Bing has announced that, as of October 1st, the company is shutting down Link Explorer — a link analysis tool that has been around since June 2012.
That’s going to be bad news for many who relied on the tool to get not only a deeper look at their own inbound links, but the links pointing to competitors’ sites as well.
Bing explains its decision to shut down the tool was made out of necessity — the size and architecture of the search engine’s index has evolved to the point where Link Explorer was no longer able to keep up with it.
“We will no longer be able to power Link Explorer inside Webmaster Tools,” the company says — while suggesting its own Inbound Links tool as an alternative.
The Inbound Links tool within the Reports & Data Section of Webmaster Tools is a more efficient alternative for assessing your own links, explains Bing’s Duane Forrester.
Link Explorer was limited to analyzing only a sample of your backlinks. With Inbound Links you’re able the view and export up to a million inbound links at once — including the link source and anchor text of the inbound links.
Those who relied on the tool for assessing competitor links should look toward the various third party alternatives on the market. Forrester says the third party tools available today “provide even more comprehensive competitive link analysis” that what was offered by Link Explorer.