RankActive Blog

When Less is More: Why We Decided to Remove Backlinks and Link Manager Features

27 November 2018 George Svash Leave a comment Whats new

After the successful rollout of the updated RankActive, we removed Link Manager and Backlinks Explorer – here’s why we decided to do so.

less-is-more

The team of RankActive has always been committed to providing our users with the best experience possible. We’re continually improving our product (like migrating the entire platform to Angular) and trying to keep it up to date. Following our commitment, last week we decided to deprecate Link Manager and Backlinks Explorer because we’ve come to understand that by doing so we’ll make RankActive better.

Without having to monitor backlinks our customers can now focus on tracking the true outcomes of their SEO efforts and improving the online visibility of businesses.

Why Backlinks Manager Was a Massive Burden

RankActive is good at many things – it has helped many SEO professionals to build impressive keyword lists, track rankings, check overall website performance, and so on. Backlinks Explorer, however, has never been our best angle.

First of all, RankActive was getting white-labeled backlinks data via Ahrefs API. Given the need to comply with their ToS, unpredictable pricing policy, while also taking into account the recent growth of our customer base, using this data has become incredibly inefficient.

Secondly, we believe that relying on pretty expensive third-party data won’t help us to grow RankActive. In fact, it was holding us back from what we are really good at – building new features.

Last but not least, Backlinks Explorer along with Link Manager actually have never been popular among our customers. Not a long time ago, we noticed the number of interactions with them falling even further. So, rather than trying to get people to use something they don’t need, we decided to focus on features that our customers find useful.

Backlinks are Becoming Less Important

Back in 2014 Mack Cutts, then Google’s head of search spam made a rather bold statement about backlinks becoming less important in the future. Although we agree that this future most likely hasn’t arrived yet, it’s going to happen sooner or later.

On the other hand, Google is notorious for banning websites with unnatural backlink profiles. Moreover, we know firsthand that the majority of backlinks on websites’ profiles have little-to-no importance and can’t help to rank higher.

There’s no easy way to automatically determine whether this or that backlink is important to the website. We haven’t yet figured out the efficient way to analyze the weight of backlinks, and it’s one of the reasons why we deprecated Backlinks Explorer and Links Manager.

I need backlink data. Where can I get it from?

The full list of backlinks for a website along with resources that refer to it is available through Google Search Console. To access this information, click the “search appearance” button on the left-hand side, then click “search traffic.” Select the “Links to your site” tab. The page shows your newest links, who links to you most and how the data is related.

links-on-your-site

That, however, will work only if the site you want to get backlinks info for, is connected to your Google Search Console. Consequently, you won’t be able to get it for competitors’ websites. There are SEO tools that can help you, such as Ahrefs for instance.

We’re Here to Help

Deprecating Backlink Explorer and Links Manager is just another example of how we’re working to make RankActive a great place to analyze website performance and improve SEO efforts. Our team is always here to help you – whether it’s refining RankActive, or helping you stay top of things. Drop a line to our customer support team if you have any questions or schedule a live demo to discover all the opportunities RankActive can create for your business.

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