I had a hunch that Google would do an update this weekend and this morning I have logged on to find that an backlink update is under way. I had a feeling they’d use the long weekend to do it. Update: It looks like this could be a Page Rank Update also.
You’ll find that this takes a few days to really settle down and if you follow your backlink levels that they could take a day or two to settle down.
What’s the significance of backlinks? In short and to completely over simplify it – backlinks are a measure of how many other sites are linking to yours. Each backlinks is like a vote for your blog – the more you have the higher your site should theoretically rank in Google. Of course there are many other factors that impact how high your site ranks – but its largely thought that backlinks are one of the most significant factors. As a result any update in backlinks is something that causes webmasters around the world to collectively hold their breath for a few days.
This update is already showing some strange results for me – I know its too early to tell (I’m ignoring my own advice of ‘wait and see’ here) but ProBlogger.net seems to have significantly fallen in its backlinks. This is really odd because the last two months have seen more incoming links pointing at this blog than I think I’ve ever had on any other blog. I guess time will tell.
Update: I’ve also noticed my page rank has changed on a couple of my sites so its a dual update.
Update II: I’ve already had people email to ask how they can check their backlinks. The simplest way is to go to Google and enter ‘link:www.yoursite.com’ in the search field as you’ll see in the following screen cap.
Press enter and you’ll be shown a snapshot of how many other sites Google sees as linking to you. It won’t include every one but is what Google is working with.
If you want to track your backlink count there are a variety of web tools out there for the job. I use a tool at digital point which tracks backlinks and page rank. You have to run it every day to get the best results but I include it as part of my morning routine.