Website owners are often looking for new ways to see how search engines crawl and index their site. Just last week Live Search announced the launch of Live Search Webmaster Center, bringing it out of beta.
This recent update, which many were delighted to hear, enables webmasters to see even more about how Live Search is viewing their site and probably the most notable feature is the availability of backlink data. Advanced queries such as link:, linkdomain: and inurl: were available for a limited period of time by Live Search, but were blocked in early 2007 (only a few months later) due to “mass automated usage for data mining”. This caused disappointment among many webmasters and site owners, as they were no longer able to see their link data in Live Search.
Knowing who is linking to your site can be important for numerous reasons. Each page that links to a page on your site is suggesting to the search engines that your page is popular or important enough to reference. The popularity or importance of a web page is a factor in determining its placement in the search results. It is essential to remember that while having many links is important, the value or quality of those links is just as important. The value of a backlink is determined by the value of the page offering the link. Therefore, if a page that is considered authoritative or important links to a page on your site, some of that weight or value is then passed along to your page. Having backlink data also helps to identify your audience and who may be talking about your products or services. Of course the more links directed to your site, the more traffic you will likely see as well, making and managing your inbound links important for your bottom line.
Google and Yahoo! both provide data about a site’s backlinks as well as the ability to download this information, but a unique feature to Webmaster Center is a tool enabling you to filter this data. This filtering makes it easier to view specific results on certain areas of the site. The Page Score column, unique to Webmaster Center will also definitely be recognized. This Page Score is basically an indication of how Live Search perceives the URL offering the link to your site.
With announcements such as these, we are able to see that Live Search recognizes the importance of upholding a good relationship with site owners and is making obvious efforts to improve the information that they provide. I look forward to seeing new updates and announcements in the future. Also–take a look at the new look of Live Search.