Methods Glossary

<aside> <img src="/icons/map-pin_gray.svg" alt="/icons/map-pin_gray.svg" width="40px" /> This glossary was written for the Infomapping system and the No-Code Backlink Method, which is a part of the Information Classification system.



An appearance is an instance of a single URL appearing in the data. The Appearance may be unique or a repeat. If there are URLs to five articles titled Article 1, Article 2, and so on, hosted on the domain, then the domain will be listed as appearing five times for domain-level data. The URLs will be listed as appearing once each.


In the example image, we see the domain is URLs are the four specific pages (The Basics, Ukraine Dashboard, Information Classification, and Ukraine Dashboard again).

  1. The Basics page:
  2. Ukraine Dashboard:
  3. Information Classification:
  4. Ukraine Dashboard:

We would get four if we counted the number of URLs or appearances for Hoaxlines. If we counted each unique URL appearance, we would count three unique URLs. Let us pretend these four URLs in the example are in our backlink study because each of them had backlinked (our pretend core website). would be listed as appearing in one core website dataset, that of The number of appearances for across the entire study—pretend there are other datasets besides— would be four unless appeared in another dataset. If it does not, then we have four appearances for the domain in one core dataset.


The arrows pointing to the “core website” represent hyperlinks on these pages that lead to the core website, We call these backlinks. Techopedia defines a backlink as “a hyperlink that is used to link one website (that is adding the link) with another website (whose link is added and is receiving the backlink).”

Based upon the second of the two diagrams, if you go to “The Basics” page, you should see a link to the Core website,, somewhere on that page. The link may be hidden as a hyperlink, which is when a link has been embedded in a text like this. If you clicked “like this,” you would find out that is hyperlinked to the text.

For the Information Ecosystem Mapping and Classification, two values are calculated for each domain. One reflects the number of core website datasets each domain appeared in, and the other is the number of total appearances for that URL overall across all datasets. In the case of websites with more than 10,000 backlinking URLs in a year, like Zero Hedge and RT, Buzzsumo provided a sample of 10,000 URLs.

Core website

The term “core” reflects that these are the domains with which we began our network analysis. It does not necessarily suggest the closeness to a specific regime but does indicate that the website has published proregime content. See proregime definition. Our trial of this method included 42 core websites, but that number will vary based on the regime or ideology being mapped.