Today has been one strange working experience.
If you are like me and have Seoquake plugin or equivalent installed on your browser of choice you may have noticed that the number of backlinks that show up in the toolbar that come back from Yahoo Site Explorer (YSE) now read zero (see pic above).
It has been common knowledge that Yahoo Site Explorer was going to be phased out this year and it has definitely gone a bit flaky over the last few months.
But as of yesterday the doors finally closed on this free tool that has been used extensively by marketers, domainers and persons working in SEO.
Not only will a take a bit of time to get used to not having backlink info on every site I visit ready for a bit of quick analysis, it has also effected some of the desktop software that I use on a daily basis.
I have just checked SEO Spyglass (free version) and the results for one of my own UK authority domains is only showing 14 links from the Blekko search engine, gone are the 400 links that were being displayed there this morning courtesy of Yahoo Site Explorer.
I quick gander over at Spyglass Blog and they report that their software will continue to gather links without YSE and that the software will work as normal.
Well the jury’s still out on that one and we will have to wait and see if they can pull data from other sources as they claim, without losing the effectiveness of what has been a super bit of free kit for me over the past 4 or 5 years.
It also appears that Scrapebox and Market Samurai have also lost some of there functionality as of today.
So they and others that used the YSE API will find themselves batting on a sticky wicket until they can get round this problem.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a lot of free alternatives in the market as we speak.
The services that can be found online all seem to offer some sort of limited access to their backlinking data, but if you want to delve deeper then you will have to pay.
Today I have had a look around and used the free services of the companies just mentioned and they all left me wanting more. All they offer is a taster of their data which is of little use for my purposes.
I will have to sign up and research there offerings further.
I will of course report back on my findings.
If anybody knows of a decent Yahoo Site Explorer alternative then please leave a comment.