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Too much Caffeine in your backlinks?

by Matthew Dybwad

Google’s new search indexing system, “Caffeine,” has been completely implemented. What this means in a nutshell is that Google can index content across the web, including the social web, far more efficiently and deliver search results that include content that is nearly brand new.

However, Caffeine does not change Google’s search algorithm, so when the number of backlinks displayed in Google Webmaster Tools recently expanded for many sites, SEO masters were left scratching their heads.  It turns out that Google decided to increase transparency in this area and has made available many more if not all backlinks for analysis.

Backlinks are important to SEO because they speak to a site’s authority and popularity on any given subject matter.  In theory if a site has the most authoritative, freshest content in a certain area, the web will reward that site by linking to it.  Thus knowing what all of a site’s backlinks are is key to understanding where a given SEO strategy is succeeding or failing.

Case in point, browsing through CRAFT’s newly expanded set of backlinks revealed that the firm had been mentioned in a story, “Tips for Political Marketing and GOTV Strategy in the Cloud,” that got picked up by PR Newswire.  No one actually interviewed anyone at CRAFT for the piece, and while it did generate significant traffic to the site, the resultant spike wasn’t big enough to draw attention in and of itself.  However, the story was syndicated through several major news sites and political blogs, representing serious positive exposure for the firm.

Armed with this knowledge a webmaster can further exploit incoming traffic to a set of content, seek out the source of recurring inbound links to establish strategic relationships, and also realize what site content is potentially falling flat or failing to be recognized.