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Link Diagnosis Revolutions

In a world where version numbers seem to keep on racing towards exorbitantly higher, then higher still, version numbers without necessity, we propose having software packagers use Roman Numerals in emblazoning said new and improved numerics to their packages. So here we are, taking the red pill, and buckling the trend of focusing on adding to the major version numbers in favor of sticking with the tried and tested method of smaller incremental revisions while packing in more significant upgrades.

So grab a snack and join us as we introduce you now to our Top 10 new features for LinkDiagnosis ver. 2.3:
10) Killing Flash Some say he’s the fastest one of all, able to slay through rows upon rows of data with ease. But we all know reality speaks differently. No offense to Flash, his great for knocking down pigs – there’s just no room for him when it comes to taking down numbers. So to reiterate, Flash is no longer a requirement to enjoy our service!

9 ) Full JavaScript Rendering With this version, the core script the frontend is written with has been migrated from using a couple of different frameworks(a necessity at the time to emulate some missing core functionality), to a unified solution with jQuery. This allows us to fully extend and utilize all the wonderful plugins available to the jQuery community. This also means there’s no longer a distinction between enhanced and basic reports: everyone get’s not just the grande report, here have the venti!

8 ) In-page Browsing Some would like to stay within the page they’re working on, some prefer otherwise. As a compromise, we are now using a modal box as a default for viewing backlinks. Simply click outside the viewport to return to your report. For the puritans, simply utilize ctrl+click or cmd+click or your third/middle mouse button to view in a new tab.

7 ) Improved Charts Another fruit of using jQuery is the more streamlined and lighter charts. The PR Distribution chart now features a striated breakdown based on what type of links comprise that value. A breakdown of the Strongest Anchor compared against the most popular, in the form of a donut chart, is also now available, click on the slices to view the details. Also new is a pie chart showing the Top-Level Domain distribution of the report.

Intermission: Declassifying Data Points Our tool has always had this trove of data to munch on with in every report that’s been run. However, we’ve always had to constantly balance between delivering faster reports versus computational capacity. This is the first revision whereby we’ve really had a chance to maximize the optimizations the Mozilla team had put in place behind FF4. Based on that, we were able to determine that FF4+ plays incredibly nice with our tool, granting us the leverage we needed for more processor crunch time; thus we were able add in more points to check on which are detailed in the next couple of items.

6 ) Plus Data Clicking on the + icon reveals a bit more about the said backlink. Take a gander and you’ll find it most interesting and at the same time leaves you wanting. The additional data gives the Content Size, a listing of all the other links on the page, the other pages from that domain which have a backlink to the site(these are if you’re not running Full reports) and the other landing pages those other backlinks point to(unfiltered for easier correlation to the previous item). Prior to this release these points were simply discarded, it’s now made available to you. Bear in mind though that this data does not get saved to our servers so the next time you load the report off the cloud, the data is no longer present.

5 ) Completion of Missing Columns There’s always been some columns that due to some prior design issues, we didn’t include. Well they are missing no more thanks to the proliferation of widescreen monitors, and the venerable jQuery plugin: jqGrid! A quick rundown:
- [BT]Title: The title of the page hosting the backlink
- [BT]Landing Page: The target page of the backlink
- [IPT]AC(aka Anchor Count): The number of unique anchors pointing to this page
- [IPT]SPL(aka Strength per Link): The average strength each link contributes to this page
- [AT]PC(aka Page Count): The number of pages this anchor points to
- [AT]SPL(aka Strength per Link): The average strength each link contributes to this anchor

4 ) Column Meta-data In the same vein as the previous items, during report gathering our tool is able to measure some interesting statistics regarding the pages it’s loading:
- Document Size: The size of the entire source code of the loaded page
- Content Size: Stripping all code, scripts and formatting, this is the size of the remaining content
- Content to Code Ratio: The ratio between the two metrics described above
- Load Time: How long it took to load the page

3 ) Top PR and SuperCache A new option is the transformation of the PR switch to a dropdown. You now have the option to retrieve PageRank on the Top X Backlinks only. That helps you dodge getting knocked out of Google’s good graces. The other new ability is we are now able to locally cache all PR data our deployed tool retrieved while running your reports(for up to a day to ensure freshness) provided you don’t close your FireFox instance. Once closed, the cache gets wiped and the retrieved data is no longer available. When you run a new report with the SuperCache is populated, the tool will first check if the backlink already has an entry within before going out to grab a new value.

2 ) Improved Share Along with reworking the display format, the share pages have also been improved and brought up to par with the regular report pages. This again helps eliminate distinction and makes reports more portable and indeed more “shareable” across all users. Please do note that share URLs are NOT report URLs, click on the share button to retrieve the correct share URL!

1 ) SEOmoz Data The biggest upgrade in this release has to deal with our content provider. The folks over at SEOmoz(make sure to sign up with them) has graciously provided us with access to their data. As most of you know, SEOmoz is the team behind Open Site Explorer and their data is, well, pretty sexy if we may say so ourselves!

Given that Yahoo! will be retiring their BOSS API(in the case of the search API, it’s already been retired) in a couple of weeks, there’s far too much uncertainty regarding their service. While they might continue responding to our API calls past their sunset period, there’s not a way to guarantee the quality of the data they will then be providing, or whether or not they will merely be echoing stale data.

As we noted in an earlier post, we had expected them to keep their BOSS service, however we didn’t anticipate the discontinuance of the requisite components we use as they did not decide to keep it in their revamped service. The bottom line is, though there is a new BOSS release, that one does not provide us with the goodies we require.

What this means is an instant farewell to the dreaded “Error! Could not get list of pages!” error which we know a lot of you have gotten your fair share(and made sure we knew) of. Further, you may see a reduction in the number of results we return. That may change later on as we balance and figure out the demand and the availability in our servers. We are also monitoring and experimenting on providing expanded sets, again this is all dependent on our load. We’d like to note that though you may not see as much data, we believe that in the spirit of what we began in our initial rewrite, the data we are returning are more meaningful than the raw onslaught of data we used to provide.

It’s also important to note that though SEOmoz is our primary content provider, we do not merely mirror their data. After receiving data from them, we then proceed normally with the battery of real-time tests we perform which everyone has come to know and love.

Lastly, with SEOmoz as our content provider, we are also able to provide new columns which are: the mozRank, and their Page and Domain Authority metrics. Invaluable guides to running more effective SEO campaigns and provides a better overall view of the value of your connections to the general web.

0 ) Extension-less Reports Oh, and one last thing. Thanks to our content provider, we are now able to provide lite versions of reports without needing to install our FireFox Extension. This means reports anywhere, everywhere are nowhere!

Cheers!