Links are the backbone of off-page optimization … maybe even optimization as a whole. They’re the single most important signal search engines look to when ranking your blog, so it’s crucial you optimize for the most links possible. One way to do that is to find out where you already have links, then encourage the sources to continue linking to various areas of your blog … remember, every page is treated as an independent entity with search engines.
Yahoo! Site Explorer has long been a staple service for professionals in the optimization niche. The service enables people to find out how many links they have pointing to their site, which is something just about every web publisher wants to know.
Questions like “who is linking to me” and “which sites does my blog influence” can become an important piece of information when honing the optimization of your website, because it enables you to target those specific websites and strive for more.
4 Steps to executing link research
Here are four quick steps to executing your own link research.
- Visit the Yahoo! Site Explorer
- Enter the url you’d like to research
- Filter the search from “pages” to “inlinks”
- Filter the search from “all pages” to “except from this domain”
Filter the search from “pages” to “inlinks”
Filter the search from “all pages” to “except form this domain”
Part of the reason this tool is so powerful is because this can be done for both your site and your competitors (competitive link research), however you need to use it sooner than later, as Bing (parent company of Yahoo! Search) recently announced they’ll be shutting down Yahoo! Site Explorer.
I’m pretty sure this is part of a strategy to position Bing’s Webmaster Tools service in front of publishers as an alternative to Google’s Webmaster Tools.