Friday, March 30, 2012


backlinksBacklinks, or incoming links or "links to" are links to a URL found on other URLs.  They may be internal links, such as found on or external, as in the case of found on

External backlinks may be valuable in researching the credibility of a site.  Backlinks help to answer questions like, Who links to Why? Do they have any authority?

For years, a good way to find backlinks to a page was to use the link: operator  (e.g., the query: Search engines have made changes to link: so that fewer results are obtained. did away with link: altogether.  Google is probably still the best choice, but they return only a fraction of what they once did.

This is where specialized search engines and databases comes in handy. 

Open Site Explorer ( provides more complete backlink results than Google. It's a free service and easy to use. Results can be filtered to eliminate all the internal links.

Using a backlink checker is a step in the investigative search process. But just knowing how many backlinks there are isn't enough. Evaluating the referential credibility of a link target requires looking at the (representative) sites to see if they have authority and why they are a backlink.  Who would you expect to backlink to if it is a reputable site?

Who do you find?

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