We've talked all about the importance of link-building and how fostering many, high-quality, and diverse inbound links is probably the singlemost powerful thing you can do to improve your page's search engine rankings. But how do you track who is linking to your page? Also, what if you want to find out who is linking to your competitors? Here are two quick-and-easy tips:
The first and simplest way to get a read on links is by using Google's "link:" operator. Search for "link:yourwebsite.com" and Google will return pages that are linking to the page you include. Even though this is not a complete list you can use it as a good representative sample.
Second, if you're using Google Webmaster Tools (more on that in a later post) it'll give you a fairly comprehensive analysis of the links your site is receiving. Drawback here is that you can only do this for sites you have control over, and not those of your competitors.
A lot of SEO sites out there have their own backlink analysis tools but at the end of the day I find that many of them are based on the Google link: operator and it's equivalents in Yahoo and MSN and just using one of those is good enough for 90% of use cases.