I just noticed a week old tweet from Kerry Dye, saying that she would love to be able to see deleted links more clearly:

KerryDye's wish

Well Kerry… you can!

How to find links that used to point to a site, but got taken down

It you own the site in question, then this costs nothing – you just need to have the site verified by uploading a verification file. If you have not yet registered on MajesticSEO, it’s free and really quick. If you have also paid to analyze a site, it doesn’t cost at this time to re-force an analysis, to find this out.

Knowing where links have been deleted can be useful – particularly if you have made deals where you expect a link to be maintained, but have not got time to individually go and check every link every week. There are other uses too. If your rankings take a hit one day, it MIGHT be nothing to do with what you have been doing, but it may rather be due to a website that had influence over you through a link updating its own website. As an SEO, you’ll probably take the flack for the ranking drop, even though it was nothing to do with you OR to do woth a change in Google’s algorithm. Unfortunately, Google spiders sites at different times to us, so our dates may not match. This means the best time to run this report is just after we have updated our index.

Here’s what you do.

Assuming you got a site in your control panel, click on the “options” tab in the top left corner.

Select “deleted” in the “include back links with flag” column:

Retrieving a list of deleted links

Retrieving a list of deleted links

Then at the bottom of the page, press “save and force analysis”.

Now in your site summary, you will ONLY have a list of links to you site which were crawled initially by our bot, but – when we returned to crawl the page again – had disappeared. From the summary page, you can see these either by anchor text or by originating domain “strength”.

You can drill into these and download into a CSV file if you want to sort and  slice and dice your deleted links.

Doing this exercise and grabbing screen shots using the Majesticseo.com domain, I found some interesting insights that I might have to follow up. Some interesting links to Majestic have… disappeared.

Do you think we may be starting to cause some waves?

Dixon.