What does it do?

Counts the number of links found pointing to this website from Yahoo and Google.

Why is it important?

The volume of quality links correlates highly with how well regarded a website is by search engines. Websites with many links generally score far higher. Link building (i.e. purposely obtaining links to a website) is a large part of effective Search Engine Optimisation.

Links are also an excellent means of measuring how prominent the website is on the Internet – i.e. prominent websites will generally attract more links all by themselves.

How is it measured?

The number of links counted by Google (worldwide) and Yahoo (worldwide) are measured. Higher numbers of links count towards a higher score.

Note that this number of links reported by Google is far lower than the equivalent reported by Yahoo. This is because Google is far pickier about what it will count as a link - see Technical explanation for details.

Technical explanation

The score is calculated on a logarithmic scale. Low numbers of links therefore make quick increases in score, with higher scores requiring very high volumes of links. This mirrors (approximately) the behaviour of Google's PageRank.

Google is much pickier at counting links, but the links they do count are of higher value. Among other criteria, Google are know to exclude links that:

  • Come repeatedly from one website (e.g. in the footer of every page)
  • Come from a set of related webservers (e.g. similar / identical IP addresses)
  • Come from a set of websites which appear to reference each other exclusively
  • Come from sites that reciprocate the link
  • Come from blacklisted websites
  • Come from brand new websites
  • Come from websites filled with some user generated content (e.g. Wikipedia)
  • Are invisible or nearly so (e.g. white text on white background)

In effect, Google are very good at eliminating most of the common tricks for generating artificial links, which people have used to trick search engines in the past.

How to improve this score

Obtain more quality links to your website (see link building).

How to use this test effectively

If the score for this test is low, consider investing in link building. The resulting increase in search engine placement is likely to be considerable. Otherwise we recommend people check the number of links they have, and that it is always increasing (this should happen automatically, as nearly all websites accumulate more links over time).