I am pleased to present you my second side-project: Talk Digger.

I developed an addiction for my blog statistics and for people talking about my writings. I was always checking the link-backs to my domain name on the major search engines. As everybody knows it, no search engine is perfect and some could index a web site and not the other. It is the reason why I was checking on many different search engines.

Then some weeks ago I asked myself that question: why don’t you build an application to query all these search engines for you, displaying the results and some statistics of these queries. Then I started to develop Talk Digger. I also noticed that Robert Scoble was in a mood of comparing different search results from the major blogging search engines like Bloglines and Technorati. Then I told myself that such a service could also interest other people. This is the reason why I developed it as a web service: to enable other people to use it and benefit from it. Then Talk Digger was born.

What is Talk Digger?

This is a web service that query major search engines to know who links to a specific URL. The results will then be processed and displayed on Talk Digger. There are 3 specifics things that will appear when you dig for a link:

  1. Result. This is the number of links to that URL. If you click on that blue number, you will be redirected to the result page of the search engine and be able to know who links to you
  2. Trend. This is an arrow that will show you if the number of results for that search is higher, lower or the same as the previous one. This is really effective when you wake up the morning and that you need to instantly see if someone as talked about your blog during the night
  3. 7 last digs trend graph. This is a graph that shows you the evolution of the results returned by the search engines in the last 7 search requests

How this service can be used?

Talk Digger is basically intended to bloggers that want to know, in a single click, if new people talked about their blog or one of their specific stories.

Is Talk Digger only for blogger?

Certainly not; anybody can use it; there are some situations where you could want to use it:

  • You are a blogger and you want to know who link to your blog
  • You are a blogger and you want to know who link to one of your specific stories
  • You are reading an article somewhere on the Internet and you want to know who talk about it and what they have to say
  • You are someone that is interested in comparing the results of different search engines

Basically, you have three things to do when you want to search for an URL:

  1. Enter the URL you want to search for into the edit field
  2. Press the “Dig it!” button
  3. Wait until the results appear

Is there other ways to use that service? Certainly

If you are blogger, or a person that write articles on his website, you could be interested by implementing a text or a button link that would redirect your reader to that service with the article’s URL. Then they would instantly know who is talking about your article on the Internet. How to do it?

You only have to create a link with that URL:


Check the posts of this blog. In the bottom, you can see little “emitting antenna” icon. If you click on it, you will be redirected to Talk Digger, and will instantly search for that post. This is an example of how you could implement that service into your blog/web site.

Try and it tell me what you think about it; your first impression; things to change; things to add; etc.

Please have in mind that this is the Beta edition. So you could expect some little glitch, depending of the browser you are using. This is one of the joys with Ajax: you never really know if it will work everywhere, exactly the same way.

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22 thoughts on “Talk Digger: Check who is linking to you

  1. This is great! You’re quite the surprising person. At first I read you because you were interesting and different. Now I keep coming back because you’re creative, innovative, and so darn useful.

  2. Hello the Philosopher Poet,

    Thank for your kind words. I am glad to see that you find that stuff useful. I never thought, in my young age, that I could be a creative person. At that time, I thought that creative people were only the art freaks. I am probably the worse artist the earth had bear since centuries. But I learned something precious: creativity is not only for art freaks. The more I learned on things (any things), and the more I was able to make connections between these things.

    However, do people need to be creative to develop a little web service like Talk Digger? This is difficult to say. The question: “what is creativity” always popup my head and rest almost unanswered. Talk Digger is a quite simple idea. I just use existing search engines to search for something and display the results in a certain way. This is not really creative. However, when you think about it, I do not know another service like this one. Then, does someone need to be creative to create something like Talk Digger? It is a hard question to answer.

    However, you can’t ask the question for King Ping, it is a copy of an already existing web service. It was just an instant response to a problem: the outages of ping-o-matic.




  3. Fred,

    A really coool one. I was searching for something like this for sometime. The trend graph is really amazing..

    Thanks Fred for the service.

  4. Hello Sudar!

    Thank for that comment. Happy to see that it will be useful to you!

    However, check back soon, 2 major updates will see the day (in some days).



  5. Very Kool Program. It’s easy to find out if others are checking you out. Keep up the great work. I have left a link on my site to inform others.

  6. Great idea and great site. One suggestion though, can you make the links to the various search results not be javascript links? That we they can be opened in a new tab in Firefox.

  7. Hello Mr. Gadling,

    Thank for the king words.

    It is done. Owever, the problem is that if people does not open it in a new tab, they will need to press the back button, then re-do a search.

    But I do not understand what is the problem with firefox. When I use it with firefox, I click on it, and it open it into a new tab, not you?

    Tell me if everything is okay.




  8. blockquote”Result. This is the number of links to that URL. If you click on that blue number, you will be redirected to the result page of the search engine and be able to know who links to you.”blockquote

    It wasn’t obvious that I could click on the number to get additional information. I did find that quote above when I decided to to make this comment.

  9. Fred,

    The code to add a talkdigger metacosmos link to the footer of a blogger-hosted post is:

    <a href=http://www.talkdigger.com/index.php?surl=<
    $BlogItemPermalinkURL$>">TalkDigger MetaCosmos</a>

    See Freshblog for an example.

    Great service. Thanks!!

  10. Hello Mr. Russell,

    Thank for that observation. I will care of it soon. I am currently working on a new feature that will change the display of that number, so I will take care to make it more evident.




  11. Hello John!

    Thank for the code. I had not any idea how blogger was working. So I am sure that it will help many blogger users; thanks!



  12. Fred,

    Your tool works fine and the Trend idea is wonderful.

    At Romanian RSSs Collection
    we provide a similar service: the
    PageRank, the number of links found by search engines, together with seach feeds,
    but also links to different systems which offer other valuable information are
    listed for each weblog . Please find here
    the information for TalkDigger.

    Also at Blogs Battle,
    the visibility of two blogs can be compared.

    I have to make some improvements related to timeouts. It seems you solved
    very well this issue too, congratulations.


  13. This is really funny. I was literally just thinking about hacking something together like this the other day. Talk about concurrent evolution!

    Can you write other things I have ideas for?! It would save me a LOT of time! 🙂

  14. Thanks for the tool. Any chance you could come up with a chicklet that would point to the bookmarklet?


  15. Hello Mr. Burgess,

    Thank. Good idea, it will be even more ease to bookmark the bookmarklet.

    I will do that in some hours.

    Thank for the idea!



  16. Hello Mr. Burton,

    Heheheh, many things have been created that way in our history 🙂

    Hahahah, sure, send me them and I will check what I can do 😉



  17. A suggestion: onLoad, bring focus to the URL field so I can query the service without using my mouse. Also, I can’t use [enter] to submit…

  18. Hello Mr. Sherman,

    Thank for noticing it. It is a little Javascript issue, I will check it soon.



  19. Cool site!

    Ihmo – this is “Site of the year”!

    Have you plan to add other blog-search systems? Like http://blogs.yandex.ru/ – this site is main search machine for russian blogs & blogers.

  20. Hello Mr. Illyn,

    Thank for your kind words.

    Yup, eventually. The next ones will also be non-language specific, like Yahoo, Altavista, etc. However, I will eventually add language specific section to Talk Digger. I had a request for Japanese specific search engines, and then Russian, specific. I do not know when, but I will handle such language/region specific search engines.

    I just saw that you posted something on Talk Digger on your Livejournal, thank for that one, it was a really interesting reading (translated by altavista.com’s bable fish).



  21. Fred!

    Нe main thing i wanna tell is that you’ve chosen a bit wrong (i’m sorry :)) slogan for the site. Also you often write about «people who refer to you» though, really – most beautiful idea is different (searching yourself – is particular case of use).

    Correct (Imho) slogan & positioning TalkDigger is: “Join discussion everywhere” – something like that.

    You go on any web page
    You like it
    You push Bookmarklet and go discuss or read opinion commenter’s!

    Even if you don’t have your own blog – you’ll find similar minded people anyway.

    This is New web-surfing method!

    Not Blogs drive you to interesting web-pages. Contrariwise – pages (nice for you) sending to blogs.

    This is the reason why Chinese censor TalkDigger.com: there is somebody always who appreciates a post critically even if it is on a government site («any web page»).

    I wrote about Yandex not because your site needs Russian language support (this support is in almost all search engines you use. And it’s enough at present time. Your English interface usually understandable for Russians web-surfers). The reason i wrote about Yandex is that it has big indexation database for documents located in .ru domain. Search engines, used by you, don’t have such a database (but has big database for .com and some other domain’s).

    P.S. Sorry for bad English.

  22. Hello Mr. Illyn,

    Yes, you are right. However, I do not think that the slogan is wrong; I would say that he is incomplete. You idea of new web-surfing method is really attractive. I think that I will change it for something like:

    “Check who is talking, and join the discussion!”


    I like the idea of joining a discussion. I will change the slogan for something else that grasps this idea, and I will change the introduction text to explicit that fact 🙂

    Okay for Yandex, I will check it eventually.

    Your ban English? You think that mine is better? I am not so sure 😉

    Thank for that comment, he is really insightful,



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