New Insights! Backlink History Charts at URL Level

By Dixon Jones May 2, 2013

This week we have launched some new, prettier charts and at the same time we are announcing a recent change – which lets you see backlink history information at the URL level. Previous backlink history charts were at the domain level only and this new – much requested – functionality gives an interesting new use for Majestic’s data…

Now that you can track individual URLs, you can compare how one version of a story compares against another on the Internet over time.

Track Global Health Scares

When was the world worried (and to what extent) about:

  • Bird Flu?
  • Mad Cow Disease?
  • Winter Vomiting?
  • The MMR Vaccine?

It would seem that Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) and the Winter vomiting virus (Norovirus) are MUCH more important to us on a world wide scale than concerns about the MMR vaccine – a health scare which erupted largely only in the UK. If you change this view to a cumulative chart this difference becomes even clearer.

By using a solitary website – in this case Wikipedia – we have an almost instant way to analyze the world’s collective view on a subject such as a disease or world event.

Who Won the Media War over Usain Bolt’s Olympic Bid?

Take the world’s fastest man – Usain Bolt. A search for “usain bolt olympics 2012″ reveals – for me – three notable videos of races at the Olympics involving Usain Bolt. Two are videos on YouTube and the third is from the Guardian website. Sadly – the search engine I used did not have a BBC.co.uk video on the first page – but did have a page from BBC.COM with an expired video. So as the BBC was the official channel for the Olympics, I have added their video in as well, which is still buried on the UK site but possibly out of reach of Google. (OK… I used Google…) Here is a screenshot of results:

Usain Bolt Olympics 2012

The Majestic Banklinks History chart is evidence of which version of events the public at large, and Search Engines in particular think is the most important. The chart above shows a perfect correlation with Google’s choice of top three results (by link count alone), with the exception of the BBC URL which should come second by rights.

We can improve on link counts as a measure of trust, though, and by looking at the Trust Flow(R) of these four possible results, we can improve (in my opinion) on Google’s top three choices:

Our view of Trust

Here we see what I think would be the best order for these four videos. Google has the same Youtube video at position 1 as Majestic would if it were a search engine, with a Trust Flow of 33, but Majestic puts the Guardian page at position 2 instead of a second Youtube URL and the BBC at a creditable third with a Trust Flow of 17. What I do not understand is how Google, in a world where they are rumored to be settling an EU complaint that they are being biased towards their own properties, can list a SECOND YouTube video in the list. I understand that there may be all sorts of factors that stop Google from possibly finding the BBC URL, but clearly Google has enough information to decide between the second Youtube option and the Guardian page. Although the second YouTube video does have more links than the Guardian one, they come from only three domains instead of 7 (in our index). But most importantly, we found no CREDIBILITY in the quality and trust of links towards the second YouTube video. So why is it there?

This interesting but isolated example deflects form the point of this post – which started out by highlighting the new charts and the ability to track link counts at the URL level – but does go to demonstrate the value of the data, not just for SEO, but for Market Intelligence per-se.

Another Example: IBM vs DELL vs Oracle servers

By looking at individual pages, we can also better compare competing products. This time I did not look directly at comparable search results – but instead compared competing brands directly:

Dell vs IBM vs Oracle

Again – I believe most people would suggest that Dell has the market share – but that may be perception rather than reality. At a URL level at least, IBM looks to be the clear leader in this market, but if we use Referring domains as a better judge of quality, then indeed Dell comes up on top. Again – Trust Flow using our Bulk Backlink checker can better blend this codependency between link counts and domain counts. In this case we see Dell Servers significantly outperforming Oracle and IBM who are themselves neck and neck:

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 11.12.34

 What Other Ideas?

This data clearly has uses well beyond pure search. We would welcome constructive ideas in the comments to give people ideas as to how to use this data. Because the Backlink History charts are free to anyone who registers on our site, there should be plenty of new uses for these charts.

Posted In: Development

11 Responses to “New Insights! Backlink History Charts at URL Level”

  1. Lee Keadle said:

    May 02, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Is this only helpful for comparing different websites? Or can it offer insight for different pages within the same website?

    • Dixon Jones said:

      May 03, 2013 at 9:31 am

      See the Health Scare example as a way to track within the same site.

      • Lee Keadle said:

        May 06, 2013 at 9:03 pm

        > Thanks, Dixon – that answers my question!

  2. Thomas Zickell said:

    May 03, 2013 at 1:07 am

    I like it keep up the good work guys

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    May 03, 2013 at 11:02 pm

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  4. Mark Gadala-Maria said:

    May 04, 2013 at 4:33 am

    I’m still convinced that the # of links you have don’t necessarily have a direct effect on your ranking as compared to other serp results. I’ve seen sites with less that >20 links ranking above sites with 1000′s of links.

    • Alex said:

      May 04, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Link counts are not a good measure of link strength – our metrics such as Citation Flow and Trust Flow take into account inter-linked nature of the web graph.

  5. Chris said:

    May 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Does Majestic have the ability to look at historical trust flow? I was wondering if I could see if any of the backlinks we’ve built were increasing the trust flow from 6 months ago.

    • Alex said:

      May 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Hi,

      You will need to use our tracking reports for that:

      http://blog.majesticseo.com/development/track-links-over-time/

      Once created (available for free verified domains also) it will track various metrics from fresh and historical index.

      Sadly there is no other way to say what was particular value of metrics at any point in time for any given domain.