BackLink: Add a Reverse Link to Pages

Paul Haeberli
Silicon Graphics Computer Systems
18 July 1996


This is based on a marvelous idea by Robin Hanson called Reverse linking for commentary. We automatically add reverse links from pages by adding a link to Alta Vista to search the entire web for pages that refer to the current page.

A similar hack has been executed by Tim Freeman.


There are bugs in this current test version. Image maps work, but the document they display will not display backlinks if they are server side image maps.

Redirection is not handled correctly. When this is fixed, server size image maps will start working as well!

Alas, when the CPU load on is high, it may take a while to get the bits over your way. I'd love to run this on a dedicated machine someday.

Also please note that frames don't work right for now. I guess I'll fix this as well.

A Few Examples

Try BackLink on GRAFICA Obscura, SUCK, Salon. or why not try it on Reverse linking for commentary.

Or enter a compete URL into this form and hit enter:

Please contact me if you have thoughts on this.

Paul Haeberli