Webmaster tools are used by site owners and developers to determine how search engines see their sites in terms of inbound and outbound links and search query used that lands users to their sites. With the recent launch of MSN Live Search Webmaster Center, the 3 major search engines are now in equal footing in terms of providing this nifty tool for webmasters and site owners.
But unfortunately, the webmaster tools of these 3 major search engines are not the same in terms of providing useful site information. In terms of giving inbound and outbound links analysis and search query/keywords analysis, the 3 search engines differ in so many ways.
Here’s a head-to-head comparison of how the webmaster tools of these 3 major search engines present relevant site data and how useful this presentation in answering webmaster and site owners’ needs.
Yahoo Site Explorer
Yahoo’s Site Explorer presents inlinks by listing the different sites that links to a user’s site through deep inlinks within the different parts of the referring site. The site explorer does not give data on which keywords are performing well for the site. That is which keywords brought more traffice.
MSN Live Search Webmaster Center
MSN Live Search present this data in terms of outbound links (Top links from) and inbound links (Top links to). However it does not give the number of inbound links but just rank these based on its popularity and perhaps the number of times the inbound links from other sites were clicked. The same is true for the outbound links. In addition to the ranking, Live Search Webmaster Center also gives the geographic location of the domain which provided the inbound or outbound links and the language used by the site.
For the keyword analysis part, to view which keywords in the different site pages are performing well for a particular site, users must enter the keywords before MSN gives a listing of of the pages and a ranking of how well this keyowrds performed for the site.
Google’s webmaster tools beat the other two search engines’ tools in terms site link and keyword analysis. Inbound links are presented in tabular list and gives the number of inbound links from external sites. Clicking on the number of external links will direct the user to the list of sites with links that points to a user’s site. In addition, Google Webmaster Tools also gives the number of links from the site to another pages in the same site.
For keyword analysis, Google Webmaster Tools have the Top Search Queries that presents which keywords perform well in terms of returning pages from a user’s site. Top Search Queries data spans up to six months coverage. This is very useful for search engine optimizers in better optimizing their site for a specific keyword.
Clearly, Google Webmaster Tools beat the tools of the other two search engines big time. Since MSN Live Search is still in its infancy stage, it definitely pales in comparison with Google’s Webmaster Tools. If Yahoo’s Site Explorer does not make a revamp/restructure/redesigned immediately, it may find itself at the back of MSN in this search engines’ race. But yes, Google’s webmaster tools provide the best data and is the most useful for webmasters and site owners.