Until now, the only way to get an inkling of which backlinks to your Website Google knew about was to use the “link:” operator. As I’ve mentioned before, it is utterly useless, especially if your Website dwells in the lower bowels of PR (PageRank). Here’s the backlinks the “link:www.tpdesigns.net” tells me that Google sees.
Nine backlinks? All that work for only nine backlinks? Well I knew I was being had, so Yahoo! to the rescue. Here’s what Yahoo! Site Explorer tells me about my backlinks:
6,228 backlinks? That’s more like it! Without actually counting, I can say that might be most of them.
Today I saw in Matt Cutts blog that Google Webmaster Tools now included backlinks. It had to be an improvement over the totally useless “link:” operator, and it is. I logged in, and after clicking to my Sitemap, I was pleased to see a new tab label “Links.” Here’s what it said:
448 Backlinks. That’s more like it. I noticed the the main difference between the number of backlinks displayed on the “Links” tab in Google Webmaster Tools, and the “Inlinks” displayed in Yahoo! Site Explorer seemed to be that Google was limiting backlinks displayed to a certain number per site, while Yahoo! was displaying most, if not all of them.
Google Webmaster Tools has always had some cool features, not all of which have worked for me. I’ve always felt that I’ve received limited data because my Website was just too small for Google to care about. With the new backlinks feature, Google has given me a reason to log into Webmaster Tools on a regular basis, as well as given me hope that their other tools may be made more useful to us little guys in the near future.