Link analysis is a data analysis technique used in network theory that is used to evaluate the relationships or connections between network nodes. These relationships can be between various types of objects (nodes), including people, organizations and even transactions.
Link analysis is essentially a kind of knowledge discovery that can be used to visualize data to allow for better analysis, especially in the context of links, whether Web links or relationship links between people or between different entities. Link analysis is often used in search engine optimization as well as in intelligence, in security analysis and in market and medical research.
Link analysis is literally about analyzing the links between objects, whether they are physical, digital or relational. This requires diligent data gathering. For example, in the case of a website where all of the links and backlinks that are present must be analyzed, a tool has to sift through all of the HTML codes and various scripts in the page and then follow all the links it finds in order to determine what sort of links are present and whether they are active or dead. This information can be very important for search engine optimization, as it allows the analyst to determine whether the search engine is actually able to find and index the website.
In networking, link analysis may involve determining the integrity of the connection between each network node by analyzing the data that passes through the physical or virtual links. With the data, analysts can find bottlenecks and possible fault areas and are able to patch them up more quickly or even help with network optimization.
Link analysis has three primary purposes:
- Find matches for known patterns of interests between linked objects.
- Find anomalies by detecting violated known patterns.
- Find new patterns of interest (for example, in social networking and marketing and business intelligence).