The new Bing Link Explorer is probably the most powerful web analytic tool you’ve never heard of. But if you’re willing to move a bit beyond the Google eco-sphere, you’ll find some pretty interesting uses for this application.

In a recent article on titled, How to Use the New Bing Links Explorer, Sujan Patel walked readers through some Bing Links Explorer basics. Here are the highlights from that piece.

Links Explorer is a single component in a broad retooling of Bing’s webmaster tools. The Microsoft backed search engine is clearly trying to grab as much of Google’s massive market share as possible, and this is a pretty good start for them.

Some of the other improvements to the Bing dashboard include:

  • Improved statistics display.
  • An enhanced SEO reporting feature that’s based on 15 Bing-identified best practices. This component can analyze a site against those best practices and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Fetch as Bingbot, which allows users to view their sites the same way search bots do.

Bing Links Explorer Basics

While all of these other features are nice, Links Explorer is definitely the showpiece element of the revamp. It’s a very robust suite of tools that Patel describes as being very similar to the old Yahoo! Link Explorer Tool. It’s basic components include:

  • URL analysis
  • Anchor text analysis
  • Scope, which allows users to analyze links to and from a specific source.
  • Source, an internal links analysis tool.

Patel reminds readers that they’ll need to log into Bing’s Webmaster Tools sections and enter a specific site before accessing these tools. He also recommends spending some time getting comfortable with the basics before attempting these next, more advanced, uses.

Using Bing Links Explorer

So what are some ways Patel recommends for using Links Explorer?

Competitive Analysis – For starters, he says it’s a great tool for keeping an eye on your competitors’ links. This makes this tool a lot different from other analytics that only let you analyze your own sites. Knowing and understanding who you’re competitors are linking to gives you a nice window into their strategies. Of course it’s also a source of links you’ll want to go after yourself.

Self-Analysis – Links Explorer makes analyzing and understanding your own link networks a lot easier. Everyone knows one or two webmasters who are desperately trying to understand how Penguin is impacting their sites. Links Explorer quickly sorts out the organic links you’ll want to save from those sketchy ones you’ll want to ditch.

Anchor Text Analysis – If you’re concerned about a potential over-optimization penalty, this is one you’ll definitely want to be looking at. Patel points out that determining unnatural anchor text distribution on your own is just not that easy. The tools on Bing Links Explorer can make that process a lot easier.


We strongly recommend that anyone who is concerned about the impact of Penguin on their site take a look at Patel’s article and then gives the Bing Links Explorer tool a good look.

Are you using Bing Links Explorer? Tell us about your experiences on our SEO Forum.

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