When analyzing backlink profiles, one deals with data on the distribution of referring domains, anchor texts, PageRank or linked landing pages. However, working with so much varied data can make it difficult to determine results, which can hinder both the decision-making process and overall improvement.
To help with this task, Google provides Fusion Tables, an experimental data visualization tool that can prove extremely useful when analyzing backlink profiles on sight. In this post, I'm going to walk you through how to install Fusion Tables and how to use them.
Installing Fusion Tables on Google Drive
To install the experimental version of Fusion Tables, go to the Chrome Web Store and install Fusion Tables (experimental).
Now, when you want to create a document on Google Drive, you will have the option of choosing a new document type:
OK, I Have the Application — Now, What Do I Do, and How Do I Do It?
Let's take it step-by-step. There are various options when creating a new document with Fusion Tables:
- Importing a document from your PC
- Importing a document from Google Spreadsheets
- Creating a table from scratch
Careful! If you choose Google Spreadsheets, you are importing data rather than linking it. If you modify the source data in Google Spreadsheets, the data in Fusion Tables will remain unchanged, and you will have to modify them manually if you need to correct a number within the display.
The visualization options for data relating to the analysis of backlinks are as varied as the metric combinations you can display. However, in this article, you will see how to create three different kinds of visualizations:
- Domain distribution and web sections
- PageRank distribution and web sections
- Anchor text distribution and web sections
To create the graphs described in this article, you must first have a series of tables with the necessary information, such as the tables in this document. If you don't know how to parse URLs to extract web directories, have a look at this post on Excel functions for SEO. :)
Domain Distribution and Web Sections
Let’s create a Fusion Tables document — this time importing data from Google Spreadsheets, and selecting the document containing the analyzed data and the tab to display the data on domain distribution analysis:
Once you have imported the table, you can create a graph by selecting the “Add Chart” option followed by the “Network Graph” option:
To visualize the source and target data in different colors and see the links’ addresses, tick the boxes “Link is directional” and “Color by columns.” The volume of referral domains and the web sections they point to, along with the weight of their relationship (thickness of the arrow), will be determined by the number of links (weight by links).
Once you have finished configuring these options, you will have an interactive graph like the one below, allowing you to see which web sections receive the most backlinks, and which domains provide the most links to each of them.
PageRank Distribution and Web Sections
Following the same steps outlined above but importing the data from the PageRank Distribution tab will produce a graph similar to the one displayed below:
Anchor Text and Web Sections Distribution
Creating a new Fusion Tables document using the data on anchor text distribution and following the steps outlined above will produce a graph similar to the following:
All data employed in the examples and Fusion Tables included in this post are available via this link.