At SES San Francisco, Google alluded to a new Webmaster Tool that would finally provide webmasters with the backlink data they’ve been craving. An announcement on the official Webmaster Central Blog post confirms it – marketers will soon be able to download backlink data that provides a more accurate swath of the sources referencing their brand content.
When webmasters hit the “Download more sample links” button in the past, Google gave them around 100,000 backlinks. However, the search engine chose cross sections lexicographically, which meant some sites did not receive examples that represented the entire gamut of links. Rather, they received a larger portion with domains names that fell in the first half of the alphabet.
Although the examples will still be ordered alphabetically, the results will give a more panoramic view of the websites recommending their online content. Additionally, the new reports will show examples from different domain names and top-level domains (TLDs).
Google’s Search Engineer Matt Cutts has been hinting at a move toward more transparent backlink reporting in recent Webmaster Help Channel videos. Brafton previously reported that the search engine has started offering more examples for manual webspam actions in its reports as well.
Detailed reports that offer transparent insight might be the key to recovering from Google’s Penguin algorithm. A Search Engine Round Table study found that half of webmasters say they’ve been hit by the spam-fighting technology, but only 7 percent think they’ve fully bounced back.