If you were enamored with the former Yahoo Site Explorer and bummed when it was shelved then you will be thrilled to know that the new Bing’s Link Explorer tool now brings most of its features back to life. More than that Bing has added some cool new features that you are sure to love. Before I provide some details on how you can use the tool to do backlink research and perform a competitive analysis join me as I highlight some of the features.
You must have a Bing Webmaster Tools account before you can gain access to the tool. You must also have at least one site verified as well. Once you log into your Bing dashboard go to the Diagnostics & Tools menu which will give you access to the Link Explorer.
Some Features Within Bing Link Explorer:
URL – This field is located just below Keyword Research and you should enter the URL of the site that you will like to explore in this field and click the “explore” button once you do.
Filter by Site –Bing’s Link Explorer will show only one link from any one site in the results. This is done by default but if you will like to get a clear picture of all the links that comes from any one domain you would need to use the Filter by Site option and enter the URL that you want to filter.
Anchor Text – The anchor text field lets you closely examine your anchor texts used. To do this will need to enter the various anchor texts that you want a report on into the search field and submit to get a full report.
Additional Query – Use this option to take your backlink results even further by examining links that have specific variables.
Scope – View those backlinks that are pointing either to a specific URL on a domain or to the root domain itself. The URL is the default option but you can be more specific about what you need by using the Scope field.
Source – By default Bing Link Explorer will provide results on the External links but if you need to view internal links use the Source field to change from the default.
The new tool is very easy to use but in order to make the most of it you will definitely need to try it out a few times. The data provided won’t match the level of data that a paid standalone program will provide but for a free program you do get a lot. In fact the information that it provides could more than enough to gain a competitive advantage in the SERPs.
Use the tool to get a closer look at your competitors’ backlinks. This is the only tool within the Bing Webmaster dashboard that you can use to evaluate sites that you have not registered and verified. Enter your competitors’ domain name and hit the explore button to see their backlinks. You can use the same method to evaluate your own backlinks.
Another useful aspect of the tool can be had when you use it to check your anchor text distribution to indentify if there is diversity. Since the recent Penguin updates it is important to make sure that there is diversity in anchor texts and once you have any damaging texts indentified you can go back and fix them.