As of Monday 21st November 2011 Yahoo Site Explorer has been shut down. Yahoo made their offical announcement on 18th November on their blog. This marks the loss of a vital tool to the SEO industry.
Yahoo site explorer was an incredibly valuable tool as it allowed users to perform searches and explore the link profiles of any website. This allowed users to evaluate their competitor’s incoming links and devise strategies to gain the same or similar links to boost their own rankings. Similarly SEO consultants were able to view the highest performing sites in a particular industry, analyse their incoming link portfolio and strategize with their client in methods of gaining similar links.
Since the move to Bing webmaster tools most of this functionality has been lost. Both Bing and Google Webmaster tools only provide link data about a site that has been claimed within their systems. Therefore neither provides information about a site that is not owned by the user.
Google has deliberately suppressed link information and does not condone the reporting of link data through any of their services, therefore loss of Yahoo site explorer equates to the loss of all free comprehensive link reporting tools.
Third party tools such as SEOMoz Open Site Explorer and Majestic Site Explorer are available; however, they are subscription based and their resources are not exhaustive. Blekko, is a search engine that offers link data reporting tools, although it is much smaller than search engines giants Google, Yahoo, and Bing.