has released a great new search option for webmasters which allows you to see just how many links point to other websites from within your own. To use it simply search using the following syntax without the quotes and replacing “” with your domain (do not use ‘www.’):


Okay What Does this Mean?
This tool is a great addition to the webmaster’s toolchest because it provides a snapshot of the sites that your site is linking to – a considerable factor when trying to improve PageRank (credibility). It will also point out any sites that you may have had no idea you were sending traffic to that may have been posted on your site using SPAM tactics (i.e. in comment postings on your blog).

More Information on PageRank and Credibility
PageRank… it is not something that many SEO’s take very seriously anymore since Google downgraded its reliability due to rampant manipulation. One thing is for sure, however, the statistic that PageRank essentially accounts for – credibility – is just as important as ever.

“Credibility” when attributed to search engine rankings is a loaded topic with a myriad of opinions and supposedly firm facts. One statement that makes a ton of sense is the effect that the ratio of incoming to outgoing links can have on a webpage’s credibility.

A Basic Example
To try to explain what I mean I will use the following general example:

If a prominent page within your website had 15 links pointing to other websites (outgoing) and less than 15 links pointing to it from external websites (incoming or aka backlinks) it would gain less, if any benefit from the incoming links. This is because it is giving away, or ‘bleeding’ more credibility than it has earned (because it has less links pointing to it).

An Advanced Consideration
Now that you understand the basic concept here is a little advanced info. If the 15 outgoing links were pointing to high-PageRank websites such as internationally renown news websites or prominent search engines, these outgoing links would not have as negative an effect. This is because the page is pointing to sites that are recognized by the search engines as highly credible; there is no point in penalizing a page for linking to quality websites. In this scenario, it is my opinion that the incoming links are less dampened by the outgoing and the page would actually benefit from enhanced credibility.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.
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