Link Analysis

What Does Link Analysis Mean?

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.

Techopedia Explains Link Analysis

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).

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.