Google Webmaster Tools is pretty much a known service, and it is the same for YahooSite Explorer that for years has been the only free alternative for webmasters and SEO to retrieve a quite good picture of site backlinks.
What most industry-related users are not aware of, is that Yahoo Site Explorer was offering a sort of console like the one currently offered by Google and Bing, in which it is possible to register more than a site at once, and control many aspects like sitemap submissions and crawling status.
How much is important to have search engine insights?
I don’t need to remember that search engines data is a very important part of the SEO, and if you can get these details straight from them is of course better.
However, since Microsoft “bought” Yahoo exactly two years ago (it was an agreement, but considering the length fixed in 10 years it looks more a buy to me), the sorts of Yahoo have been uncertain on a daily basis.
And now, Microsoft’s plans are gradually getting shaped: initially, they shut down the API service (damn, my excel VBA routines are no longer working), now the Site Explorer. What else?
An exact date for shutdown hasn’t been released. Users who want to know when Site Explorer will actually be closed should pay attention to the YSearch Blog.
The only big news is that it seems like Microsoft is gradually increasing the number of features available in their Webmasters Tools, so hopefully by the time Site Explorer won’t be available anymore, we can simply login to Bing Webmaster Tools.
What alternatively we do have?
Well, considering users predominantly use Site Explorer as a link checker, the most immediate resource I can think of is Majestic Site Explorer, which not so far ago released some free tools to check site's backlinks performances.
However, there are some other paid tools that I could recommend. Some of them are cheap, some are very very expensive, but as I don't want this post to seem as a paid post, I won't give any personal recommendation with this regard.