Link analysis software – help or hindrance?

Posted on November 5, 2013


After Google’s recent updates on backlinking, we are all left wondering whether the backlinks that once benefited us are now doing us harm.

Google has released updates, and will no doubt carry out further tinkering that shifts the online marketing landscape, some of the most impactful being Penguin and Panda, and the latest being Hummingbird. The parts of those algorithm changes relating to backlinks have created a whole new industry around their analysis, as well as the software you can buy that claims to do it for you.

Are these systems any good?

The answer to that questions is a little more complicated than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

The search engines (especially Google) all hold their cards close to their chest in respect to what they truly look for when assessing the quality of a backlink. When we add to that the fact that the backlink analysis software industry is a relatively new one built around major changes in the search engine algorithms, the end result is that what to actually look for is a rather complex matter.

The software does its job by collecting such data as Page and Domain Authority and PageRank from around the Internet, using already established sources to then determine whether it thinks a link is good or bad. Some use a few sources, while others use many.

The important thing to remember is that any software that analyses backlinks does this on the criteria set by those that made it, not the search engines, so using this software is not always accurate and needs to be done with caution. You cannot take the information they give as set in stone; the results need a human to analyse them and assess. Provided this is followed, this type of software analysis can be a useful tool, but it is just a starting point on the journey.

So what does this mean to me?

With the aforementioned recent changes in backlinking, your current profile will no doubt need to be analysed by your online marketing company. Any decent one will review it on a regular basis anyway, but it will also need to employ common sense and not act on impulse. Another thing to watch out for is new companies contacting you and taking this software at face value, or not explaining that you shouldn’t either, and using it as a way to persuade you to jump ship. This type of software shouldn’t invoke a kneejerk reaction, but what it can do is look at a backlink profile and help assess what may need to be done.

If you are in any doubt about your backlink profile and need to speak to someone, don’t hesitate to contact Engage Web on 0345 621 4321

Mark works as a Project Manager at Engage Web and brings an extensive knowledge of SEO to his role. He uses his natural people skills to provide a vital link between the company and its clients.

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