Who is Linking to Your Site on Twitter

by Brett Pollard on February 2, 2010

BackTweets and BackType Connect can help

Have you ever used Twitter search to determine what others are saying about your blog?  If so, there’s a very good chance you aren’t seeing everything being discussed.  It’s easy to find tweets that specifically mention the name of your blog, your ursername or retweets of your own posts, but Twitter search fails to find links to your site when a URL shortener is used.

Fortunately, the folks from BackType recognized this problem and launched the free service BackTweets in 2009.  BackTweets works by cataloging the redirected URLs on tweets using a URL shortener like bit.ly, ow.ly or tinyurl.com.  Therefore, they can determine the destination of each link and present that data when you search for a specific website URL.

backtweets.com screenshot

BackTweets Screenshot

When you visit the BackTweets site, the process is simple.  Just enter any website URL and click the search button.  BackTweets immediately scours the “Twittersphere” and finds any tweets linking to the URL in question.  You will likely be surprised how many tweets you’ve never seen linking back to your site.  Furthermore, there is no need to keep revisiting the site because they offer email alerts and RSS feeds on your search term.

Although BackTweets is a very useful took, what if you want to expand your search to other social media networks?  For that, the folks at BackType have a service named BackType Connect.  This service searches a wide variety of social media sites (not just Twitter) to find all of the conversations surrounding a specific post or article.

backtype connect screenshot

BackType Connect Screenshot

To use BackType Connect, just enter the URL of a particular article.  For example, Mashable’s recent article on the new Google app store http://mashable.com/2010/02/01/google-apps-store/ generated nearly 1000 results when I tested it this morning.  In addition to displaying the result from an article search, BackType Connect also gives you the option to search individual topics such as “groundhog” or “super bowl”.  The results displayed in this scenario include social conversations from all sorts locations on the web.

There is currently no option for email or RSS alerts with BackType Connect which means you will need to revisit the site in order to obtain updated search results.  However, the use of both free tools can help you discover posts you didn’t know existed and establish new social connections.

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