Links, it used to be a topic which was all about getting links, one way or another. The right way or the ‘wrong way’. Ever since Google introduced a couple of animals to the SEO world however things have changed. Panda and especially Penguin updates have made the links business very different. Suddenly its all about getting the right link profile not by getting links but by removing them. Many tools have been adjusting to this, some offered you lists of links already but are now aiming at the ‘bad’ links as well, to prevent you from becoming the next Interflora. But all the tools come from a specific angle and are focussing on more than just the links. A new tool, launching today, will now however give you a complete insight in all your links, including the bad ones and will help you understand your link profile: Linkrisk.
What is LinkRisk?
The name says it all: LinkRisk looks at your link profile and analyses the links for you: are they coming from a good site or a bad site, or something in between? A high level backlink analysis and profiling tool. The tool, thought of by Paul Madden, Gareth Hoyle and Dom Hodgson uses an algorithm to calculate a score for your website to find out how high the risk is of you actually becoming that next Interflora. It then pinpoints the risky links, shows you where they are from, where they are pointing at and what links you need to work on. But it also shows you the good links. And what to work on. One of the founders Paul Madden explains the thoughts behind the concept:
“Links have changed and everyone now needs to know what they have and to manage it on an ongoing basis. LinkRisk is the culmination of over a decades experience from two of the UK’s most experienced link builders and the technical wizardry of a brilliant and inventive dev team. The launch is just the start of the project and we plan to roll out of a suite of unique tools that we hope will become and indispensable part of anyone serious about succeeding online.”
One of the main things which makes LinkRisk different from others is the Riskscore. LinkRisk will give your site a score to show how much risk there is for you with the links you have. Now before you get all excited and think you’ve gotten the high score you are always looking for: the higher the score the more trouble you are in. Linkrisk calculates scores for links on different levels and gives each type of link a colour (see the graph on the right). Now the score is like a Pagerank turned upside down. And that also means there is no way of finding out how the score is actually calculated. LinkRisk themselves say:
“The score is calculated with a complex, proprietary algorithm and uses a multitude of industry standard metrics as well as an overlay of some of our secret sauce.”
A secret sauce, that says it all right :).
So how does it work?
If you sign up for LinkRisk (there are various plans) you can set up a link profile for your (or another) site. When setting up the link profile you are asked some questions of which at first you might think ‘why do they need to know that’? Like for example what your SEO efforts have been and which agency you’ve worked with. It might seem as probing but it actually is very valuable information since it will help define the risk you are actually taking. LinkRisk after all has a huge database with information about all sorts of links which they will use to determine the risk of your website. After you’ve set things up LinkRisk goes to work. Depending on the size of your site it could take a while before your report is ready. You can easily just move on with your work and they’ll warn you once its done.
What do you get?
When the “results are in” you immediately will see your score, in the case of State of Search it was 522 and we are in the green! So that is looking good! Note that once you’ve set your profile LinkRisk will continue to update your score, so it can change. The profile gives you different sorts of information. There is the overview of the domain with number of unique domains, pages scanned etcetera. On the right side of the page the most intriguing part shows up: a circle which shows the anchors, Good vs Bad links and status of links. Because you can scroll over you can get an instant insight in the average state of your links. Below all this is the (hopefully 😉 ) massive list of links of your site. The links have different colour background showing you how high or low the risk actually is. LinkRisk also allows you to filter these. You can filter by LinkRisk score, domain name, status code and anchor text. Off course everyone will probably first look at the high risk ones. LinkRisk also let’s you export the links into excel or pdf (it will be send to you). A somewhat hidden but very smart feature is the little “i” behind the link. Click on it and you will get a lot of information on that link, the anchor used, when it was last found, if its still active or not and a lot more. This is part of the ‘extra’ information LinkRisk can give you which is extra valuable because you can also use it the other way around: for link building.
So LinkRisk gives you a LOT of information on your link profile. But now what, what to do with it? Many SEOs will know exactly what to do with it but LinkRisk also aims at giving triggers to what to do next. In the future they will help you getting your link profile in order. The aim is to manage it all within LinkRisk, including for example getting a disavow document and getting that to Google the quickest way possible.
The tool definitely isn’t complete yet. There seems to be enough work to do for the guys behind the tool. I can easily think of features I would like to have, like a quicker insight in the anchors or more guidance on the ‘what to do next’ part. For now it is very informative and fun to play with but the trigger to do stuff at the moment doesn’t lie within the tool but lies with the SEO using it.
So is this a tool worth checking out? Yes it is. And not just because I like the founders. The tool gives you valuable information and if this is what you get from a tool just starting out, imagine what more they will be building. The missing elements will without a doubt be coming and I don’t know a single SEO or link builder who wouldn’t be triggered by all this data. More information on LinkRisk.com.