Sunday, December 4, 2011

R.I.P. Yahoo SiteExplorer - Backlink Checks Just Got A Lot Tougher

Last month Yahoo officially turned off it's SiteExplorer API which was always an Apple webmaster's best friend for fast and easy backlink checking - Well, at least from Yahoo's perspective. Though by no means exhaustive, SiteExplorer did tend to show links Yahoo's bot 'Slurp' knew about - and most importantly - showed them in order of page strength. You always knew your strongest back links were from sites at the top. And - downloadable .CSV files of your links made it easy to feed them into a backlink indexer tool for that extra bit of link juice love.

So many other backlink checker websites and SEO tools for Mac and PC pulled link data from Yahoo's API. Now many, many sites are broken or SEO tools non-functional until they find alternate sources for link profile data.
For example the honorable SEOQuake Safari SEO Toolbar now just shows "N/A" for Yahoo's link numbers.

The biggest (albeit temporary) loss to Apple webmaster productivity is in Market Samurai for Mac > SEO Competition module. I've really come to rely on Samurai's PageRank and Anchor Text backlink data to validate my link-building efforts - so the fix they're working on can't come soon enough.

As an alternative: MajesticSEO, AHrefs, and SEOMoz are now my top 3 quick-n-dirty backlink analysis sites to get at _some_ of your link graph data for free. In another post at macseotips.blogspot.com I'll explain why you'll want to become better friends with Bing Webmaster Tools to pick up some of the pieces from the loss of Yahoo SiteExplorer's decommissioning.