Threadwatch to Build Killer Link Analysis Tool, Give it Away Free


UPDATE: Due to comments made by Google and many, many warnings from 3rd parties, our major sponsor has decided to pull out rather than risk repercussions from the Search Engines - We are in talks with other companies, and are working to find a way to build the tool whilst remaining within Google TOS - See GoogleGuy's comments pointing out the TOS for more details.

At present, we are in a state of indecision: Some questions need to answered:

  • Can a link analysis tool be built within Google TOS and still be useful?
  • If we do get to build it, and it's within TOS, will our sponsor, and Threadwatch (and any other sites i build) be free from repercussions?

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Threadwatch, thanks to major sponsorship from Unspecified will be building the link analysis tool to end all link analysis tools.

Here's how it works:

  • Unspecified pay for the initial development
  • JasonD and DaveN provide the programming and technical expertise respectively
  • We ask you what features you want in a dream link analysis tool
  • We build it, based on your input
  • We give it away for FREE

Follow the title link for more...

Some further Details

Here are some short answers to questions i can think you may want answers too. If you have more, please just comment, and ill answer them.

What kind of Tool?
We have a very simple (in concept) goal in mind: To build the best link analysis tool on the market. Period. It will be a standalone tool that you can download and run in your browser, with no "phone home" shite associated with it. The only thing hosted at Threadwatch will be the download page where you'll be able to upgrade it as improvements are made.

Unspecified. are the main sponsor, the amount will not be disclosed, but it's considerable, and 100% of it will go into building the tool. There are opportunities for 10 smaller sponsors (this is why its free..) and any wishing to get involved should pm me.

Jason is donating the project management (as well as collaborating with DaveN on the technical SEO aspects) and DaveN his considerable seo expertise, these guys will also be named and credited. Both JasonD and DaveN have STELLA reputations for SEO and having their skills installed in the tool will make it truly awesome.

What's in it for Threadwatch?
Firstly there is the viral nature of building the best link tool on the market and giving it away for free - secondly, additional minor sponsorhips will help to monetize TW - we've talked about this subject so many times, but i've not managed to put much together to date and this looks like a win-win-win to me. You win as you get a great free tool, the sponsors win as there are limited slots and this tool will go mentally viral, i win as i get a few $$'s in my pocket and can stop eating boiled beef and cabbage for a week or two (only kidding :-)

This also carries on the initiative we started with the CashKeywords giveaway, while Threadwatch is still looking for viable ways to monetize, with utmost care and attention given to the membership, you can enjoy another cool freebie.

More Questions and Feature Requests
Fire away, im here all evening and will happily answer points i will have obviously missed, just ask...


I'd just like it to be able... count - and show real results - OVER 1000, in some way. Surely there must be tricks for that. Like a multi-pass system, excluding the first set of results.... Am I making sense?

Presentation preferably flexible/customisable. Everyone likes a different setup/output format. Bit like (easy example)...


  • Deep linking percentage
  • List all anchor text with counts and % of whole
  • Anchor text to page relationships
  • Surrounding text variations
  • IP
  • One way/ Recip indicator counts and % of whole
  • List of outbound links with anchor text
  • PR of linking page
  • Internal/external link count on page

Let me know if you need clarification on anything.

Nice idea about the colours t

Nice idea about the colours to visualise the data RustyBrick

It is more likely than not th

It is more likely than not that the application will run under Windows, Linux, as well as OS X (though not 9 or below)

As Nick stated above Windows is #1 concern but hopefully the other target operating systems as well can be met at the same time.

OSX, pleeeease...

I would be so VERY VERY happy if a version to run on OSX (even if it's through X11) could be arranged.

I only wish I were a big enough geek to offer to port it myself, but I'm clueless about programming... but surely there's someone out there who'd do it?

Visual Map

I would love to see it plotted out visually, when all is said and done.

If possible, connect the lines of the nodes. So a green line would be a one way link. A red line would be a direct recip link, a pink line would be a triangular link and so on.

To Get Back On Track.....

What other ideas have you got guys n gals.

Forget about where the data comes from or how it is gathered. I would love to hear what you want to see in the ultimate link analysis tool.

Please please please get that old grey matter working overtime so we can come up with some innovative ideas :)

To Search Engine Reps

Please consider this a polite request not to produce software that scrapes Google without our permission.

GoogleGuy and all other search engine representatives, as I am managing the project I think it would be sensible to chat about how we can deliver this tool, without causing your search engines undue stress, hassle or inconvenience but whilst still having access to your publicly available information your respective engines provide.

The quality of your products are superb and the data you provide publicly accesable and I am believe that by having honest and open discussions we can find a workable solution that all parties will be happy with. My contact details are pretty public and I look forward to speaking to you all :)

"I would ask that it not scrape Google"

Looks like it has to be open source, otherwise everyone involved could be liable for this. Let us write our own way to intergrate link maps.

(or maybe google could sponsor it and let us host their link map in a public repository).

easy mr W, easy...


Guess I didn't read the original real well either Nick...I also of course use the api rather than scrape...since scraping is bad.

I would ask

I would ask that it not scrape Google. Doing so is clearly outside Google's guidelines:
(the part about software querying Google)

It's also a load on our servers from bots rather than the people for whom our services are intended. In addition to being rude and using our services without permission, it may well open you up liability. Again, this is just a courtesy heads-up that such software would violate our guidelines. Please consider this a polite request not to produce software that scrapes Google without our permission.

suggestion: use in conjunctio

suggestion: use in conjunction with the API or analyze BL from other more accurate sources.

We want it, we want it

Check the original bullet points seobook :) we definately want your input - i was just going to start a new thread is all...

Free Link Analysis Tool

NickW is building a free link analysis tool.


sorry Nick... figure we will come up with something that is even more cool and the promotion will work much better if we can have input.

I was a bit too enthusiastic and whether or not you wrote it I did not read that you didnt want feedback ;)


Scrape and return unique tilde results based on the KW's in anchor text.


Ok ok, i should have know putting "dont post feature requests" wouldnt be enough - sheesh :-)

Go right ahead, i'll change the original post a bit.

Go Ahead, List your feature requests...



I thought it would be nice if a link tool could show the # of all the "indexed" webpages in each SE... separately from the backlinks from other websites.


features I would like


may not be on by default on all queries, but it should be an option people can turn on.

allow people to scrape yahoo backlinks. allow common URLs to be filtered out such that you can scrape a deeper set. keep scraping until you feel you have got most of them.


works on multiple engines...

G, Y!, MSN


allow me to sort by extention of the site the link is comming from...

I want to be able to quickly check how many .edu or .gov type backlinks exist



allow me to filter site or sites out of the results before AND after I have done the search query.

also allow me to only find sites with extensions I want.


hub finder option...

another option which lets me find pages or sites that link to two or more sites which either exist in the top 10 search results for a keyword, or I can manually enter what sites I want to check co occurance from.


dmoz & yahoo check.

reports if the site is listed in either of those.



ip address, anchor text, all the usual shite too ;)

allow me to quickly know # of unique c class ip address. also allow me to see stats counting many links from one site separately or only count all of them as one link.


Linux compatibility wold really be fantastic.
wxWidgets is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux/Gtk/Motif:

I know Linux doesn't have the market reach, but we are talking about SEOs so they % will be higher than average. I do not even have a Windows PC.


No, not open source, just free software. We will have to find the appropriate licsense for it before it's released.

Im also thinking that allowing webmasters to offer it for download on their own sites would not be a bad idea at all...


We do hope so encyclo, the first priority is Windoze however - certainly the idea of cross compiling for Mac and *nix has been discussed and is amongst the core set of goals though.

It will ultimately depend on budget.

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Sounds excellent!

It will run on Linux, won't it? And maybe on Windows for those still using legacy operating systems... I'm not asking for open-source or anything like that, just that it's not limited to MS users.