Backlinks Section Overview

The Backlinks Section is an indispensable functionality part for any backlink analytics tool. It offers whopping data on the target’s backlinks, revealing the ones that are the most valuable, recently gained or lost, and backlinks that are no longer working.

With extensive customization opportunities, any user can tailor the data displayed in this section to their specific needs, be it a backlink audit for their site or competitive backlinks analysis. Whatever the use case, this section will help users to closely examine any of the target’s backlinks, and gain insights for their future link-building campaigns.

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Screens overview:

Backlinks Report

New Backlinks

Lost Backlinks

Broken Backlinks

Components

Domain input

To display a backlinks report for a target you need to know the target’s scope. With DataForSEO Backlinks API you can get data on a whole domain or just a part of it by using one of the options below.

  • To get data for the whole domain with all of its subdomains, you should specify the domain name in the “target” field (without https:// and www.) and set the “include_subdomains” parameter to true.
  • To retrieve data for a particular URL, you should specify an absolute URL with https:// and www. in the “target” field.
  • To analyze a domain without its subdomains, or to get data on a particular subdomain, you should should specify name of the domain/subdomain in the “target” field (without https:// and www.) and set the “include_subdomains” parameter to false.
  • To extract data for a specific path, you should indicate the domain name in the “target” field (without https:// and www.) and additionally apply the following filter: ["url_to","like","%/path/%"]. When setting tasks to the Summary, Anchors, and Domain Pages endpoints, you should specify this filter in the "backlinks_filters" array. If you set a task to the Backlinks endpoint, use the “filters” array.
Here’s an example of the cURL request to return 1,000 dofollow backlinks for DataForSEO Blog:
        login="login" \
        password="password" \
        cred="$(printf ${login}:${password} | base64)" \
        curl --location --request POST "https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/backlinks/backlinks/live" \
        --header "Authorization: Basic ${cred}"  \
        --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
        --data-raw "[
            {
                "target": "dataforseo.com",
                "mode": "as_is",
                "filters": [["dofollow", "=", true], "and",["url_to", "like", "%blog/%"]],
                "limit": 1000
            }
        

Counters & Dofollow / Nofollow bar

Counters & Dofollow / Nofollow bar

Counters are a great way to give users a quick understanding of a target’s backlink performance. The total count of backlinks helps to evaluate the target’s authority, and it’s one of the main metrics used for competitive benchmarking. If the target is the whole domain, the counter of referring pages will be equally useful. Furthermore, if a user sets a page as a target, the number of referring pages will also be a crucial indicator of the page’s ranking potential.

As you’ve probably noticed, besides the Total backlinks and Referring pages counters, there are green and red highlights. These will help users to immediately see the number of new/lost backlinks and new/lost referring pages.

The counters of Referring IPs and Referring subnets will shed light on the target’s link-building strategy. In particular, if the count of referring IPs or subnets is too low, the target may be taking advantage of PBNs.

Similarly, the dofollow/nofollow backlinks ratio can reveal the quality of the target’s backlinks. For example, too many dofollow links may suggest link spam and such resources may even be penalized by Google.

In order to obtain values for these counters, you’ll need to make only one request to the Summary endpoint of Backlinks API. When setting a task, keep in mind the necessary scope that should be applied for the target. As explained in the Domain input part, you can specify a domain with or without its subdomains, a certain page, or all pages with a certain prefix.

To obtain data for the whole domain with all of its subdomains, you should use the cURL request as in the example below:
        login="login" \
        password="password" \
        cred="$(printf ${login}:${password} | base64)" \
        curl --location --request POST "https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/backlinks/summary/live" \
        --header "Authorization: Basic ${cred}"  \
        --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
        --data-raw "[
            {
            "target": "example.com",
            "internal_list_limit": 10,
            "include_subdomains": true,
            "backlinks_status_type": "all"
            }
        ]"
        
The data for all counters we described above will be returned in the corresponding highlighted fields of the “result” array. Note that in order to obtain the nofollow/dofollow backlinks ratio, you should subtract the number of nofollow links in the "referring_links_attributes" object from the value indicated in the "backlinks" field.
        {
            "version": "0.1.20210622",
            "status_code": 20000,
            "status_message": "Ok.",
            "time": "0.3804 sec.",
            "cost": 0,
            "tasks_count": 1,
            "tasks_error": 0,
            "tasks": [
                {
                    "id": "07061551-1535-0265-0000-6d1a7e43cd21",
                    "status_code": 20000,
                    "status_message": "Ok.",
                    "time": "0.3483 sec.",
                    "cost": 0,
                    "result_count": 1,
                    "path": [
                        "v3",
                        "backlinks",
                        "summary",
                        "live"
                    ],
                    "data": {
                        "api": "backlinks",
                        "function": "summary",
                        "target": "explodingtopics.com",
                        "internal_list_limit": 10,
                        "include_subdomains": true,
                        "backlinks_status_type": "all"
                    },
                    "result": [
                        {
                            "target": "explodingtopics.com",
                            "first_seen": "2019-08-18 09:32:39 +00:00",
                            "lost_date": null,
                            "rank": 244,
                            "backlinks": 1837,
                            "crawled_pages": 2073,
                            "info": {...},
                            "internal_links_count": 22805,
                            "external_links_count": 4815,
                            "broken_backlinks": 66,
                            "broken_pages": 111,
                            "referring_domains": 868,
                            "referring_main_domains": 835,
                            "referring_ips": 747,
                            "referring_subnets": 631,
                            "referring_pages": 1696,
                            "referring_links_tld": {...},
                            "referring_links_types": {...},
                            "referring_links_attributes": {
                                "noopener": 615,
                                "nofollow": 390,
                                "noreferrer": 15
                            },
                            "referring_links_platform_types": {...},
                            "referring_links_semantic_locations":{...}
                        }
                    ]
                }
            ]
        }
        

Drop-down lists

Drop-down lists
These drop-down lists will give users an opportunity to apply a specific filter to the table data.
With the first drop-down menu, users can choose to review one backlink per domain, one backlink per anchor, or all backlinks. The second menu allows refining the table data by a specific top-level domain. With the help of the location menu, users can indicate a semantic location (e.g., article, header, footer) of backlinks they are interested in. The last menu allows selecting a particular type of backlinks (e.g., anchor, image, link, redirect) that will appear in the table.
Underneath the drop-down lists, the {{total count}} variable will show users how many of the target’s backlinks match the selected filters.
Below you’ll see how to incorporate this filtering functionality with DataForSEO Backlinks API.
One per domain, one per anchor, all backlinks. When setting a task to the Backlinks endpoint, set the “mode” parameter to:
  • as_is – returns all backlinks
  • one_per_domain – returns one backlink per domain
  • one_per_anchor – returns one backlink per anchor
TLD from. First, use the data from the "referring_links_tld" object from the Summary endpoint to show available top-level domains. Next, add ["tld_from", "=", "{$tld}"] to the "backlinks_filters" parameter when setting a task to the Backlinks endpoint.
Location. First, use the data from the "referring_links_semantic_locations" object from the Summary endpoint to show available semantic locations. Next, add ["semantic_location", "=", "{$semantic_location}"] to the "backlinks_filters" parameter when setting a task to the Backlinks endpoint.
Link type. First, use the data from the "referring_links_types" object from the Summary endpoint to show available link types. Next, add ["item_type", "=", "{$item_type}"] to the "backlinks_filters" parameter when setting a task to the Backlinks endpoint.
Note that you can apply several filtering rules at once for any of the drop-down menus except the first one. For example, if a user selects .com and .net TLDs, you should add [["tld_from", "=", "com"],"or",["tld_from", "=", "net"]] to the "backlinks_filters" parameter when setting a task to the Backlinks endpoint.
Here’s an example of the cURL request you should make to the Backlinks endpoint to obtain one backlink per domain with the following rules:
  • Those domains should be .com and .net
  • The backlinks should be located within an article
  • The backlinks should be of anchor type
    login="login" \
    password="password" \
    cred="$(printf ${login}:${password} | base64)" \
    curl --location --request POST "https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/backlinks/backlinks/live" \
    --header "Authorization: Basic ${cred}"  \
    --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
    --data-raw "[
        {
            "target": "example.com",
            "limit": 100,
            "mode": "one_per_domain",
            "filters": [
                [
                    [
                        "tld_from",
                        "=",
                        "com"
                    ],
                    "or",
                    [
                        "tld_from",
                        "=",
                        "net"
                    ]
                ],
                "and",
                [
                    "semantic_location",
                    "=",
                    "article"
                ],
                "and",
                [
                    "item_type",
                    "=",
                    "anchor"
                ]
            ]
        }
    ]"
        
Total count. To display this value, you’ll need to first apply all necessary filters, and set a task to the Backlinks endpoint. Once you receive a response, use the "total_count" field returned in the results.
    {
      "version": "0.1.20210622",
      "status_code": 20000,
      "status_message": "Ok.",
      "time": "2.9560 sec.",
      "cost": 0,
      "tasks_count": 1,
      "tasks_error": 0,
      "tasks": [
        {
          "id": "07051735-1535-0269-0000-11ca15abad0c",
          "status_code": 20000,
          "status_message": "Ok.",
          "time": "2.9159 sec.",
          "cost": 0,
          "result_count": 1,
          "path": [...],
          "data": {...},
          "result": [
            {
              "target": "example.com",
              "mode": "one_per_domain",
              "total_count": 8891875,
              "items_count": 100,
              "items": [...]
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
    

Referring pages table

Referring pages table
This table is the central pillar of the whole Backlinks Report. It offers a comprehensive breakdown of data on each referring page. Users can effortlessly spot and track where their or competitors’ backlinks are coming from, discover the best-performing pages, and discern the most valuable backlinks for the target.
To produce this table, you’ll need to use two DataForSEO APIs - Backlinks API and DataForSEO Labs API. In particular, you’ll need to call the Backlinks and the Ranked Keywords endpoints. Below you will find two corresponding cURL examples.
Note that the calculation of rank scores in DataForSEO Backlinks API is based on a method that’s similar to the Google PageRank algorithm. The values range from 0 (no backlinks detected) to 1,000 (the highest rank).
You can additionally apply filtering and/or sorting by specific columns.
Referring pages and Target URL can be filtered by a specific word or path that appears in the URLs. Example rule for “filters”:
[["page_from_url", "like", "%/blog/%"], "and", ["url_to", "like", "%pizza%"]]
Backlink Context can be filtered by a certain keyword that appears as anchor text. Example rule for “filters”:
["anchor", "like", "%pizzaplace%"]
DF/NF can be filtered by choosing between dofollow and nofollow backlinks. Example rule for “filters”:
["dofollow", "=", "true"]
Page Rank, Domain Rank, Link Rank, Organic Traffic, First Seen, Last Seen can be sorted by a decreasing or increasing order of values. Example rules for “order_by”:

["page_from_rank,desc"]

["domain_from_rank,desc"]

["rank,desc"]

["etv,desc"]

["first_seen,asc"]

["last_seen,asc"]


        login="login" \
        password="password" \
        cred="$(printf ${login}:${password} | base64)" \
        curl --location --request POST "https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/backlinks/backlinks/live" \
        --header "Authorization: Basic ${cred}"  \
        --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
        --data-raw "[
            {
                "target": "example.com",
                "mode": "one_per_domain",
                "filters": ["dofollow", "=", true],
                "limit": 100
            }
        ]"
        
        login="login" \
        password="password" \
        cred="$(printf ${login}:${password} | base64)" \
        curl --location --request POST "https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/dataforseo_labs/ranked_keywords/live" \
        --header "Authorization: Basic ${cred}"  \
        --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
        --data-raw "[
        {
            "target": "example.com",
            "language_name": "English",
            "location_code": 2840,
            "filters":  [
                [
                    "keyword_data.keyword_info.search_volume",
                    "<>",
                    0
                ],
                "and",
                [
                    [
                        "ranked_serp_element.serp_item.type",
                        "<>",
                        "paid"
                    ],
                "or",
                [
                    "ranked_serp_element.serp_item.is_paid",
                    "=",
                    false
                ]
            ],
            "and",
                [
                    "ranked_serp_element.serp_item.relative_url",
                    "=",
                    "/blog/title"
                ]
            ],
        ]"
        
Referring Pagesreferring-pages-table-referring-pages column contains titles, URL addresses, and domain platform types per each page a backlink is coming from.

Corresponding fields in the Backlinks endpoint response: page_from_title, url_from from the items object.

Page Rankreferring-pages-table-page-rank column reveals the authority of pages pointing to the target. It allows estimating the strength of the referring page’s backlink profile.

Corresponding fields in the Backlinks endpoint response: page_from_rank from the items object.

Domain Rankreferring-pages-table-domain-rank column, in its turn, reveals the overall authority of the domain that’s referring a backlink to the target. This metric is vital for evaluating the link popularity of the referring domain, and judging if the domain is a worthy source to get a backlink from.

Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: domain_from_rank from the item object.

Link Rankreferring-pages-table-link-rank column indicates the level of authority each referring page passes on to its target page. In essence, the link rank is the most straightforward way to highlight the value of a particular backlink for the target.

Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: rank from the items object.

Target URLreferring-pages-table-target-URL column contains URL addresses to which the corresponding referring page is pointing. It also shows the status codes per each referenced page. With this information, users can promptly locate URLs on their site that might have issues. Conversely, if a user is viewing competitor backlinks, broken target pages will uncover potential opportunities to steal some of the competitor’s links.

Corresponding fields in the Backlinks endpoint response: url_to, url_to_status_code from the items object.

Backlinks Contextreferring-pages-table-backlinks-context column will allow users to understand if the variety and relevance of the anchors the target receives links through. What’s more, it will serve anchors along with the surrounding text, giving users even deeper insights into the contextual relevance of the backlink.

Corresponding fields in the Backlinks endpoint response: text_pre, anchor, text_post from the items object.

DF/NFreferring-pages-table-DF_NF column simply indicates whether the corresponding backlink is a dofollow or a nofollow one. This small bit of information is in fact a decisive factor of whether or not that backlink passes link equity and trust signals to the target.

Corresponding fields in the Backlinks endpoint response: dofollow from the items object. If true, the backlink is dofollow.

Organic Trafficrp-referring-pages-table-organic-traffic column displays the traffic a referring page gains from ranking organically in search results. This data comes in handy for analyzing the referral traffic potential of a backlink.

Corresponding fields in the Ranked Keywords endpoint response: etv from the result.metrics.organic.

First Seenreferring-pages-table-first-seen column indicates the date and time when the DataForSEO crawler first discovered the corresponding backlink for the target.

Corresponding fields in the Backlinks endpoint response: first_seen from the items object.

Last Seenreferring-pages-table-last-seen column shows the date and time when the backlink was lost. That is, on the stated date and time our crawler reached the page and it responded with an error or the backlink was removed.

Corresponding fields in the Backlinks endpoint response: last_seen from the items object.

Hidden columnsreferring-pages-table-hidden-columns

The table also provides users with an opportunity to select specific columns that will be shown in the table. Besides the ones displayed by default, users can choose to view columns with the following data:

  • Link type - shows HTML link type, e.g., anchor, image, link.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: item_type from the items object.

  • Attribute - shows HTML link attribute, e.g. nofollow, noopener, noreferrer.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: flags from the items object.

  • Alt text - if a backlink is an image, will show the alternative text of the image.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: alt from the items object.

  • Previously seen - shows previous to the most recent date when our crawler visited the backlink.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: prev_seen from the items object.

  • Location - shows the semantic element in HTML where the backlink is found.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: semantic_location from the items object.

  • External links - shows the number of external links found on the referring page.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: page_from_external_links from the items object.

  • Internal links - shows the number of internal links found on the referring page.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: page_from_internal_links from the items object.

  • Page to status code - shows the number of internal links found on the referring page.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: url_to_status_code from the items object.

  • Links count - shows the number of identical backlinks found on the referring page.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: links_count from the items object.

  • Group count - shows the number of identical backlinks found on the referring page.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: group_count from the items object.

  • IP address - shows the number of identical backlinks found on the referring page.

    Corresponding field in the Backlinks endpoint response: domain_from_ip from the items object.

Components

Drop-down lists

drop-down-lists_table-filters
With the help of drop-down lists, users can filter the table of new backlinks.
The {{total count}} variable below the drop-down menus will indicate the number of target’s backlinks matching the selected criteria.
Note that obtaining new backlinks requires adding the “is_new” parameter to the filters of your request. For more information on how to create this feature, please read here.

Components

Drop-down lists

lost-backlinks-drop-down-lists
With the help of drop-down lists, users can filter the table of lost backlinks.
The {{total count}} variable below the drop-down menus will indicate the number of target’s backlinks matching the selected criteria.
Note that obtaining lost backlinks requires adding the “is_lost” parameter to the filters of your request. For more information on how to create this feature, please read here.

Components

Dofollow / Nofollow Bar

broken-backlinks-dofollow_nofollow-bar
In the Broken Backlinks report, the dofollow/nofollow backlinks ratio will help users to quickly understand what value the target is losing. While broken nofollow backlinks result in the loss of referral traffic, with dofollow broken backlinks it’s even worse. If the target page is broken, the backlink does not pass any link equity to it, nor does it pass any trust signals for the domain overall. Knowing the dofollow/nofollow broken backlinks ratio, users can prioritize pages that should be fixed on their website. Or else, if viewing a competitor profile, users can estimate dofollow opportunities for broken link building.
To enrich your tool with this feature, you’ll need to make two calls to the Backlinks endpoint. Below you can see two examples of the cURL requests you should use to obtain the necessary values for this bar. With the first request, you will get the number of dofollow broken backlinks in the "total_count" field, while with the second request you will get the number of broken nofollow backlinks in the same field.
        login="login" \
        password="password" \
        cred="$(printf ${login}:${password} | base64)" \
        curl --location --request POST "https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/backlinks/backlinks/live" \
        --header "Authorization: Basic ${cred}"  \
        --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
        --data-raw "[
            {
                "target": "example.com",
                "limit": 100,
                "filters": [
                    [
                        "dofollow",
                        "=",
                        true
                    ],
                    "and",
                    [
                        "is_broken",
                        "=",
                        true
                    ]
                ]
            }
        ]"
        
        login="login" \
        password="password" \
        cred="$(printf ${login}:${password} | base64)" \
        curl --location --request POST "https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/backlinks/backlinks/live" \
        --header "Authorization: Basic ${cred}"  \
        --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
        --data-raw "[
            {
                "target": "example.com",
                "limit": 100,
                "filters": [
                    [
                        "dofollow",
                        "=",
                        false
                    ],
                    "and",
                    [
                        "is_broken",
                        "=",
                        true
                    ]
                ]
            }
        ]"
        

Drop-down lists

broken-backlinks-drop-down-lists
With the help of these drop-down lists, users can filter the table of broken backlinks. In particular, they can choose the scope of data to review (one backlink per domain/per anchor/all ), set top-level domains they wish to analyze broken backlinks from, select semantic location (e.g., article, header) and type (e.g., anchor, image) of the broken backlinks that should be displayed.
The {{total count}} variable below the drop-down menus will indicate the number of target’s backlinks matching the selected criteria.
Below you'll find an example of the cURL request you should make to the Backlinks endpoint to obtain all broken backlinks with the following rules:
  • Referring domains should be .com and .net
  • The backlinks should be located within an article
  • The backlinks should be of anchor type
Note that you can apply several filtering rules at once for any of the drop-down menus except the first one. For more information on how to implement this feature, please read here.
        login="login" \
        password="password" \
        cred="$(printf ${login}:${password} | base64)" \
        curl --location --request POST "https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/backlinks/backlinks/live" \
        --header "Authorization: Basic ${cred}"  \
        --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
        --data-raw "[
            {
                "target": "example.com",
                "limit": 100,
                "mode": "as_is",
                "filters": [
                    [
                        "is_broken",
                        "=",
                        true
                    ],
                    "and",
                    [
                        [
                            "tld_from",
                            "=",
                            "com"
                        ],
                        "or",
                        [
                            "tld_from",
                            "=",
                            "net"
                        ]
                    ],
                    "and",
                    [
                        "semantic_location",
                        "=",
                        "article"
                    ],
                    "and",
                    [
                        "item_type",
                        "=",
                        "anchor"
                    ]
                ]
            }
        ]"
        

Backlink Profile Overview

 

This dashboard provides the growth dynamics of referring domains and backlinks, while also estimating the ranking score of the target domain and URL. In a nutshell, the Backlink Profile Overview is intended to showcase the backlink profile of any target – i.e., domain, subdomain, or webpage.

View