When it comes to link building, measuring which links are taking hold and which ones are not is very important. Yahoo!s Site Explorer has been a tool that webmasters have used for many years and it has been considered the best free online link checker available. But it’s changing.
Exactly how Site Explorer is going to change is anybody’s guess, but Yahoo! has announced that its integration with Bing will lead to an inevitable change in Site Explorer some time in 2012. Here’s a snippet from the announcement:
When Microsoft fully powers the Yahoo! Search back-end globally, expected in 2012, it will be important for webmasters to use Bing Webmaster Center as well. The Bing tool will manage site, webpage and feed submissions. Yahoo! Site Explorer will shift to focus on new features for webmasters that provide richer analysis of the organic search traffic you get from the Yahoo! network and our partner sites.
The bold text is mine.
Just what are these new features? No one knows. But if they improve Site Explorer, then they are welcome. For now, however, webmasters can go on using Yahoo!s Site Explorer as they always have – analyzing their inbound links and looking for new link building opportunities. My hope is that these features will not go away.