Yahoo Site Explorer Alternatives

Yahoo-Site-Explorer

Yahoo Site Explorer has raised the white flag. Bye, old friend. What now? Well, we look for other alternatives of course! It would be so good if we could get free Yahoo Site Explorer alternatives, since YSE is free. So I looked up some of the free backlink checking tools out there and I’ve listed some of them down. But first, a little scrutiny over Bing.

Bing webmaster tools doesn’t help

Because we usually use Yahoo Site Explorer not for our own backlinks but to check out other website’s backlinks – either for analysis, competition backlink trolling, backlink quality check, and so on and so forth. Bing webmaster tools only makes this data available to the owners of the website themselves by asking everyone to install a piece of code – verifying if you are the owner of the site.

I really don’t know why Bing made this move but it’s clearly unwise. The most obvious reason is that they saw the millions of users of YSE everyday and told themselves “Hey, why don’t we get that traffic into using our Bing webmaster tools?” So they shut Yahoo Site Explorer down. Selfish and sucky move.

It’s especially sucky because I’m using it too! And some of my tools are using it too! Bing has just become a very unattractive brand to me.

So I started looking elsewhere

Obviously, I didn’t go to Bing webmaster tools as Bing most probably had hoped (and I’m sure plenty other SEOs didn’t go to Bing as well). I started looking for alternatives that will give me the data I used to gather from Yahoo Site Explorer. Here’s the easy breakdown of the alternatives to Yahoo Site Explorer that I found:

Cognitive SEO Link Management Tool

Cognitive SEO Logo

Cognitive SEO is one of the most amazing Link Management tools around. It’s features and ease of use balances in an interesting design and user-friendly interface. The best thing I love about Cognitive SEO is its bookmarklet – which lets you easily check a webpage’s backlinks, SEOmoz data, and more – in just a click. Not only that, it doesn’t take too long for you to see all the backlink data.

More than that, it has a lot of other amazing tools to help you drill-down those backlinks in order for you to use them the way you want – either for linkbuilding, competitor analysis, etc…

Some of the data it shows you about backlinks:

  • Link Status
  • Inbound Link Title
  • Link Anchor Text
  • Link Anchor Title
  • Text or Image Link
  • Link Anchor Target
  • NoFollow Link
  • Link Positioning
  • Link Visiility
  • Link Context
  • Sitewide Link
  • Webpage Type
  • Webpage Category
  • Webpage Language
  • Abused Webpage
  • HTTP Status Code
  • Domain Name
  • Domain TLD
  • Website Hosting
  • Website Hosting Ip / Country
  • Google PageRank
  • Webage ACRank
  • Subdomain MozRank
  • Subdomain MozAuthority
  • Inbound Links
  • Outbound Links

They have a FREE 14-day Trial that’s really worth checking out. So go grab yours!

Cognitive SEO Free Trial

Quick Backlinks by Link Research Tools

Link Research Tools

This is by far, the best alternative to Yahoo Site Explorer that I’ve stumbled upon. I highly recommend it for its quick results and simple data. You don’t have to skim through a lot of unnecessary info before you get what you really need. You can  sign up here.

QBL Details

Some of the data that QBL provides in usually less than a minute:

  • Anchor Text Breakdown – This tells you which anchor texts are used for your links as well as how many times it was used
  • Link Status – This tells you whether your link is follow or nofollow or if its dead
  • Link Type – This tells you if your link comes from an image, text or redirect
  • Deeplink Ratio – Self explanatory
  • TLD Breakdown – The domain extensions your links come from
  • Country Popularity – Which hosting country links most to the target website
  • IP Popularity – Which IP addresses link to you most
  • Class-C Popularity – Which Class C IP addresses link to you most
  • Power – This tells you if your link is Average, Good or Low in their own formulated algorithm’s way

I can keep on telling you just how cool this tool really is but you just better go and try this Yahoo Site Explorer alternative for yourself.

SEO Spyglass

SEO Spyglass

What I love about this tool is that it’s much more than an alternative to Yahoo Site Explorer – it’s virtually an improvement of sorts. The backlink data doesn’t come from Yahoo Site Explorer (obviously) but the tool sources its backlink results to each and every other available search engine or backlink checking tool out there as well as its very own! Yep – SEO Spyglass has gone through a major update, giving you more backlink data than just the search engines. SEO Spyglass has come up with their own database of backlink data for you. I find it to have a satisfactory pool of results to show you – and if you’re just after the backlinks then it does the job pretty quickly. You can take it for a test drive yourself.

 SEO Spyglass Screen

SEO Spyglass also shows you further data than just backlinks. It also displays PageRank, Title, Links Back and much, much more! You can check out a full review I’ve compiled for SEO Spyglass – a Yahoo Site Explorer Replacement.

Monitor Backlinks

This is a pretty good backlink checking tool to compare with if you’re using one of the 5-star backlink checking tools. It can help you see discrepancies. I pretty much use it as a comparison with Cognitive SEO in terms of the results I’m getting. Check it out here.

Monitor Backlinks 

  • Yahoo Site Explorer Alternative
  • You can choose to find your backlinks through the backlink checker tool and add links from the results returned.
  • Aside from the usual information which you can also see on your dashboard, you’ll be able to see the type of domain backlinks returned (TEXT or NOFOLLOW).
  • There is also a nifty option to monitor all the domain backlinks returned with just a push of a button.
  • If you have a CSV file with all the backlinks (from and to) listed neatly on the first two columns, this tool can import them to your dashboard in a jiffy.

Blekko

Blekko will definitely rise in popularity. A lot of search engines already knew the shutdown of YSE and yet only Blekko stood up to try and eat up the market that YSE has, in the aspect of its free and quick backlink-spying capabilities. Let’s face it people, it’s a NEED to look at other website’s backlinks. This need has a strong demand – especially for SEO specialists. And that demand has to be met. Blekko’s bandwidth must have spiked up in the shutdown of Yahoo Site Explorer.

Blekko

The closest you can get Blekko to tell you data that Yahoo Site Explorer used to say is to click on the inbound links under the URL SEO category in the right sidebar of their SERP page.

Blekko inbound

Unlike in Yahoo Open Site Explorer, you can check out up to a number of 2,500 backlinks in Blekko. BUT Blekko also shows lesser quantity of backlinks compared to Yahoo Site Explorer – at least with my website. Here in Blekko I only have 401 backlinks while in Yahoo Open Site Explorer I had more than 2,000.

Check it out!

Exalead

This is a new one that I just found out tonight thanks to one of our blog’s commenters. Exalead looks like a promising tool in replacement of Yahoo Site Explorer. It’s not really a popular tool/search engine – which is quite shocking because it gives out good backlink data.

Exalead

You have to type in link:your-domain-name.com in order to get the list of backlinks of that site.

Exalead Data

The tool even gives you a screenshot of the website that links back to you, as well as a short description (most probably taken from the meta description). It also gives you the title and the URL of where your links are coming from. Pretty good!

So far, Exalead and Blekko are the two free tools that comes closest with Yahoo Site Explorer’s valuable display of backlink data. I recommend this tool.

Link Diagnosis

Link Diagnosis

This tool caught my attention because it’s free and it uses SEOMoz Metrics to go with your backlink data. Unfortunately, like most ‘free’ backlink checking tools, Link Diagnosis only shows you the first 250 backlinks and then asks you install a Firefox toolbar in order to see the rest. Not a bad trade – it means that everything’s free as long as you have their toolbar. The downside is, the toolbar’s only for Firefox. But since Firefox is free – > that makes Link Diagnosis a totally free backlink checking tool!

Link Diagnosis data

The data that Link Diagnosis gives out is also not as accurate as Yahoo Site Explorer. As you can see in the picture below, there is an exact repetition of the SEO category of Alltop.

Link Diagnosis data repetition

Unlike Yahoo Site Explorer, you can’t click on the links that it displays to open them. You have to copy-paste it if you want to check it out. Link Diagnosis also shows in its navbar that you can export the data you’ve queried for. Unfortunately, you need to install their toolbar to do so. Again, the Link Diagnosis toolbar is free and can only be run on Firefox.

Link diagnosis alert

Compared to Yahoo Site Explorer, Link Diagnosis won’t give you all of its results in their ‘no toolbar version’ of checking out your first 250 backlinks. So if you’re a guy who wants these backlinks data for free, Link Diagnosis ain’t such a bad option.

SEO Attack

SEO Attack

Unfortunately, I do not agree with Shaunguido’s statement that SEO attack is an enhacnement to Yahoo Site Explorer. In fact, I think it is an insult. If you aren’t registered  as a user, you can only view up to 10 results. And if you’re saying “Hey, that’s not so bad,” Registering as a free user only adds 15 more results to that. I think it sucks.

SEO Attack data

I didn’t even bother to register anymore because it only upgrades the results to 25. I don’t really need 25 results. I need what Yahoo Site Explorer used to give me and more.

Open Site Explorer

We all know too well that this is a tool by SEOMoz – a widely known SEO company. Open Site Explorer does what Yahoo pretty much does except that it includes more data like nofollow/dofollow, anchor text, Page Authority and Domain authority. It goes further, of course, if you go ‘Pro’ which is SEOMoz’s term for charging you $99 a month to access this tool’s full capabilities.

Open Site Explorer

As you can see, my screenshot only showed the top 5 backlink results from the query. This is because after those 5 links, you see this:

Open Site Explorer pro

and then this

Open Site Explorer trial

All the other data has disappeared. But you can still look at the backlinks at least – which is good coz that’s what we’re after with Yahoo Site Explorer. Unfortunately, Open Site Explorer only shows the first 200 backlinks to your site and then cuts it off at that.

Ahrefs

Thanks to Valgren’s comment, I got to check out ahrefs and I found it as an alternative we can use too. Just to get to the point, it’s also paid if you want to have the complete set of data. Thus far, only Blekko seems to really give out free data that tries to grasp Yahoo Site Explorer’s quality. I’ve never heard of Ahrefs before so this is the first time I’ve gone through the website.

ahrefBasically, they spew out good backlink information including Target Links (which are the webpages of the URL you’re trying to check out), Backlinks (of those webpages) and Crawl Date.

I really don’t like the way they present data because it seems quite dirty. Ahrefs includes your internal links in their results (because technically, it’s also a backlink). Ahrefs also uses a URL shortener for internal links and they DO NOT completely display long URLs – which pretty much hassles you coz it compels you to keep on opening the shortened URL in order for you to check where the backlink is located.

ahref dataAnd, lastly, it’s paid. Go figure.

ahref paid

You only get to check out the first 100 links – which pretty much sucks coz it’s few and the URLs are shortened. This is probably going to be a last resort alternative to Yahoo Site Explorer.

Backlinkwatch

This is definitely one of the most ad-filled websites I’ve seen. I tried browsing through backlink watch as suggested by a member of our SEO Hacker Facebook Group. Simply put, it sucks and I do not recommend it as an alternative to Yahoo Site Explorer.

Backlinkwatch

It’s ad-heavy and it even has an irritating pop-up once you open the page. I ran the tool – it took time for them to retrieve my backlinks and it showed only very few results and most of the backlinks they shown me came from nebseo. It’s pretty weird and highly inaccurate. The anchor texts were largely missing as well as their other data for the backlink such as PR, OBL and Flag.

Backlinkwatch Data

Any SEO specialist with respect for himself will not use Backlink Watch. It’s just plain trash. It doesn’t even come close to an acceptable alternative to Yahoo Site Explorer.

Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO has so many parts to it so I’ll just be focusing on reviewing its capability to get you that precious backlnk information that you sorely need in comparison with Yahoo Site Explorer. Majestic SEO has been quite around for a while. And the truth is, with Yahoo Site Explorer around, Majestic SEO’s backlink tool looked like crap – the idea of paying $29.99 (Excluding Vat – What the heck??) for getting the backlink data of other websites seems too expensive.

But now, $29.99 doesn’t seem so bad – especially since Open Site Explorer is a whooping $99.

The thing about Majestic SEO is that it only shows you 5 backlinks IF you are a registered free user of Majestic SEO. If you are not a registered user, Majestic SEO won’t let you see anything at all. It’s quite a greedy tool. The fact that Majestic SEO shows you only 5 backlinks hides the truth about their tool from you.

How good is Majestic SEO’s tool and how deep can it really crawl and get the most accurate number of links for me? You can only really know if you try out their $29.99 VAT Exclusive package. Which pretty much sucks.

If you’re not a paying customer, this is pretty much everything you can get from Majestic SEO in terms of backlink data:

Majestic SEO backlinks

The only reason why it makes the alternative list is because it is an alternative. I don’t recommend it though.

So far, these are the Yahoo Site Explorer Alternatives that have showed up my radar. I’ll be updating this entry once in a while if there’s anything new.

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Comments

    • George says

      I quite like the list Sean put together here. We’ve tried to do our best to review all the possible Y! Site Explorer alternatives here, the only one I think that might be missing is linkdex.com. webseoanalytics.com is on our todo list still, so another one to consider. Full list here:

      http://siteexplorer.co

      We plan to make a feature matrix to perhaps help folks decide what features they like or need the most. The number of choices out there is surprisingly overwhelming – I had not heard of a lot of these before 2011, so it’s great to see so many new potential tools coming into the market to fill the gap. I hope that we continue to see more tools in this space!

  1. Aris Llanto says

    I’m still don’t know the true reason why Yahoo has removed their YSE. Anyway, thanks for sharing and informing us for this another alternative backlink tools. Good job Sean.

    • Sean says

      Hey Aris,
      I dunno either. But these are just my speculations. I don’t think they will tell us the real reason why they made this move anyway.

      • irfritz says

        were you guys able to hear about yahoo and bing merge? it’s one of the reason why they took out YSE because their planning big in the future. I hope they will be able to compensate that loss also hoping they can do better as “two heads are better than one”!

        • Sean says

          Hi Irfritz,
          Yep! That news is quite old. I don’t think the merge should have also taken down YSE. In my opinion, it has done more damage than good.

          • irfritz says

            There should be plans behind the YSE when they put a stop to it. Who would allow such thing to happen if you know that your service is in demand and has been used by a lot of people who are into SEO? They got a lot of traffic back there and they can easily profit using ads.

          • Sean says

            Right. Their plan was to put the users into Bing Webmaster Tools. Which just won’t happen because you can only check out the backlinks of websites you own. Sad.

          • irfritz20 says

            Well… that’s just one option for them if they think that YSE is being abused by the users. I know they’ve thought a lot of times about the good and bad side in putting down the YSE. Two heads are better than one. I just hope their brain cells work! :)

    • Sean says

      Hi Til,
      To tell you the truth, I like Google being on top. They may be a ‘bit abusive’ coz they are almost a monopoly when it comes to search BUT other search engines (if they do dominate search) may be even worse. Who knows? :)

  2. Anon says

    checked them all out nowhere near as good as YSE – without a good backlink tool its going to cause problems not only for your own sites but competitor analysis, I cant see any reason to pay any of these guys $$$ very month for inncacurate data. Open site explorer is not as good as YSE either and its way too expensive.

  3. Fervil says

    Yes, I already had it in mind that you would want to post something like this. Thanks for sharing Sean. No doubt, SEO hacker is really a good resource.

  4. aashish says

    Hi Sean,
    after down of Yahoo Site explorer, yo have given good list of Yahoo Site Explorer alternatives. Thanks a lot.

    • Sean says

      Really? Cool. But it’s a monthly burden unfortunately. Will have to think about trying that too sometime soon. Thanks for giving me your input about it Agnes.

  5. Mikhail Tuknov says

    Great list of tools, unfortunately many tools, or existing SEO extensions are now pretty much useless because of gone Yahoo Site Explorer. SEO is getting more expensive these days. SEs are closing the doors for SEO people.

  6. vaibhav says

    hey sean,

    Nice post.
    while searching for one of my competitors backlinks on above tools, I was able to find nothing. however, for other domains and even my own sites these tools are working pretty fine.

    Is there any trick one can do to escape the search algorithms of these tools??
    that guy has got site listed on first page for every competitive keyword..is it possible that he could have done it without a good backlink??

    • Sean says

      Hi Vai,
      I don’t think your competitor could have done it without a good backlink. You can try SEO Spyglass to try and search it out. I have yet to encounter a trick that would block out all backlink checking tools / search engines from getting your backlinks. That’s a pretty weird dilemma.

  7. Sean Hecking says

    Great collection of back link research tools. I never really cared for all the links YSE gave in their reports. Lots of spammy links. OSE is a much better tool that gives you a better idea of the “real links” to your website.

    -Sean

  8. Henry says

    Thanks Mr. Sean for these alternatives! I have been searching for this because I do want to check the backlinks to my websites momentarily. I will definitely try them!

  9. Adam says

    My biggest problem with Blekko right now is the inability to expand the view of backlinks (show me 100 at a time please!) and the ability to export the backlinks…can someone please get on them about this? It’s got to be valuable enough to draw just the SEO crowd considering how small they are. We make good evangelists for your engine, I promise!

  10. ian says

    take a look at seo spyglass – it’s a desktop tool that aggregates link data from different search engines including blekko, exalead, alltop and a handfull more. the free version will give you 1,000 links per domain

  11. June says

    Hi Sean,

    Great list! I just stumbled across http://raventools.com/internet-marketing-tools/backlink-explorer/. It’s a paid tool (unfortunately). I don’t know what added value it gives since it pulls data from MajesticSEO — we’ll see. I’ve signed up for their free trial to evaluate whether it’s a good tool.

    I’ll definitely check out Blekko as an alternative to Y! Site Explorer. (A big drawback of OSE is that it doesn’t index sites as frequently as Y!SE did.)

    • Sean says

      Hey June,
      That’s great! Please do share with me your experience with raventools. I’ve heard from Jason that they do really good work when it comes to link prospecting.

  12. Mike says

    Yahoo Site Explorer was the best backlink checking tool because to its speed and that you where able to see how many links points to all internal pages with just one click.
    So far none of my tested tools can come close to it. Hopefully there will be new players in the game that will do the same thing because market is ready for new star

  13. Christoph C. Cemper says

    Hi

    have you seen Link Research Tools?
    I think it’s def. missing in this list.

    Especially, because you will LOVE the new QBL tool
    that we launch tomorrow.

    If you’re quick you can still signup for an account here at no cost

    http://www.linkresearchtools.com/lp/free-lrt-account-here/

    QBL will be fast, show thousands of links with stats
    and QBL will be very very affordable, especially at launch time.

    Best regards
    Christoph C. Cemper
    creator of Link Research Tools

    PS: QBL will outdo ANY other backlink checking tool again, like the more expensive options of LRT as well

  14. Robb D says

    Hey I just wanted to mention that Link Diagnosis is FREE. They ask you to create an account, which is free and allows you to save, manage and organize your reports. And then you can continue to use their tool for FREE!

  15. dan says

    Excellent list to check though. I didn’t know all those backlink tools existed.

    I was hoping that Bing were still waiting to migrate site explorer over to their tools, but it looks like they’re not then :(

  16. Michael says

    Hi Sean,

    As a developer for linkdiagnosis.com, I’d like to clarify that we’ve NEVER asked for payment for access to the data we provide.

    We do have an affiliate account with seomoz and that’s where we nudge you to signup with them, NOT us, if you find seomoz data useful for your needs.

    The repetition, 250 URL cap, “N/A” and -1 missing data are all due to it being a “lite” report(a report run without our extension installed). Please install our FireFox extension to run full reports(there’s only so much we could do without the extension, and it’s unfortunately only for FireFox).

    Just to reiterate, the extension is a 100% FREE download. Download, install, restart FireFox, and then start cranking reports!

    We understand our interface is a little confusing right now – we’re reworking that and the underlying engine to make it awesomer :-)

    We’d love to get a correction in your post and if you run into trouble using our service, do leave us a note by filing a support ticket.

    Best,

    LinkDiagnosis Team

    • Sean says

      Hi Michael,
      So sorry about that. Thank you so much for correcting me. I have made the necessary changes to the entry now and I suggest that for some of my comments about link diagnosis, they are workable advices for your development team. I appreciate you dropping by the blog to point out this big mistake i’ve made about your tool. Again, thank you!

  17. george says

    we can never forget yahoo site explorer for its amazing result that it produce over a period of very long time.sad news is now it is officially close. i use many tools but not satisfy.i use backlinkwatch.com and i found it is good to others so i recommend to check also.

  18. Rey says

    I switched to SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer last year when I heard that Yahoo was discontinuing their service… and I haven’t looked back since.

    For those who want a free tool similar to Yahoo Site Explorer, I think Blekko offers the best features and tools.

  19. janejackson says

    this is really a bad news for traffic tracking. Yahoo webmaster tools is more preferable then the bing webmaster tool. i am gonna miss you .

  20. Ajnabii says

    Hello Dear,
    i have checked all sites you mentioned in your post, all site are very usefull and helfull Yahoo alternatives :) i was search alot for exploring my site backlinks, then i found your post. really nice post.
    Thank you.

  21. Altaf Hussain says

    I’m still not sure why they had to close Yahoo Explorer down. It wasn’t perfect, but it did its job.
    Well, as a partial replacement i’d always go with Market Samurai, maybe because i’m already using it for a few months and i’m always amazed of what it can do.
    Definitely a good effort on your part testing so many programs, helped me put things into perspective.

    • Sean says

      I’ve heard Market Samurai does a great job. On my part, I tried it and didn’t like how it eats up my RAM (I had an average laptop before… Now I’m running on asus G7 series so things are all good) But I still haven’t gone back to market samurai. Perhaps someday when the tools I’m using now get more expensive. Lol.

  22. Andrew says

    Thanks for this list of YSE alternatives. I’ve tried them all and think “Link Diagnosis” and “Open Site Explorer” are the best… however, it really depends what you’re looking for and what data you need…

  23. Toby says

    Thanks Sean for the information. I have been searching for an alternative to YSE for a while. So far, I’m liking Blekko and going to try spyglass next.

  24. mike says

    What happened to Exalead? I went to exalead.com and it forwards to another site, with no real mention of any backlink tool that I could find.

  25. anon says

    Yahoo site explorer was such an instrumental tool for creating back links. Before I don’t realize that there are so many alternatives just looking forward to check them. I’ve been lost without it.

  26. zest says

    Well its good to know that we never run out of alternatives for use in creating backlinks. Thanks so much for this great resource. I have been using Yahoo Site Explorer since last year only to find out its gone this time. Its really sad that they close it down.

  27. KE says

    This is a great article. With Yahoo site explorer gone, I’ve been looking for solution to continue the SEO effort. This will do nicely.

  28. Arthur Brathewaite says

    Exalead has taken a turn for the worse since this item was published. Attempts to use their search function are answered by
    “We are sorry, but your request has been blocked as it appears to be automated – possibly triggered by a virus or spyware application on your computer. Please type here what you can see(or hear) below to unblock your access.”
    and they never accept your CAPTCHA.

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