading time
  • Properly usage of title
  • H1 tag
  • ALT tag usage in images
[fancy_box id=15 linked_cu=2108 action1="Private Google Spreadsheet File" action2="GET IT!"]We configured a Pivot Table for you. You only have to insert your URLs (from Google Search Console). [/fancy_box] That’s great, but your competitors have also done it, so if you want to outrank them you need to stand out. How? Though there are many ways, link building is your best racehorse. Success of link building campaigns is measured by number of collected backlinks. Let me show you how to find backlinks in Google Webmaster Tools.

#1 Open Google Webmaster Tools

Firstly, I need to log into Google Search Console and choose the website. Websites in Google Webmaster Tools I chose abcknjiga.com, my local blog about books.

#2 Click on Search Traffic - Links to Your Site

Now, in the left side in Search Traffic section, I’ll click Links to Your Site. Links To Your Site It’s the page where Google Search Console shows you your inbound links. Links To Your Site (Detailed Preview) It tells you briefly:
  • Number of total links
  • Who links the most
  • The list of most linked pages
  • How your data is linked
The last thing is actually the list of anchor texts. It's important because it helps you to avoid over-optimizing the text. It's a theme for itself so I'll write a blog post about it in coming weeks.

#3 Download Latest Links

Now it’s time to search for your backlinks. In Who links the most section, just click on the anchor text More, Who Links The Most and you will see these three buttons:
  • Download this table
  • Download more sample links
  • Download latest links
The last button is the one we’re looking for. Download Latest Links You can download CSV file directly on your computer and analyze it in Microsoft Excel or you can analyze the data in Google Docs.

#4 Check Backlinks Links In Google Docs

I prefer Google Docs so I'm gonna select it: Select Download Format You’ll get something like this: Backlinks In Google Sheets Now, you've got yourself the list of your backlinks, but we are not done yet! Let's see how to create a beautiful chart to see your performance.

#5 Group Backlinks By Days

Select columns A and B by clicking on them, and then go on Data - Pivot Table. This is my Pivot Table: Google Sheets Pivot Table Now you need to select the data Rows, Columns and Values:
  • Rows: First Discovered
  • Columns: Links
  • Values: First Discovered, summarize by COUNT
If this is starting to be a bit confused, please take a look at the photo below: Pivot Table: Report Editor In Google Sheets Basically, we've got the matrix with grand total links per day and we can use it to create beautiful graphs for better backlinks checking. Pivot Table This is interesting to me because now I can see that on:
  • 9/7/2015 I got 4 backlinks acquired
  • 2/2/2016 I got 2 backlinks acquired
  • 5/29/2016 I got 1 backlink acquired
Let’s show the data on the chart. [fancy_box id=15 linked_cu=2108 action1="Private Google Spreadsheet File" action2="GET IT!"]We configured a Pivot Table for you. You only have to insert your URLs (from Google Search Console). [/fancy_box] I’ll select the first column (A) and the last column (AR).  Notice, that I didn't click the last row (Grand Total). Now that you selected the data, click on Insert - Chart. Backlinks Chart In Chart Editor I had checked Use row 1 as headers and written the title in Customization tab before I clicked on Insert. You should see something like this: Backlinks By Date Chart The chart actually shows us how many inbound links, in average, we acquired. I can see that, most days when I acquired link, it was ONE inbound link (and that wasn't every day),  but also there were days when I acquired two, three and even four inbound links. Backlinks By Days is useful insight, but I think it would be better to show how backlinks are actually growing over time.

#6 Growing Number of Backlinks

Create a new column. I’ll call it a Growth. The first row of Growth column should be equal to first row of Grand Total column. Growth Column Cells in the next row is nothing else than sum of cell from the same row in Grand Total column and cell from the previous row in Growth column. Growth Column (Second Row) After that, just fill the rest data automatically. In order to be sure that you have successfully filled it, just make sure that the last Growth value is equal to Grand total. Filled Growth Rate The process of creating a new chart is the same. Select the data and go to Insert - Chart. Backlinks Growth Overtime Again, make sure Use row 2 as headers is checked, write the title you want, and then click on Insert. Here’s the graph: Backlinks Growth Overtime (Chart) It’s really flexible, so you can expand it or do whatever you want.

Conclusion

Paid tools for checking backlinks such as Ahrefs, SEMrush or Moz give you additional metrics including:
  • Page Authority Domain Authority
  • URL Rating
  • Domain Raiting
and many more. [fancy_box id=15 linked_cu=2108 action1="Private Google Spreadsheet File" action2="GET IT!"]We configured a Pivot Table for you. You only have to insert your URLs (from Google Search Console). [/fancy_box] However, lots of businesses have tight budget, and in their case Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console) will do the job. What tools do you use for checking and searching backlinks? Share your thoughts.