Get More Link Data Out Of Google Webmaster Tools

Have you been using the link data Google now provides through Webmaster Tools? Do you wish Google provided even more information? I know I do. Well Google hasn’t made any changes to the tool, but thanks to Joost de Valk you can now pull a little more data from all those links Google is reporting.

Joost has written GWT External Links++, which are scripts on top of the popular Greasemonkey Firefox extension. After you’ve installed both whenever you check your links at Webmaster Tools you’ll gain some extra information beyond what Google gives. The script will take a few seconds to start showing the extra data and how many links you have will determine how long it takes finish.

What extra data can you expect to see?

  • The PR of the page sending the link
  • The anchor text of the link
  • If the link has nofollow applied
  • If the link isn’t found
  • If the link is an image and the alt text on the image

I gave it a test drive and Joost’s scripts work exactly as advertised. The only problem I noticed was that some links the script claims it couldn’t find were indeed there, but that’s a small problem for all the extra data you get. I particularly like being able to see the anchor text on the links. It’s also interesting to see the nofollow on some links as it shows that Google does crawl nofollow links.

You will need a Firefox browser with the Greasmonkey extension installed before the GWT External Links++ scripts will work. For those of you not familiar with Greasemonkey, the extension allows you to alter the appearance and functionality of web sites and pages by writing simple and complex JavaScript to alter the page before it fully loads in your browser. has many scripts you can download for popular sites.

Check out Joost’s page for the GWT External Links++ script for a screen shot of what the extra data will look like and give the script a try.

Thanks to Barry Schwartz and Search Engine Roundtable for calling my attention to the script and thanks to Joost for creating a nice addition to the link data from Google Webmaster Tools.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.


  1. It’s a pretty cool extension. It’s not from Google though. All the credit goes to Joost de Valk. He wrote the addon scripts for Greasemonkey. It would be nice if Google could offer the info without the extension, but they have been making improvements to Webmaster Central.

    Today Google changed the way they show the external links to your site in the Statistics tab at Webmaster Central. Where they used to just show keywords in the links pointing to your site they’re now showing the complete phrase in the anchor text.

    It’ll be interesting to see what future improvements they make and to see if Yahoo Sitemaps follows. Maybe we’ll even see something from MSN and Ask at some point.

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