After the recent decommissioning of yahoo site explorer, alternatives need to be found so that we can track our own backlinks, and spy on competitors backlinks.
Below is a short list of SEO Tools which can, together, provide a somewhat viable alternative to yahoo site explorer.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Frankly I haven’t used Bing Webmaster Tools, but as the official alternative to yahoo site explorer one hopes it would have much, if not all of the same data as yahoo site explorer displayed. The biggest issue with Bing Webmaster Tools is that it is a tool for webmaster only, whereas yahoo site explorer allowed users to view the backlinks and backlink counts for any and all websites.
At this point in time I can’t comment on the usefulness of Bing Webmaster Tools as a yahoo site explorer alternative for webmasters, because I haven’t used it, however as an alternative for competitor analysis it is a completely useless tool.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is only a yahoo site explorer alternative for webmasters, as google webmaster tools has only ever been available to the sites owner. In this respect I think Google Webmaster Tools is more comprehensive than yahoo site explorer ever was.
Without paying for an account, the only information you can get for free is the number of total backlinks, referring domains, and C Class IP addresses. I have doubts about the accuracy of Majestic SEO’s data, but in respect to the number of links a website has for competitor analysis (the link count) Majestic SEO is probably the most accurate and consistent alternative to yahoo site explorer.
Google Links Search
If you use the search links:domainname.com in a standard google search, you will get a short list of sites linking to that domain name. The problem is this list is minuscule and doesn’t even reflect 1% of the links Google actually knows about (which we can compare as a webmaster, with the links in webmaster tools). It can be vaguely interesting, and it is only important in this day and age where yahoo site explorer is down and decommissioned, as one of the seo tools we can use to fill in the blanks.
Alexa gives you a rather vague "sites linking in" feature which actually gives you a better list of linking sites than you get from the Google Links: search mentioned above. In a world before we needed and alternative to yahoo site explorer the data alexa provided was entirely redundant, but now it is again, another seo tool to help us piece the SEO puzzle together.
Open Site Explorer
Open site explorer is probably the best like for like yahoo site explorer alternative. It allows us to gather details on other sites, as well as our own. I don’t like the data for backlink counts, and in general I find Open Site Explorer a little clumsy to work with, but in an imperfect world we are left with imperfect SEO tools.