Incoming Links button on the SharePoint 2010 Ribbon
Managing links on a website can be really challenging. There can be numerous pages linking to each other, and if new content is being added on regular it’s just the matter of time when things go wrong and broken links start appearing in your content. A good Content Management System (CMS) provides you with a mechanism for tracking both incoming and outgoing links and SharePoint 2010 is no exception here. Using the Incoming Links report it allows you to track links within the Site Collection. However there is one thing you have to keep in mind while working with the SharePoint 2010 Incoming Links report.

What’s wrong with SharePoint 2010 Incoming Links?

To help you manage links on your website, SharePoint 2010 ships with the Incoming Links functionality. According to its description it should allow you to view the list of pages linking to the current page. Using the Incoming Links report is very intuitive: you go to the Publishing Page for which you want to see the incoming links and click the Incoming Links button on the Ribbon. While it all sounds so simple, it really isn’t. Let me show you why.

In the following scenario I have a Press Release called PressRelease_0001.aspx in the Press Releases sub site and another page called Lorem-ipsum.aspx located under the root web. The Lorem ipsum page has a link to the press release.

Lorem ipsum page with a link pointing to the Press Release 0001

So according to the description of the Incoming Links report, I should see the Lorem ipsum page in the list of incoming links. Unfortunately if you navigate to the list of Incoming Links for the PressRelease_0001.aspx page, you will see an empty list.

Empty list of incoming links

What the description doesn’t tell you is, that the standard Incoming Links report provided with SharePoint 2010 works only for links that come from the same site. If I create a link to the PressRelease_0001.aspx page from PressRelease_0002.aspx it will appear on the list of incoming links as expected.

Incoming link from Press Release 0002 on the list of incoming links

As you can imagine, such report is pretty useless in probably every real-life WCM scenario. Luckily, just because it isn’t there out of the box, doesn’t mean it cannot be done. SharePoint 2010 is a highly extensible framework for delivering Web Content Management solutions and this is just one of many examples how you can use the extensibility capabilities of the SharePoint 2010 framework to make the CMS work for you.

Better Incoming Links report with Mavention Incoming Links

Mavention Incoming Links is a simple SharePoint 2010 Solution that solves the issue of the Incoming Links report displaying only local links. After installation the Mavention Incoming Links Site Collection Feature appears in your site. After you activate it you won’t see any changes in the User Interface: Mavention Incoming Links replaces the standard SharePoint 2010 Incoming Links report with one that displays incoming links from other sites as well.

Both incoming links for the Press Release 0001 page displayed correctly by the Mavention Incoming Links report

Summary

SharePoint 2010 ships with a report that allows you to view Incoming Links for Publishing Pages. The shortcoming of that overview is that it shows only links coming from the same site where the given page is. Mavention Incoming Links solves that issue by overriding the report and including all incoming links. By replacing the standard report it full integrates with the existing experience and allows content editors to use the new report without any learning curve.

Download: Mavention Incoming Links (8KB, WSP)

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