Posted January 13, 2012 12:15 am by with 9 comments

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This post comes from our SEO channel sponsor Link Assistant.

In the SEO world, November 21, 2011 was quite a day for many. In case you didn’t know, this is the day Yahoo! Site Explorer, a free and awesome backlink research service, ceased to exist.

Why was Yahoo! Site Explorer so immensely popular with SEO-optimizers? Well, first, it was free. Second, it offered one of the biggest backlink data sources on the Web. And third, it was very simple to use. So, now, with this one-of-a-kind backlink research tool gone, the game has changed, and there are several things to keep in mind:

– The amount of backlink data available for SEO analysis has decreased manifold (since Yahoo! Site Explorer had about the biggest index). As of now, there is hardly a database around that matches up to the scale of Yahoo!’s abolished databank.

– There is almost no such thing as free backlink data anymore. Whatever other backlink intelligence sources there are nowadays, for the most part, these would be paid.

– There are many SEO tools in the industry that used to rely on Yahoo! Site Explorer for backlink data. With that in mind, if the SEO tool you’ve been using is one of them, it’s probably time to switch to something else.

At the moment, many SEO-optimizers are desperately seeking for an alternative to Y!SE. Therefore, we decided to compare three industry-leading backlink checkers (worth the Y!SE alternative title) that:

  • Each use their own database of backlinks
  • Each offer a free and a paid version
  • Each allow for backlink data export

We wanted to see each SEO tool in action, that is, how many backlinks each of them returns, etc. So, we’re running the tests for multiple sites and will make the results available a bit later. As of now, we’d like to compare the SEO apps’ pricing and capacities, so that you can decide for yourselves which backlink checker has the optimum price/quality ratio.

As you see, each of the backlink checkers analyzed above has its pros and cons. We wanted to make our comparison table concise, therefore, we only included the most important characteristics about each SEO tool.

For more information, please, visit each SEO app, since SEO-optimizers have different needs, and what’s important for one SEO, may be of no relevance for another SEO, and vice versa.

Open Site Explorer

Majestic SEO

Link Assistant

And, your thoughts and ideas regarding these or other Yahoo! Site Explorer alternatives are welcome!

The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Marketing Pilgrim.

About the Author

Aleh Barysevich is Marketing Director and Co-Founder of Link-Assistant.Com, a major SEO software provider and the maker of SEO PowerSuite tools. Link-Assistant.Com is a group of SEO professionals with years of SEO experience. Based on their expertise, company’s four-app SEO toolset was created, setting the industry’s benchmark for technology-powered Web promotion.

  • I have been using Open Site Explorer since the demise of the Yahoo! offering. I have been quite satisfied with the results.

  • Agreed Open Site Explorer is a good way to go. Yahoo was great though I can’t believe it is now more. Thanks for the share!

  • Have you tried Blekko??:

    It leaves everything else for dead – and it’s free too! Not only does it detect way more links than OSE, it’s great for finding very recent links too. Highly recommended.

    • Yep, Blekko is good. However, it’s not on this list for the reason that SEO SpyGlass actually uses Blekko as one of its 412 search engine sources to provide backlink data, along with its [SEO SpyGlass’s] own database.

  • Personally I’ve had great luck with SEO Spyglass & it helps to be able to organize by domain & page PR and synthetic metrics like “link value” — especially when trying to catch up to the competition quickly.

  • SEO SpyGlass is one of my favorites 🙂

    I quite like the feature matrix you put together – that comes in very handy to quickly see the differences between the products out there. We’ve put together a master list of all the tools we can find that could work as suitable alternatives to yahoo site explorer with a few more still to come that may be lesser known. I thought you might enjoy some of these:

    In particular, another couple worth mentioning are Ahrefs and QBL (link research).

    On the search engine front I do hope that Blekko somehow is able to catch up to the likes of Y! and G some day… I really love their open model, although it seems like a lot of times people start out this way but the bigger they get, the more they close up their offerings. We see that with G nowadays where they are offering less and less KW data in analytics, no longer showing a lot of detail for link: based queries, etc.

  • Such a bummer that Yahoo site explorer is gone. What to do now… None of the alternatives are as good.

  • Yahoo site explorer was such an instrumental tool for creating back links. Thank you for showing some other alternatives, I’ve been lost without it.

    Jeff @ Backpacking Water Filter Reviews

  • Farhad

    Get traffic travis free version. That will do the job. Currently cannot get traffic travis going on my new computer.