For the past year, we’ve invested a lot of time and energy in improving LinkResearchTools for our users. We gave LinkResearchTools not only a new look, but also a new feel as by improving:
- the system performance
- the crawling speed
- the user interface and overall usability
- the link data quality
- and so much more…
We focused all our efforts on making LinkResearchTools easy to work with, faster and showing more link data than ever before.
Some of you Superheros will see up to 3x more links for their domains after we enabled them the 25th link source!
Read on to learn about all the improvements we made for the past year.
We hope that you will enjoy it.
Table of Contents
- 1. 10x Faster Recrawling of your Links
- 2. LRT Product selection wizard
- 3. Data Quality and Link Status indicators
- 4. Increase in Link Data and “Oversize issues.”
- 5. Simplify the tools
- 5.1 Simplify LRT – Always Link Check on “Detail Reports.”
- 5.2 Simplify LRT – “Sample Reports” vs. “Detail Reports.”
- 5.3 Simplify LRT – Grandfathering
- 5.4 Simplify LRT – Removed redundant details from some report start views
- 5.5 For example –Onboarding for new users improved
- 5.6 For example –Onboarding for new free trials improved
- 6. Three new browser extensions
- 7. Link Detox Improvements
1. 10x Faster Recrawling of your Links
We always try to identify performance issues with our beloved users and improve our software based on our findings or on the feedback we receive.
Since we re-crawl all the link data for every full link analysis report, a report needs a longer time to process. We know that our users would like the re-crawling to go a bit faster and that’s why we’ve been working on improving the crawling speed.
We’re proud to say that we now have a higher re-crawling speed of factor 5x-10x depending on the market. Yes, this means we re-crawl your backlink profile up to 10 times faster now in LinkResearchTools.
Wait, you didn’t know that one of the major benefits and unique feature of LinkResearchTools is that we re-crawl your whole backlink profile for you on request to provide you the highest quality link data?
Glad you know now!
And while that takes time (especially when you have links on small and slow websites), in general, it got SO much faster!
For this „hidden function“ we don’t have a nice screenshot, but …
1.1 Much more pleasing user interface (UI)
We postponed this for way too long, but now we:
- Cleaned up the UI to look fresher, consistent and more pleasing in general. We started with the sign in / sign up page and went deep into the software.
- Improved all the error messages and navigation hints and made everything more consistent and clear. An important thing like the “keyword classification warning” in Link Detox (DTOX), for example now has a clear pop-up message that you get as soon as your report finishes. Keyword classification is vital for having reliable results in LinkResearchTools. That’s why we have a nice warning explaining this to you.
- We re-designed the icons of all the 21 tools we developed over the past years and made them all more meaningful and consistent. You can still switch back to the old ones, but we see that most users love the new easier and lighter style.
Link Audit and Recovery
Link Quality Checks
1.2 Improved Multi-Actions for bulk operations
Working with a lot of links of any type got so much easier with new LRT cross-tool actions that enable users to initiate bulk operations.
We considerably improved the multi-actions menus and made it very easy to:
- Send a bunch of URLs from a Backlink Profiler (BLP) report to the Bulk URL Analyzer (Juice Tool) to find out more about those links. Using the Bulk URL Analyzer is a quick way to get a lot of information about thousands of domains at once and helps you understand which URLs are fit for your niche.
- Identify common backlinks from a set of competitors you have in the Competitive Keyword Analyzer (CKA). Links are Google’s #1 ranking factor alongside great content. Your top competitors who rank for a certain keyword sure have some great backlinks in common. If you’re curious to see which backlinks these are and try to get them for your website, you can start a Common Backlinks Tool (CBLT) report from the Competitive Keyword Analyzer (CKA) results table.
- Identify your competitor’s common outbound links, try to get a backlink on the pages they link to and you will have your competitors indirectly linking to you. Here’s how: from a Competitive Keyword Analyzer (CKA) report, where you analyze the competitors that rank well for important keywords in your niche, you can start a Link Juice Thief (LJT) report to identify common outbound links.
- Quickly compare up to five websites in the Quick Domain Compare (QDC) tool and then start a Link Opportunities Review (LORT) report for all of them to understand which one has the lowest DTOXRISK. This will help you understand which domains would fit well in your backlink profile if you would get a link from them.
- Evaluate the DTOXRISK of potential link building opportunities that you discover using the SERP Research Tool (SERP) by starting a Link Opportunities Review (LORT) report with one click. LORT will quickly show you if the links you want to build are suitable for your link profile or if they could attract a Penalty.
1.3 New context sensitive analysis functions: view important metrics for every URL
Looking at the most important SEO metrics for a page, a domain or a root domain is now just one click away anywhere you see a URL listed in LRT.
This “context sensitive data lookup function” is something you waited for way too long. Now that you have it, we hope you love it.
Here is a list of the metrics you see for every link:
a. LRT Power*Trust - a two-dimensional SEO metric that will help you quickly assess the power and trustworthiness of a domain or page.
LRT Power*Trust is made of LRT Power (measuring the strength of a page or domain based on the power and number of backlinks) and LRT Trust (a metric that helps you evaluate the quality of a link by calculating the inheritance of trust from trusted sites).
Here is the LRT Power*Trust metric represented as a two-axis system. You can see that the links with a high LRT Power and a high LRT Trust are the strongest ones. But even an average LRT Power can be good if a link has high LRT Trust.
You can think of LRT Power*Trust as a replacement for Google’s toolbar PageRank and much more. Think of it as THE metric to look at when you want to assess the quality and trustworthiness of a page, domain or top domain. Learn more about the LRT Power*Trust technology.
b. Link Velocity Trends (LVT)
LVT is a trend indicator which informs you about the changes in link growth. There are positive and negative link growth trends, depending if a site wins or loses links.
A website needs to have a steady link growth. Google often considers drastic changes as negative signals, and this can damage your rankings. If your backlink profile grows fast and all of a sudden, Google may find this to be an algorithm manipulation attempt. If you slow down your link building efforts, you will never reach the first SERP page.
Read more about the Link Velocity Trends technology.
Apart from the above, the context menu shows you:
c. the Domain Popularity (DomPop) - the number of linking domains to a domain and
d. the number of linking pages (BL) to every link you analyze.
You get all the above metrics for the links you select on three different levels: for Page, Domain and Root-Domain.
1.4 Improved Report Overview
The overview of all your reports got a lot more pleasing and easier to read. Of course, we have new and consistent navigational elements here as well.
We also have a visual indication of reports being processed, suspended, needing confirmation and much more as you can read below.
Done but empty
2. LRT Product selection wizard
Picking the right LinkResearchTools plan for your business got even easier.
We always recommend the Superhero plan because it includes data from all the 25 link data sources we have, is faster and it offers all 21 tools, including all the competitive analysis tools not available in lower plans.
Different websites have different needs. That’s why we built a cool widget to help you understand which plan is more suitable for your website.
3. Data Quality and Link Status indicators
We worked hard for the past months and continue to do so to bring you link data that nobody has seen before. Part of that, is a feature you will love: the status icon you know from Link Redirect Trace is available now for every link inside LinkResearchTools (LRT).
The link status indicators help you instantly see if the page is blocked in robots.txt or X-Robots-Tags, has NOINDEX/NOFOLLOW tags on it or other technical issues like Bot-specific blocking.
You can sort the links in your reports by the following statuses: Index, NoIndex, Major Index, Follow, NoFollow or Canonical.
3.1 Understanding the Link Redirect Trace Status Icons
For different types of links and redirects, LinkResearchTools (LRT) displays different status icons next to each link in your reports. No worries, it's not complicated. You will get used to these messages very soon.
Here’s a list of all the status codes that you can see associated with a link:
Here is how you can read a combination of the above status messages:
This status column replaces the old “RedirJuice” column, which tried to interpret the effect of various types of redirects (301/302/307) and if those links have an effect on the rankings.
As we found out that has changed a lot in the last year. Learn more from this post explaining 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Links and Redirects.
Or just lean back and learn everything from this video:
Are you looking for an efficient way to track redirects and headers while browsing? Give the Link Redirect Trace extension a try! We are pretty sure you will love it!
or would you rather get the full LinkResearchTools (LRT) toolkit, including 21 tools, 25 link data sources, and all the Link Redirect Trace information about every link?
To help you quickly detect if certain URLs are blocked by robots.txt, we now provide detailed robot.txt metrics for every link in the Backlink Profiler (BLP), Link Detox (DTOX), Competitive Link Detox (CDTOX), Competitive Landscape Analyzer (CLA), and Link Alerts (LA).
We check if:
- txt allows general bots for current URL
- txt allows the Googlebot for current URL
- major Bots* are allowed by Robots.txt for current URL
- major Bots are blocked by Robots.txt for current URL
*major Bots = applebot, baiduspider, bingbot, googlebot, msnbot, naverbot, seznambot, slurp, teoma, yandex
All these metrics are hidden by default. You can see all of them in your report by clicking on: “show all columns”, or you can just click on the ones you need.
3.3 Improved On-page Metrics
We introduced or brought back various on-page metrics to give you a complete SEO analysis of your backlink profile and enable you to spot various on-page issues fast.
A. HTTP status code
B. Page title
C. Title length
D. External links
E. External NoFollow links
F. Internal links
G. Internal NoFollow links
H. Meta Robots
I. Meta Robots for Googlebot
J. Meta description
K. Meta description length
M. X-Robots-Tag for Googlebot
All these metrics are hidden by default. You can see all of them in your report by clicking on: “show all columns,” or you can just click on the ones you need.
4. Increase in Link Data and “Oversize issues.”
Over the years our clients got bigger and bigger link profiles. The link volumes also increase because we find more and more backlinks by combining our 25 link data sources. The following improvements accounted for the increase in data size and improved the user experience for power users a lot.
4.1 File Upload increased from 50 MB to 200 MB
A lot of our users upgraded to bigger plans to process bigger link profiles – and of course, that required a lot bigger upload quotas. If you have those huge link list files that you still cannot upload in full, let us know, and we’ll revisit our size limits.
4.2 Huge Link Data Report download
Now if you think 200 MB is a huge size of raw link data, imagine what LRT adds to it by its own link data sources and almost 100 extra metrics it crawls – and then rendering all that as convenient Excel files.
Downloading an XLSX with a Gig or more was not possible in the past, but now it is.
We also found out that nobody wants those huge files in his inbox, so we changed the email notification function accordingly to provide download links also, instead of the attachments.
5. Simplify the tools
Over the years, apart from great features, we also added a lot of options inside our product. Existing users enjoyed seeing new things that helped them improve their work, but new users got confused with too many options.
Based on the feedback we received, we understood that new users tend to get lost in details and need help understanding some of the options we offer.
To help our users get the most of LinkResearchTools we decided to simplify the product. That’s why we took away some options already and will continue to do so in the future.
Here are some recent things we simplified:
5.1 Simplify LRT – Always Link Check on “Detail Reports.”
In the past, users could decide if we should perform a link check and extract all the details about a link (anchor text, redirects, rel-canonicals, link status, robots.txt and much more) or not.
While this is something a power-user might want to unselect to speed up things, it confused most people that did not want to do so. The report default option had “Link Check” off and if users didn’t specifically tick the “Link Check” option, then they didn’t get all the link data. Thereby it looked like there was a lot of missing data when in fact, everything was just a click away.
But imagine how many of our users needed that explanation. That was just a bad design decision that cost our users and ourselves a lot of time for some extra flexibility that no one appreciated.
NOW the “Link Check” option is always enabled and thanks to our so much improved crawling speed, the reports will run much faster anyways.
5.2 Simplify LRT – “Sample Reports” vs. “Detail Reports.”
In some of our tools, the users could select between a “Quick Analysis” and a “Detail Analysis” mode. We realized that some users never run a report in “Detail Analysis” mode, they always used the “Quick Analysis” option. That was just because they thought that the only difference is that the “Quick Analysis” is faster than the “Detailed Analysis.” Well, that was wrong.
We understood that we got the name of the button wrong here since the report didn’t just run quicker in this mode, it also gave the user a link data sample, not the freshly crawled full backlink profile.
Discovering how users perceive the Quick and Detailed mode, we decided to rename them as follows:
- The “Quick Analysis” mode became “Sample Analysis” and
- The “Detail Analysis” mode became “Full ”
What’s unique about LinkResearchTools is that it can provide users with their website’s full link profile. No need to base important decisions on sample backlink analysis.
Not when you can have the full picture.
By selecting the "Sample Analysis" option, we work like all other SEO tools, in an ad-hoc query mode without validating links. This lack of accuracy is traded for speed.
Keep in mind that you are not getting all the technology benefits of LRT in the Sample mode, like:
- Re-crawling all the links as we create the report for you
- Link Redirect Tracing
- A full check of all – current – stats for link status, server indexability, etc.
Long story short - "Sample" is a clearer name for the quick mode that trades accuracy for speed. "Full Analysis" is freshly re-crawled, comprehensive link data and is what you need to base decisions on.
5.3 Simplify LRT – Grandfathering
We value customers that stay with us, use the product on an ongoing basis and give their feedback to help us improve LinkResearchTools (LRT). That is why, since 2009, we never increased the prices for our loyal customers. If you buy LinkResearchTools, you can keep your plan with the same price forever.
We call this loyal customer appreciation method “Grandfathering” or “Price Grandfathering.
As we add new features, more power, more data the value of the product increases, and, the plans and prices change over time. Keeping the old prices grandfathered is a great benefit for all the loyal LinkResearchTools (LRT) users. We didn’t communicate the “Grandfathering Policy” too much but always practiced for each customer and we always will.
5.4 Simplify LRT – Removed redundant details from some report start views
To make the Link Detox (DTOX) and Competitive Link Detox (CDTOX) report start dashboard more simple, we removed the long “Metrics” list. In these tools, all the metrics are included by default in your report, and you can see them in the report’s detailed table.You will not see this list of metrics when starting a Link Detox or Competitive Link Detox report, but don’t worry, you will still have all these metrics and much more.
5.5 For example –Onboarding for new users improved
We made the onboarding process friendlier and more helpful for our new users. We did all this to give them a true WELCOME to LinkResearchTools, hope that they love the toolkit, and decide to stay with us forever.
On the welcome page of the application, you get a message directly from the founder to help you get started with your new LinkResearchTools account.
We also added links to all sorts of free training materials, documentation, and SEO case studies written by our LRT Certified Professionals and LRT Certified Xperts. This will all help you understand how to use LinkResearchTools best for your website or your client's websites.
5.6 For example –Onboarding for new free trials improved
We improved and simplified the onboarding process for our Free Trial users. We provide more training and more documentation than ever before. This makes it easier for the first-time users to understand how to use LinkResearchTools and make the most of their Free Trial.
If you haven’t signed up for a Free Trial yet, now it’s a great time to do it.
6. Three new browser extensions
Since our loyal customers expressed the wish to see some of the strongest LinkResearchTools metrics also available in the browser, we invested a lot of time into building three great browser extensions:
Free Browser Extensions
If you're looking for an efficient way to track redirects and headers while browsing, Link Redirect Trace is the right extension for you.
It provides the most in-depth link redirect data available, performs advanced, comprehensive and most important correct analysis of links, redirects, and REL-canonicals and so much more.
Helps you customize your searches in Google, Bing and Yandex and enjoy looking at the advanced LinkResearchTools SEO metrics on every page you open. Backlinks, Power*Trust, keyword ranking, link velocity trends, engagement metrics and social media shares. You have it all in your browser.
7. Link Detox Improvements
7.1 Remove Link Audit Priority
Why let users decide if a link is risky or not based on two metrics if we can reduce it to a meaningful metric?
We removed the old field “Link Audit Priority” from Link Detox as it was kind of redundant to the Link Detox Risk (DTOXRISK®) view. You can quickly estimate the probability of your website being penalized by Google just by looking at the DTOXRISK metric.
What you see above is a worrying overall DTOXRISK score. When your report shows you a High DTOXRISK score after you classified all the keywords and re-processed your report, you need to start with your link audit work.
You should start with reviewing the links that have a HIGH DTOXRISK, then continue with the links that have an “Above average” DTOXRISK and so on.
If you find that these links have no connection to your niche and come from websites that look spammy, you need to take immediate action. Try to reach out to the webmasters and ask them to remove the link to your website. If that doesn’t work, then go ahead and disavow all the links that are left.
7.2 Link Detox Boost progress display
We added a friendly visualization in Link Detox Boost (BOOST) to show the “Crawled vs. Boosted" URL’s in % and total number. This improvement helps users get a quick overview of how many links Google crawled already and how many are still left. Our clients already find this especially useful when handling big disavow files.
7.3 Link Detox Boost auto-delay
Google takes forever to re-crawl all the links you submit in a disavow file. You can use Link Detox Boost (BOOST) to make Google crawl your disavowed links faster.
After you submit a disavow file to Google, using the Google Disavow Tool, you need to wait for 48 hours and then start a BOOST report for the links you disavowed. Link Detox Boost will push Google to re-visit your disavowed links, and it will show you the exact date when Google re-crawled each link.
Right after you upload your Disavow file to Google, you can now schedule a Link Detox Boost report to start with a delay of 48 hours. This way, you will not forget to run a Link Detox Boost report. Remember, this is a must-do after you upload a new disavow file to Google Search Console.
When you schedule a Link Detox Boost report, the tool will display the report starting time and date for you: “This report is not yet initialized! This report was setup to have a delayed start. The report will not start before dd.mm.yy.”
Only after all the links in your Link Detox Boost report are crawled, you can say that your disavow work is complete.
We hope that all the improvement’s we’ve made in the usability, performance and data quality in LinkResearchTools (LRT) will play a great role in the optimization of your overall SEO work for 2017.
We’re planning to do so much more this year.
We’ll soon bring you
- a whole new way to look at your backlink profile. And it won’t be a trippy 3D visualization but something actually really useful.
- full access to the “Canonical’ed Links” to everyone
- full access to highly effective 25th link data source to *all* Superhero’s and up
- amazing updates for our browser extensions
If you want to share your thoughts with us, just post a comment down here.
Or if you would like to set-up a free trial, then go ahead here.