What Is Bing Links Explorer?

The ability to explore link information for any domain is back! Dive deep with this beta tool which allows you to explore links associated with any domain. Simply enter a URL and the tool will supply a list of known links pointing to the specified destination. The default setting will be to display external links pointed at the specified URL, though this can be switched to show internal links as well. To access the Bing Link Explorer tool, you’ll need to have a Bing Webmaster Tools account, or simply set one up http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster. Once you’re inside, use the “Diagnostics & Tools” menu from the left-hand sidebar to access the “Link Explorer” feature.

You’ll find a few different options to play around with:

  • URL – In the first search field, enter the URL (either a root domain or a sub-page on your site or your competitor’s) that you’d like to explore.
  • Filter by Site – By default, Bing’s Link Explorer condenses your link results so that only one link from a given website result is displayed. If you want to see all the backlinks that are coming in from a specific root domain, enter that URL into the “Filter by Site” option.
  • Anchor Text – If you want to analyze your current anchor text distribution, enter specific anchor text versions into this search field and re-run your report.
  • Additional Query – This search field gives you the option to break your backlink results down further by pulling the links that include specific, defined variables.
  • Scope – By selecting either “URL” (the default option) or “Domain,” Link Explorer will pull either backlinks that point at the specific site link you’re searching or all results pointing at the root domain of your specified link.
  • Source – This final feature allows you to search your internal links, external links, or both. By default, this option is set to “External.”

To better understand this new system, try running a few different searches to see the above features in action. Once you’ve got the hang of it, consider the following ways that Bing’s Link Explorer program can be used to generate competitive intelligence.

Spy On Your Competitors’ Links

Although most of the tools within the new Bing Webmaster Tools program can only be used to mine data related to the website you’ve registered with your account, Link Explorer allows you to quickly pull backlink data from any site on the web and filter it according to the parameters described above. In particular, these features make the Link Explorer tool ideally suited for identifying potential new link sources based on the websites that are linking in to your competitors.

To find potential new link sources based on the websites that are linking to your competitors, simply enter each of your competitor’s URLs into the search bar and set the source feature to pull external links. As an example, if you are Amazon.com and you want to see who is linking to Rackspace, you’d enter the following information into Link Explorer:

Bing Links Explorer, milkshake-factory.com.

Check Your Own Backlink Distribution

At the same time, you can use Link Explorer to quickly identify potential issues with your existing backlink profile. The recent Google Penguin update has left plenty of webmasters on edge about potential indicators of over-optimization that could trigger current and future penalties if their sites are deemed overly-manipulative of the natural search results. To determine whether or not your site is falling into this trap, run a list of the different links pointing back to your own root URL and ask yourself:

  • Do my links come from a wide variety of sources or from a narrow range of highly-related sites?
  • Do I have links from a variety of high-profile sites and low PageRank pages?
  • What link sources would I expect to see on a natural link profile for my type of website that aren’t present in my backlink collection?

Bing Links Explorer, milkshake-factory.com

Identify Potentially Damaging Anchor Text Trends

To determine whether concentrated anchor text is a concern for your website, enter each of the terms you’re targeting into the “Anchor Text” search field and re-run the search. Doing so will alter the list of backlinks that are displayed to include only those that contain your target phrase within their anchor text.

Bing Links Explorer, milkshake-factory.com

Keep in mind that, as a free program, Bing’s Link Explorer doesn’t provide nearly the amount of data that a dedicated, paid backlink tool can offer. If you are looking for complete marketing solutions ideas, Australian freelancer or IT contracting Melbourne, contact us for a FREE no obligation quote.