I believe that there are around 850 thousand unique visitors a month looking at Yahoo’s site explorer. Naturally, its future must be in question given Microsoft’s deal – but even without that, you have to question the wisdom of using Site Explorer, now that Majestic’s data is considerably larger and gives much more information – even without registering. Here is a list of things that we feel Majestic does better than Yahoo Site Explorer:

More Links in the database
For example, as of this post, Site Explorer reports 2.2 million links to www.whitehouse.gov whilst Majestic reports 20.2 million external links. This is partly because we show much more variety of links than Yahoo, but registered members can filter domains under their control for free, to choose only the kinds of links that interest them. (They do need to pay to do this with sites they don’t control, but at least we offer it!)

Yahoo only reports page in-links, not domain in-links
Being told a back-link (in-link) number doesn’t help at all, in itself. One run of site paid link on a third party site can inflate this number in an instant – and when you try to compare back-links using Site Explorer, you usually get meaningless numbers because not all links are considered equal. Knowing how many DOMAINS link to the site you are analyzing is reported straight off the bat in Majestic.

Majestic even reports unique IPs
Sometimes, with a bit of trickery, a black hat or a misguided SEO experiment or for more benign reasons, many of the inbound links might be from different domains, but these domains are all on the same server, using the same I number. This is a pretty straightforward flag for Google or any search engine that the sites are controlled by the same organisation. So right off the bat, we also give you the number of unique IP numbers linking to a domain.

You can see back links by page
Yahoo gives you links into a domain (or to the domain and the sub-domains). Majestic also gives you inbound links to each individual page! What’s more, we give you:

  • The relative strength of the page as a result of those links
  • The date we last crawled the page
  • The number of unique domains that have linked to the page
  • The number of unique IP numbers linking to the page
  • The total number of links (including internal links) as well as external (shown separately)
  • And more! Try a link analysis on a competitor’s domain right now.

And so far, you haven’t even had to register… which is instant and free.

So here’s my question… why is anyone still using Yahoo’s site explorer?


Dixon Jones
Latest posts by Dixon Jones (see all)


  • Dixon

    Ha – made a small edit… Yahoo site explorer has 850 thousand uniques a month according to compete. Not… ahem… 850 million! Fixed it in the article now.

    September 16, 2009 at 11:54 am
  • Gary

    I think people still use Yahoo because it does filter out some of the links, If im looking at what links a competing website has then i can look at yahoo and say ‘ok i need to do some link building and build 200 more links’ this has been successfull for myself in the past. But if we look at majestic SEO links then that figure could be ‘whoooooaaaaaa i need to linkbuild an extra 20,000 links!’

    Maybe its just that people need to learn how to use Majestic to get the best results from it. (i am a fan majestic seo, keep up the good work :))

    September 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm
  • Mikkel deMib Svendse

    The main reason I use Yahoo Explorer is because I want to see the links that Yahoo have – not what YOU have, with all respect 🙂

    Also, I am not just interested in historical links – I want to see the changes week by week.

    Now, there was two good reasons for you 🙂

    September 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm
  • Geir Ellefsen

    Great post, I’ve been looking for a new backlink tool to take over for Yahooo-based tools.

    deMib has a good point, and I agree, it’s useful if you care about Yahoo.

    September 16, 2009 at 1:13 pm
  • Dixon

    Thanks for the comments guys. I’ll try to defend them 🙂

    Gary – yes – out of the box, we do have an awful lot of links! It’s true. Do you think we should take off the non-link juice ones by default? The reason we haven’t is because a: we like lots of data and b: saying what counts as a juicy link is subjective. Registered users can set these options up for themselves and force a new analysis. There’s also an advanced use of the data that will makes your list of targets much more focussed – but that’s going to need to be thesubject of another post I think.

    deMib: >>”I want to see the links that Yahoo have”<< That's not true is it? You ACTUALLY want to see what links Google has, not us ;) also: >> “I want to see the changes week by week.” << Me too! Yahoo updates faster. But registered users get day by day incremental lists in majestic, so I admit you need to register to get there, but a daily list of a competitor's newly discovered URLS trumps a changing Yahoo list yes?

    September 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm
  • jaamit

    Starting to use Majestic more and more for link analysis, but I do still use site explorer and tools that use its data – for me its not just about quantity of links but accuracy and freshness of their index.

    One feature missing in the free check in Majestic is the ability to exclude internal links, which you do get in YSE (“except from this domain”) – adding that feature in majestic would be an excellent addition IMO as it can get annoying – eg with the whitehouse example the beginning of the free report is full of internal links… (or am I not seeing the option to filter these out?)

    September 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm
  • Dixon

    No – you’re not missing anything Jaamit. In fact, those listing are all pages on the site, however far you dig. The non-registered results give you the number of back-links (and types, domains etc) for each page, but there’s so many that there would be huge processing overhead to be able to list all of the external links to non-registered members. So one point to Yahoo, I agree. You can get all the external link data free, for sites that you control (FTP access) but others cost a little.

    September 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm
  • Gary

    @Dixon i wouldnt remove all non-juicy links by default, like i said its a case of learning how to use your service to get the best results for you.

    Personally i think its great you can look at the backlink history as again this has helped me out with some websites no end. looking at backlink history can identify link spikes from the past which can give you an idea of how the domain has been optimised in the past.

    September 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm
  • Mikkel deMib Svendse

    Dixon, I don’t think you should sell this as a replacement for Yahoo Explorer. Sell it for what it is. Its a very different service.

    September 17, 2009 at 6:58 am
  • Dixon

    That’s true, Mikkel. Good advice. We do feel we have so much more data, and showing people how to use it is definitely a need.


    September 17, 2009 at 12:32 pm
  • Liam Delahunty

    Would there be any chance of reporting based on the different b and c classes of IP addresses?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm
  • Dixon

    Hi Liam,
    You can get this data with a bit of playing with Excel. When reistered, you can download the list of IP numbers into a CSV. Then you sort by IP. We also have a Bad Neighourhood checking tool, which really SHOULD have a link from the home page… www.majesticseo.com/research/neighbourhood-checker.php

    September 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm
  • Faiz

    With Yahoo Site Explorer you can download the first thousand results i.e using the TSV function. What if I want the whole list of links to get downloaded in excel to my system? I’m not sure if it is possible?

    I will try using majesticseo however, it sounds interesting when you talk about your services.

    January 8, 2010 at 7:14 pm
    • Alex Chudnovsky

      It is possible in our system – you just need to verify your site or subscribe to our services and then create either Standard or Advanced reports, both of which support CSV export.

      January 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm
  • Claus Valgren


    When do you think Yahoo will shut down their service?

    May 3, 2010 at 3:01 pm
  • Claus Valgren


    It’s beginning now! – http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/022242.html – 😀

    May 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm
  • Hasan

    I just started using Majestic SEO. Its wonderful… No one can come near this portal

    August 21, 2010 at 10:26 am
  • Phil

    I used Yahoo explorer years ago! Since then I have been using Majestic SEO. I have been extremely pleased with the service provided!

    December 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm

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