In today’s post, we will be starting a new weekly series reviewing some of the must have SEO tools for any SEO consultants or small businesses managing their own SEO. Today, we are starting with a great link research / analysis tool called Link Detective.
Link Detective (LD) is a great tool if you are attempting to analyze either your own links or a competitors’ links. In order to use LD, you must have access to an Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz account. LD uses the export file from OSE in order to provide its breakdown of links. If you don’t have an account, then I recommend signing up for at least a 30 day trial of Open Site Explorer and giving the Link Detective tool a try.
Once you are able to export the links file from OSE and upload into Link Detective, then that’s when the breakdown of links gets fun. You are able to export reports that show the following:
- Live vs. Dead
- Link Type Identified
- Followed vs. Non-Followed
- Links by Type
Here you can see the breakdown from the report:
What does this all mean for you?
Live vs. Dead
This gives you a breakdown of what percentage of the links in the OSE export report are live or dead. Since the dead links basically do not exist anymore, you can eliminate these from any report and do not need to focus on them. This is also a good percentage to add into a reconsideration request from Google.
Link Type Identified
This gives you the percentage of links that Link Detective could categorize as opposed to the ones that they could not. From the links that are “Known”, you will see in the pie chart that these are then broken down into specific categories of links. For example, articles, sidebar, forum posts, directories, comments, etc. This provides a quick snapshot of where your links are currently coming from. This also alerts you that if too many links are coming from one particular area, you may want to diversify your link portfolio.
Followed vs NoFollowed
This is exactly what it says it is, percentage of links that are Followed and are Nofollowed. Obviously, the more followed links the better. However, even if a link is NoFollowed in regards to search engines, it’s still a link and still provides an opportunity for somebody to click on it and receive traffic from that link. If majority of your links are NoFollowed, then you will want to pursue more Followed links. Also, if you are looking at a competitor’s site, the NoFollowed ones may not be a high priority as opposed to the Followed. Please keep in mind that just because a link is NoFollowed at this current time, it may not be in the future. What if the developers decide to make all outbound links Followed links?
Anchor Text Analysis
The next section of the report that is given breaks down your anchor text. This part of the report is similar to the anchor text report from OpenSiteExplorer, however, this makes a nice pretty pie chart with percentages for your top 10 anchor texts. This report is obviously important for anybody that is worried about any over-optimization penalties and having too many identical anchor texts. This is also a good report to view for your competition. Seeing what anchor text your competition is targeting can help you determine if that’s a keyword you should be targeting as well. Remember, just because your competition is doing something that is working for them, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Do what works best for you, not what has worked for them!
Here is a look at this report: