Finally, after much deliberation Google has finally allowed the webmasters to see which links it really indexes. As it was written today in “Discover your links” and “Google provides backlink tool for site owners” posts, Google has finally added this so much requested functionality to their Sitemaps tool. I know a couple of guys who went to register in Yahoo SiteExplorer just because Google’s link: has not worked properly for ages, and Google Sitemaps has not provided anything close to this functionality, but finally we seem to have it working. Still far from being perfect and even not reaching 80% in my opinion, but it is a major improvement.
There is an interesting fact, written twice with bold on the same page by Matt Cutts – “Do not assume just because you see a backlink that it’s carrying weight”, and it makes a lot of sense for me, since for some of the sites i know there are quite a number of links but judging by the pagerank number – the most of them are still far from being counted. At the same time it is a kind of a protection for search engines against those who build thousands links by robot programs, because once the link carries no relation or significant connection, it should not be counted.
Now we have a possibility to trace all those who link to us, and it is a quite an important information. Of course one can always trace from which pages the visits are coming from, but there are a lot of pages, from which you wont get a click, but you might have a link, which could help you improving your pagerank at Google and final ranking in all major search engines, and in the end effect this is what all webmasters are looking for – to be at number one of the search results in all important keywords combinations.
I am looking forward of getting more information from the Google Sitemaps, especially since i can compare it with the one from Yahoo’s SiteExplorer and see which one sees which links.