Post difficulty level: Intermediate.
This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for a while now. It’s for those SEO’s who know their way around link library MajesticSEO and robust link crawler (amongst many other things) Screaming Frog. There are a number of different situations in which the information in this post would be handy, primarily:
a) If you were to provide a client, or project manager, with an estimate as to how long a link detox task would take.
b) Performing a link analysis task whereby you would need a list of all client backlinks in order to go through them and remove them using whatever process you see fit (this process is subjective and I may publish the process I use on this blog in the near future!)
Let’s get down to it shall we?
You’re after a list of all the backlinks a client currently has. The key thing to note here is use of the word “has”, to me this means a list of backlinks that are currently live. This is something that you need to keep in mind when calling on link library tools, as most of the generic reports available to you will usually spit out all backlinks ever recorded for a particular domain since the dawn of the Internet, which as you can imagine is of no use at all. Picture this scenario:
- Average Joe visits MajesticSEO
- Average Joe exports a list of backlinks for www.example.com
- Average Joe begins to work through this list of links in order to size up which ones are rubbish and need to be removed
- Upon doing so, Average Joe doesn’t find a live link, or a link with an instance of www.example.com on the page, until he’s spent 3 hours working through the list
A common alternative to this is a tool that reports on links found in the last 30 days, which although useful, isn’t as thorough as the task at hand requires
One sure fire way, that I’ve come across, to discover all live backlinks that make up a backlink profile for a domain is to use MajesticSEO hand in hand with Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Here’s how you can get your hands on more accurate backlink data:
Note: I’ve combined a few steps into one on many occasions, do forgive me, this is because there’s a fair few steps otherwise! It’s still super easy though, don’t fear!
Plug your URL into MajesticSEO’s site explorer and select historic index then hit search
Note: Historic index pulls up all backlinks for this domain that have ever existed.
On the “Summary” tab you should see two tiny icons to the right, the one you want is the one on the left, “Create Report”
On the “Create Report” page make sure that you’ve selected Historic Index. Scroll down and select the “Advanced Report” radio button, hit the “Domain” radio button then hit the “Create Report” button
Report has been created – Huzzah!
Do as the success page says and make your way over to the “Reports” page. In the “Advanced Report” section you should see your URL listed there in a table with a few other stats such as Status and Last Updated.
Click the URL. In this example I clicked “rapidfiretheatre.com”.
Note: You may also see that the number of external backlinks that was on the “Summary” page is different, typically lower, than what is listed here – tricky hm? In short, this is because MajesticSEO apply specific filtering rules in advanced reports.
On the next page you’ve got to spend a couple of seconds searching for the link you need to click in order to get an export, I’ve highlighted this below.
Click “Prepare Download” button
Click the URL you plugged in at the start
Rejoice because you just spent a good chunk of your life exporting data from MajesticSEO! But seriously, you should be proud because there are so many different exports you could have done, but you’ve exported the most expansive set of data ready for the next step of this entire process. In other words, a download of a .zip file should have start upon clicking the URL you have chosen to investigate, in my case; rapidfiretheatre.com (as shown in the previous step).
Now we move onto part 2! How to thin this list out into links that we care about (aka, links that weren’t deleted 10 years ago that MajesticSEO decided to give you anyway).