A familiar friend to SEOs has gone offline this week. Yahoo’s Site Explorer tool had become quite the staple in any search marketer’s research kit, but as of November 21, 2011 many of us are looking for a new version. Thanks to the integration of Yahoo and Bing search engine technologies, the Site Explorer has been phased out of Yahoo with no sign of being reintroduced in Bing. Instead, Microsoft’s search engine suggests you sign up for their in-house webmaster tools so you can get information on your own backlinks. There’s no talk of a way to continue seeing the links for your competition, however.
Searching Google for backlink checkers will yield a lot of results… that used to work when they could access Yahoo Site Explorer. Sifting through the top twenty results, I found several similar sites, and each one returned some kind of error in its attempt to calculate backlinks.
MajesticSEO has its own backlink checker tool, but you’ll need to register an account to get full access to anything more than a raw number of identified links. If you don’t register, you only get the number of links with no context for them. A free registered account can see a little more detail for your own verified websites, but if you want full Site Explorer-style information you’ll need to shell out at least £ 29.99 every month (and after VAT and currency conversions that is like $50).
Considering the value of being able to track who has what back links, however, might just be worth any price since you can turn that information in to plenty of cash.
SEOMoz has their own set of SEO tools that includes Open Site Explorer, but for that you’ll need a premium account that costs $99 a month. There are some other perks involved too, as they’ll set up campaigns for up to five domains and make recommendations for future ranking improvements. These campaigns include tracking up to 300 keywords, crawling 10,000 pages, and monitoring trends and data from your social promotion efforts.
Heard of any good backlink research tools that won’t cost at least $50 a month (and still work)? I’d be glad to help promote them, too!