Undocumented Google Search Operator For Backlinks

Yesterday I discovered what may be an unknown and undocumented Google search operator for listing the backlinks to your web site. A backlink is an incoming link to your web site. The number of backlinks to your web site is a factor in how well it will rank in the search engines.

The Yahoo! Site Explorer provides a tool to see who is linking to your web site. Enter the site’s URL at the top of the page next to the yellow “Explore URL” button and then click the “Explore URL” button. Then click the Inlinks buton:

Yahoo! Site Explorer

There is also an online tool called Backlink Checker at http://www.iwebtool.com/backlink_checker

Google provides the search operator link: to show the number of backlinks it has on record for a particular web page but it only shows you a small fraction of the links pointing to a site. It credits many more backlinks than it shows for each website.

Yesterday I tried the undocumented search operator inlink: and found that it appears to show you all of the links to your web site. For example, compare the following search results:

link:williamsportwebdeveloper.com – 2 results
inlink:www.williamsportwebdeveloper.com – 603 results

Obviously, the inlink: search operator was far more useful. It appears to more accurately reflect the incoming links I would expect for my web site. For example, there are incoming links from blog comments and forum postings that I have made.

As far as I know, this search operator is unknown to search engine optimization consultants and experts. Hopefully this is the first article on the topic that can be found on the Internet. That alone will be worth a lot of backlinks!

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