Run SEO Experiments with the Links and Tests Tools

What you'll learn: How to use the Links tool to discover the best backlinks your competitors are getting to boost their rankings. When you acquire one of these new links, run an SEO Experiment using the Tests tool to discover if that link has boosted your rankings and traffic.

Enter a website into the links tool




You can find backlinks to the exact URL, or an entire domain.

Find the highest quality backlinks.




With the Links tools, you get access to 3 links databases: Moz, Blekko, and Ahrefs. By default the Links report shows the highest quality links in the main report. You can sort these columns to find the highest quality links according to each database.

Find the most recent backlinks.


The report in the upper right shows links from the last 30 days. This is great for seeing what links your competitors are getting recently.

Export a CSV of the links


Press the 'Download CSV' link to download a CSV spreadsheet of all the links shown in the report.

Acquire these links.


Reach out to the owners of these backlinks and see if they might link to your website as well. This works great if you ask in a personalized fashion and follow up.

Now, once you've acquired a new link or set of links, set up an SEO experiment to track your performance and prove the value of the link.

Start an SEO Experiment using the Tests tool



Create a 'New Link' Event

What did you change or what would you like to test? Common events to test include:

  • Title tag changes
  • Other on-page SEO changes
  • A new link campaign was started
  • New Press
In this example, we've gotten a new link and we want to test how that new link will affect our SEO performance.

Click: 'Create an Event to test':



Give the Event a:
  • Name (required)
  • Category (required)
  • Description (optional)

Click 'Start a Test'


Click the 'Start a Test' button:



And then:
  • Choose the Event to test (required)
  • Select a page (required)
  • Choose start date of test (required) - when did the link first go live?
  • Select a keyword to track (recommended)
  • notes (optional)


Hit 'Start Test' and that's it!

Congrats! You've setup your first SEO test. The Tests tool will now check on your stats daily and update:

  • Google Ranking
  • Yahoo! Ranking
  • Organic Traffic to the URL
With these 3 SEO metrics, you'll easily be able to determine if that new link has helped your rankings and traffic.

The SEO Experiment Report


The Experiment report has two main sections:

1. A written report that explains the change in SEO metrics.

2. Charts that show your Experiment results: 



The main chart shows your change in metrics after 1 week, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and the most recent week. The first data point is a baseline of these metrics:
  • Organic Traffic (for the URL you are testing)
  • Google Ranking
  • Yahoo! Ranking

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