Yahoo Site Explorer closes – try Blekko instead

A reminder that Yahoo Site Explorer is closing down tomorrow (November 21st ) and I assume that the link and linkdomain commands will go with it, although they are not specifically mentioned ( Webmasters are being told to use Bing Webmaster Tools. This enables you to analyse links to your own domains but is no use if you want to find who links to other web sites as part of research. Bing, or as it then was, removed its link and linkdomain commands in November/December 2007 and Yahoo was left as the only reliable alternative. The link command enabled you to find who linked to a specific page on the web and linkdomain found links to anywhere on a specified web site. Both were useful ways of finding other sites containing similar content and discovering what others were saying about a page. Google’s link command is useless as it picks up a minuscule number of results, which now leaves Blekko ( as the only realistic alternative.

Blekko enables you to track down linked pages in two ways but both lead to the same results. The first is to use their slashtags ‘/links’ and ‘/domainlinks’ with a URL or domain name. For example /links will find pages that link to my official company registers page whereas /domainlinks finds all inbound links to my site

The second route is via your search results. Below each entry is a downwards pointing arrow. Click on this and select ‘links’ from the pop-up box.

Blekko Lonks


You will then see a list of sites that link to that page.

To view inbound links to the whole of the web site click on the seo option below the result and you will see some statistics together with the total number of inbound links.

Blekko SEO


Click on the inbound links number and Blekko presents you with a list of domains containing links to yours and how many.


Blekko Domain Links


To see exactly where the links are located and where they go to on your site just click on the number in the links column.


Blekko inbound links


I have only looked in detail at a couple of sites but Blekko seems to do a good job and is certainly far superior to Google. The Blekko data on my own site seems to correspond with that available from Bing Webmaster Tools but of course I cannot compare other sites in the same way. My initial thoughts are that for link searching Blekko is definitely worth adding to your research toolkit.

17 thoughts on “Yahoo Site Explorer closes – try Blekko instead”

  1. Thanks for the reminder that Blekko has some great SEO functions built-in. Been awhile since I visited and used their neat tools. Yahoo Site Explorer will be sorely missed. Tho far from complete, YSE did tend to show the _highest ranking_ back links first, from the top on down which was helpful.

    Sadly, Blekko as a Search Engine is sorely lacking. It has such a feel of By Geeks – For Geeks… Consumers want to type and click – not /SLASH/ their way around a search interface like it was a text and numeric calculator…

    1. I really need to try and properly check out Blekko as a general search engine. A couple of times I had problems with it not searching for all of my terms but I can’t reproduce it now. The /SLASH options are an interesting alternative to Google CSEs but I have already set up my own CSEs and I honestly do not see the point of duplicating it on Blekko. As you say it does have a rather a geekish approach to searching and unless you think you are going to use it regularly there is no incentive to investigate how to use all of the options.

  2. YSE’s shut down is a big loss for the SEOers. I tried BLEKKO for my site, just showed 40 links as YSE showed about more than 2,000. But till now no other useful free tools can replace. Really Sad!

    1. Thanks for the feedback on Blekko vs YSE on incoming links. I need to to analyse in more detail the data that Blekko reports on my site. Total number to my domain seems about right but numbers of links to individual pages look odd. Just checked on Yahaoo and the link and linkdomain commands have definitely gone 🙁

  3. Spent Sunday the 20th frantically looking at alternatives to YSE (Majestic and ahrefs mainly) in preparation for its demise. Very sad to see it go. Just looked around Blekko and very impressed as an alternative to YSE – it’s fast, no login required and easy to use (for SEO geeks like us anyway!)

    1. SEOMoz looks excellent from the SEO point of view but for those of us who occasionally use link information as a part of general web research it seems like overkill. I think it depends on how often one uses link commands as to whether or not it is worth investigating further as a research tool. I’ve had a look at Lipperhey and I may be missing something but the data it provides for my test searches is worse than Google’s link command.

  4. Hey Karen,

    I really like Blekko and hope that they are somehow 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.

    We put together a list of other alternatives that people might be interested in trying here, with at least 5-6 more to come.

    Blekko is unique in that it is the only pure search engine in the bunch.

  5. Why did Yahoo shut down the Site Explorer exactly? I can’t imagine it was causing them headaches and it was a really great product. The only reason I would ever use Yahoo actually.

    1. It was all to do with Yahoo switching to using the Bing database and algorithms for search. According to the Yahoo announcement at

      “With the completion of algorithmic transition to Bing, Yahoo! Search has merged Site Explorer into Bing Webmaster Tools. Webmasters should now be using the Bing Webmaster Tools to ensure that their websites continue to get high quality organic search traffic from Bing and Yahoo!.”

      But the problem with Bing Webmaster Tools is that you can only use link analysis on your own site so it is totally useless for researchers.

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