It looks like Google did not like being outdone by Yahoo on something related to search. Ever since Yahoo released its Site Explorer, webmasters were rushing over to Yahoo to find out who was linking to them. Site Explorer was much bigger than anything any other search engine was offering.
So Google added to its Webmaster Tools a backlink function, whereby you can see for each page of your website how many external links there are and exactly who is linking to which page. This is more precision than Yahoo offers.
So how do they compare? Well, I verified my happiness website with Google Webmaster Tools and found that it reports 20,143 external links. Wow!
On closer inspection, I notice a glitch. That site has some affiliate redirect URLs, and Google seems to count more than their share. For example, if URL A on my site redirects to TheBigAffiliateProgram, and site B also points to TheBigAffiliateProgram from its sitewide template, Google might count site B affiliate links as links to URL A. It seems strange, but it is happening in once case, although not enough to make a dent in the stats.
Yahoo’s Site Explorer shows 12,986 inbound links to my happiness website .
So Google shows more, and makes it easy to break down by URL. One more thing…they let me download the entire list, whereas Yahoo makes me download 50 results at a time (If I am just missing something, perhaps someone from Yahoo can point out what I am missing, and I will amend this post!).
One caveat…to see the stats at Google, you have to prove ownership of the site, so Yahoo is still the best bet for competitive research.Written by David Leonhardt
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