Google has announced the release of a tool that many thought would never come but always dreamt of - a tool that shows us our links for our sites. It has been sought over since Google changed the link command. In any event, Google has given us access to see the links of our sites - if we want. How it all works and more of the history can be found at Danny's Google Releases New Link Reporting Tools (read it).
To access it, you need to login to Google Webmaster Console and verify your sites.
Now, I want to point you to Matt Cutts blog where he explains that even though the links are displayed in the link count, it does not mean Google counts all of them for link popularity components. So if you see links that are nofollowed or from penalized sites or low quality sites - it doesn't mean Google is using those links in ranking your site.
Do not assume just because you see a backlink that it’s carrying weight.
Also, Google isn't currently showing 100% of your links, but Matt says it will get more and more accurate with time.
In fact, I found several examples why reviewing it myself, of links that were removed from external sites.
I wanted to share with you the pages that have the most amount of links to this site. You can easily get this data by clicking on the "external links" report and selecting "Download this table" option. It can download up to a million data points - so if you have more, than you may not get all that data. Then open it with Excel and sort by the External Links column. Here are my most link to pages at the Search Engine Roundtable, excluding my home page.
- A Conversation With Google CEO Eric Schmidt with 844.
- Screen Shot Of Quality Score Metric in AdWords Console with 736.
- Microsoft Banning Sites from Live.com For Link Exchanges with 516.
- Vanessa & Adam Working on Christmas Day with 514.
- Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter Not Working? with 503.
- Making Bidding Mistakes at Google AdWords ($0.10 Vs. $10.00) with 479.
- Dynamic Keyword Insertion in Your URLs With Google AdWords with 472.
- Programming Note: Vacation Until 1/17 with 433.
- Google Toolbar PageRank Update Being Reported with 426.
Those are my top ten linked to articles - some surprised me.
When I compare Yahoo! Site Explorer to Google's new tool. I see that Site Explorer reports 197,153 external links (except from my domain to entire site) whereas Google reports 131,280 external links. So there is a discrepancy. I also tested some other sites, and Yahoo! tends to report more back links overall.
Thank you Google for providing this. Over the next couple days, I will gather suggestions and improvements from the forums and write about them.