Link Explorer Being Retired in Webmaster Tools

Saying Goodbye to Link Explorer

Saying goodbye is never easy, but the time has come to do just that with a member of the Bing Webmaster Tools family: starting October 1st, 2015 we are shutting down Link Explorer.

Why say goodbye?

Link Explorer has been part of Webmaster Tools since the June 2012 release (called “Phoenix”) and provided an easy way to see a sample of links pointing to a given site — not just your own — making it a simple competitive link analysis tool.

In the backend the tool made use of special query operators that allowed us to search the index for link information at query time. However, as the size of the Bing index has grown many times over since 2012, and as the architecture of our index has evolved to improve speed and efficiency, we no longer will have access to this information at query time going forward. As a result, we will no longer be able to power Link Explorer inside Webmaster Tools.

So what about my own links?

Looking at usage patterns, Link Explorer was often misunderstood in that people were looking for the inbound links pointing to their own site in Link Explorer. However, Link Explorer offered only a small sample of these links. The real power tool to get the most comprehensive data about links pointing to your own site remains the Inbound Links tool accessible from the Reports & Data Section. It offers viewing and export of up to a million inbound links at once, shows up to 20,000 inbound links per page and includes not only the link source but also the anchor text of the inbound link.

Parting Words

Saying goodbye to a nifty tool like Link Explorer is not easy, but sometimes it is necessary to let go. With the unparalleled power of the Inbound Links tool still at your disposal to view your own links and with various third party tools that provide even more comprehensive competitive link analysis data in the market today, we feel you’re still in the best position to succeed in Bing and Bing-powered search.

Duane Forrester
Sr. Product Marketing Manager – Bing