Live.com‘s link and link domain commands have been back for a quite a while. Microsoft did not not announce their re- appearance and I have forgotten who told me that they were back online, but Paul in Arizona reminded me in a comment to my original posting regarding their departure that I had not posted about their re-emergence.

There is one important change to the command. You have to precede both the link: and the linkdomain: commands with a plus sign. For example, to find pages that link to the UKeiG’s training and meetings page you would type in:

+link:www.ukeig.org.uk/training/

To find pages that link to anywhere on the UKeiG web site you would type in:

+linkdomain:www.ukeig.org.uk

Google has a link command which is virtually useless as it lists a small fraction of the pages that link to your starting page. Yahoo has both a link and linkdomain command but my experience is that they do not list as many pages as Live.com. This suggests to me that Live’s database of web pages is larger than Yahoo’s.

The link commands are extremely useful in tracking down pages or sites that are similar to one that you already have, the principle being that pages of similar content and type generally link to one another. It is also a great way of identifying links and networks between companies and organisations.

16 Comments on Live.com link commands are back

  1. Karen –

    Thanks for the tip. Live.com may only provide about 5% of our search traffic, but their link tool is much better than Yahoo or Google . . .

    Thanks for the link too, by the way :)

  2. Thank heavens your comment has appeared. For some obscure reason, it was marked as spam, I de-spammed it and assumed it would go into the moderation queue – but it didn’t. I thought it had disappeared into a blog black hole but, thankfully, it went straight into the comments. I agree – Live’s link command is far superior to the competition, but a fellow search engine watcher has emailed me saying that they are concerned that the new version of the command will be disabled now I have ‘advertised’ it :-(

  3. Sweet, those numbers are pretty acurate. I work at Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning. Yahoo says we have 6,610 links, Google says 202, and Live reports 18,100 links. This was done with the link not linkdomain to do the counts.

  4. One thing to note that I noticed since my post is Lives numbers aren’t quite right. Make sure you also do -site:yourdomain.com. If there are 4 links on an internal page to the page you checking it counts them as 4 links, not 1 link page. We have 700 pages with around 4 links to the Home on each so the link number dropped down to around 14,500 after adding -site:www.beanstalk-inc.com. Cheers.

  5. […] MSN/ Live’s link:-command works again (with a little help) […]

  6. Japanese SEO says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thank you for good information.
    Link command is very useful to research our copmetitors’ backlink.

    Live search also supports “linkfromdomain:”, doesn’t it?

  7. Yes – the linkfromdomain: command is unique to Live.com.

  8. Nirupam Roy says:

    Hi Karen

    Thanks for the update. Yes MSN link: commands do help in competitor analysis as well as in checking the backlinks. Few days back when i wanted to check those number in MSN by using link: command, it took me by surprise on seeing that its not working. Initially thought that i might have committed a mistake in typing or giving a wrong commant, but then i gradually understood that it’s not working. So back to work again :)

    Cheers
    MrRoy

  9. […] Live Search team is really trying to give everyone something to be thankful for. Karen Blakeman reported in October that Microsoft had restored the link and linkdomain queries, though with the slight […]

  10. Pete says:

    Karen this is very useful news, thanks very much

  11. Hampers says:

    At least Live is doing something for the benefit of webmasters, unlike their peers

  12. davrosseo says:

    Are the Live link commands still up and running or have they changed???

    I cannot figure them out and your example mentioned ‘+link:www.ukeig.org.uk/training/’ does not return any results either . . .

    What’s the deal Karen?

    Nice blog by the way!

  13. Davrosseo, Live’s link commands are all over the place at the moment. They were sort of working earlier this week but the linkdomain command was returning some ludicrously high number of results. I’ve just tested the link command on my homepage via the Advanced Search screen and the command line it generated was link:http://www.rba.co.uk/ but it only came back with 5 results. So I guess its back to Yahoo’s link and linkdomain command for the time being.

  14. Work At Home Ideas

    The Live link is not working at all now. I have been trying it on and off for the last two days but it is returning no results.

  15. Julian says:

    Yes, I just realized it today to, but after reading a billion posts on other sites, you Elaine are the first one who actually confirm it is not working.

    The absurd thing is that Live has this “advanced” search function where you choose “link to” and enter your domain, which just puts the same old “link:domainname.com” in the main search field, which the in turn produces no results. How is it even remotely possible that one of the most visited sites in the world has a search-function that does not work at all? Nobody in the world links to Google?

    It’s just tragic.

  16. and like that (poof) it was gone.

    -Kaiser Soze

    PS: I signed into their new Webmaster Center which only enables you to validate an xml sitemap.
    PSS: Alls well ends well.