Google Adds "Links" Feature to Webmaster Tools

Google recently announced its newest feature to Webmaster Tools, a section called "Links." An alternative to the link: query operator, the tool provides a wealth of information to verified site owners regarding the links that Google knows about. In the new "Links" section, you can:

  • View a list of Internal and External Links (Backlinks)
  • View the number of backlinks per page
  • View where the links came from
  • View the date the link was last found by Google
  • Search for a the details of a specific page
  • Download all of your links in CSV format

Google's New "Links" Tool

Some webmasters are finding stolen content, such as hotlinked images, while others are finding Google knows about many more backlinks than previously thought.

Google's Webmaster Tools has come pretty far since its June 2005 release as Google Sitemaps. Based on the information that Google has made available to webmasters so far, and how much more they already know about our websites, the future could easily hold some powerful site analysis data. Some of the feature requests webmasters have requested for the "Links" tool include the ability to:

  • Tag bad links as spam
  • View links by domain, with drill-down to individual pages
  • Sort the list by number or links
  • Filter links by the "nofollow" attribute
  • View the PageRank alongside the links

I hope that Google will continue to consider webmaster requests, and implement some of these as features. For more information on this topic, check out these articles:

Discover Your Links – Official Google Webmaster Central Blog
Google Releases New Link Reporting Tools – Danny Sullivan
Google Provides Backlink Tool for Site Owners – Matt Cutts