Alternative Tools After Yahoo Site Explorer Shut Down

Nov. 21, 2011 | by Modestos Siotos

One of the most popular SEO tools when it comes to discovering competitors backlink data will cease to exist later today. Since its launch in 2005, Yahoo Site Explorer – one of the first tools to report on backlinks, became very popular within the SEO community. Part of its success was the fact that its data came from a major search engine, with the added benefit of being free and quite reliable. A survey conducted and published in 2010 by SEO Moz, argues that Site Explorer had a much better correlation to rankings compared to Google’s (toolbar) PageRank. 

Why Is Yahoo Site Explorer Closing Down?

So, the obvious question is why does such a useful and popular tool shut down? There are a few reasons for that but it’s quite important to look at the laconic reminder statement which was published on Yahoo’s blog:

‘With the completion of algorithmic transition to Bing, Yahoo! Search has merged Site Explorer into Bing Webmaster Tools. Webmasters should now be using the Bing Webmaster Tools to ensure that their websites continue to get high quality organic search traffic from Bing and Yahoo!. Site Explorer services will not be available from November 21, 2011.’

In July 2009 Microsoft and Yahoo made a historic merge deal which will change to some extent the search landscape. According to that, Microsoft acquired an exclusive 10 year licence to Yahoo’s search technologies which gives Microsoft the ability to integrate any Yahoo technology into their existing web search platforms.  That means that Microsoft will carry on using the technology behind Yahoo Site Explorer but will stop sharing a part of the data with users as Yahoo used to do.

What Are The Consequences?

According to the previous statement, Bing Webmaster Tools will offer webmasters some of the information Yahoo Site Explorer used to offer but not the most useful one: backlink data. Also, Bing Webmaster Tools won’t provide any information about competitors sites, thus BWT is not an alternative to Yahoo Site Explorer.

In addition, it is a concern that the free and open Yahoo Site Explorer API will stop being supported. This will negatively impact numerous third party applications which still rely on the API’s data.  Such applications will need to find alternative data sources in order to carry on reporting useful backlink data, otherwise they will vanish.

Another point to address is that even though Yahoo’s BOSS API will include features from Bing Webmaster Tools, it may become a paid service. More information about Yahoo’s API updates and changes can be found on developer.yahoo.com. Some third party tools (e.g. Link Diagnosis) have already updated their APIs whilst others haven’t managed to find the best Yahoo Site Explorer alternative yet (e.g. SearchStatus).

15 Yahoo Site Explorer Alternatives

The good news is that there are several alternatives to Yahoo Site Explorer, each one with different strengths and weaknesses. The major alternative tools and services are presented and discussed below.

Open Site Explorer

Seo Moz Open Site Explorer (OSE) offers valuable information on backlinks data including some  proprietary metrics such as page authority and domain authority. OSE’s free version has limited capabilities, whilst the paid version gives full access to a vast range of useful data.

Open site explorer

 

Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO Site Explorer is another great alternative which provides very detailed information on any given domain’s backlink data. Like OSE, its free service is rather limited, whilst a paid subscription would unveil an enormous number of data to be analysed such as number of discovered backlinks, number of discovered referring domains and much more. A unique feature is that the service uses two different indexes; a fresh one containing data discovered during the last 30 days as well as a historic one, which covers backlink discovery during the past 4 years.

 

Blekko

Blekko is a search engine which provides some interesting information on inbound links, all for free. It’s doesn’t offer as much information as Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO but can still be useful. In Blekko’s search results there is always a link to some SEO features, which is unique to this search engine.

 

Link Diagnosis

Link diagnosis is another free service which offers information on inbound links of any given site. The service used to rely on the Yahoo Site Explorer API for its data. Nevertheless, a post in their blog claims that the merge of Yahoo and Bing will not have any negative impact on the quality of their data but this is yet to be proved.

 

Exalead

Exealed is a rather unknown search engine which offers free backlink information for any website. It looks and feels quite similar to Yahoo Site Explorer and to find the links for any given site you just need to type: link:www.yoursite.com

 

Webmaster Tools

Google’s Webmaster Tools also offers some information about inbound links data but that is only a sample of the overall  backlinks information stored into Google’s database, thus not very reliable. This information appears in the ‘Links to your site’ page. Obviously, webmaster tools don’t provide any information on competitor’s domains, hence their backlinks.

 

Other alternative paid services

Even though there are several alternatives to Yahoo Site Explorer, it will definitely be missed…
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    Comments (13)

    • Paul Dickinson

      Bing and Yahoo have now setup http://www.site explorer.info
      Its free. Paul @

      Giant Cookie
      http://www.giantcookiecompany.WordPress.comJul 20, 2014 05:36 pm

    • Pavlicko

      Just a quick note: blekko has chosen to go the paid route so no luck in pulling SEO info from there anymore (unless you pay of course), which makes me quite sad as it was very useful. ahrefs.com is another great resource, which is worthwhile - it does allow limited free access as well.Dec 31, 2012 03:53 pm

    • will be

      Thanks for another excellent article. Where else could anyone get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I've a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.Mar 18, 2012 06:22 pm

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    • aashish

      As the death of Yahoo site explorer made a lot of webmasters sad, but these Yahoo site explorer alternatives are really handi and useful for webmasters for checking backlinks. Thanks for the large list of backlink checker sites.Nov 27, 2011 08:09 pm

    • Modestos.Siotos

      Ary,

      As the post suggests there are at least 15 different services that can be used as an alternative to Yahoo site explorer. Interestingly, most of these tools provide a lot of additional link intelligence data and SEO Moz's Open Site Explore is just one of those. One thing to bear in mind is that Yahoo Site Explorer didn't offer any metrics at all - all it did was to report on backlinks and indexed pages.Nov 23, 2011 11:59 am

    • Ary

      Does DA and PA Seomoz parameters have all it takes to replace YSE?
      http://www.seomoz.org/q/yahoo-site-explorer-died-does-da-and-pa-seomoz-parameters-have-all-it-takes-to-replace-yse
      I'll really appreciate your inputs!Nov 23, 2011 11:41 am

     
    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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