We discovered a newer version of a popular search operator this afternoon to help web owners view a much larger number of backlinks and on-page references (like SEOposition.com w/o the anchor) from Google. It used to be very easy to view your backlinks in Google using the link: operator but this old method only gives a partial list of total backlinks that link to your site and is by no means a comprehensive look at your total number of backlinks.
Since this new back links method will likely be a temporary loophole, here's how to view your total number of back links in Google using the new method.
The search operator to use -- "site:.com websitename.com -site:websitename.com." Let's look at a live example for SEOposition.com's backlinks using this new operator (note: this only shows ".com" URLs pointing to SEOposition.com). Now look at the old method for comparison for SEOposition using the link: operator. The difference is 2,450 .com's using the new method compared to 693 using the old method.
Here's a few more variations of the new backlinks operator for Google to get different types of links, like .net's, .org's, .edu's, etc.
- site:.com websitename.com -site:websitename.com
- site:.org websitename.com -site:websitename.com
- site:.edu websitename.com -site:websitename.com
This is pretty significant because Google closed down the ability to view all your backlinks some time ago because of abuse and the ability for site owners to take advantage of analyzing a competitor's backlinks to build their own.
This will likely be shut down soon, but should give webmasters a quick assessment of their (and competitors) backlinks beforehand.
Update 7-13-07: This new operator also shows some nofollow links as well as some HTML references (not links) to your website, i.e. "www.websitename.com" occurring on external web pages. This is interesting since the old link: operator and Google Webmaster Tools only have shown the <a href referenced backlinks since their inception, always excluding nofollowed links or HTML references.