What Do You Use To Check Backlinks?
Good ol’ Yahoo Site Explorer (YSE) closed it’s doors in November 2011. In case you didn’t know it YSE supplied the back link data for the vast majority of link checking tools, including the one I use in my 5 Minute Keyword Research process. Not only was YSE comprehensive, but it was also free.
So what are the current alternatives for checking back links?
Unfortunately, there are no free services or tools that cover everything you used to get from YSE. Here are some alternatives:
Open Site Explorer
The information you get is restricted unless you sign up for a Pro membership. You can get a free 30 day trial with full account access, but monthly fees start at $99 – yikes!
Majestic SEO Site Explorer
One of the largest and most complete databases of online web links with daily updates. Their free option only allows you to check links to your own sites.
A new search engine company that includes back link data. You must register for an account, but visibility into their data is free of charge.
Free for returning details of up to 1000 backlinks to a particular site. The interface is annoying plastered everywhere with ads.
An established tool that provides up to 500 results per report on a free account and 100 queries per day, with monthly fees starting at $49 for upgraded accounts.
Most of the common toolbars such as SEO for Firefox and SEO Quake use Open Site Explorer and/or Majestic SEO Site Explorer for their backlink data. If you want to run manual checks on sites either Blekko or Backlink Watch are useful.
The tool I use in my 5 Minute Keyword Research process has been upgraded to use data from Majestic SEO Site Explorer, so thankfully it has been business as usual for me. If you have come across any other good back link checking tools or services not mentioned here feel free to let me know in the comments to this post.