Hack #78. Find Links to Any Web Site

Yahoo! can tell you which sites link to any other site, and yLinkbacks uses Yahoo! Search Web Services to find links to the current page you're browsing.

When you browse to a web site you've never seen before, you don't have very much advance knowledge about the site. You might know that you've followed a link from a particular site that you read frequently, or you might have found the site in some search results for a certain search term. Of course, the site itself can tell you quite a bit, but that still doesn't give you any clues about where the site fits into the larger Web. With some searching at Yahoo!, you can get extra info about a site by using the special link: syntax.

If you want to find what sites are linking to any other particular site, you can browse to http://search.yahoo.com and enter this query: link:insert URL. Instead of standard search results, Yahoo! will display a list of the sites that link to the URL you've specified in the query. For example, if you'd like to find out where the O'Reilly Hacks site fits into the Web, you could search for link:http://hacks.oreilly.com.

In the results, you immediately get a sense of how many pages link to the site and what kinds of sites are linking there. If you're browsing the Web, leaving a site to do a quick Yahoo! link: search can be annoying if you'd just like to get this sense about the current site you're visiting. To find the sites, you need to copy the current URL from your browser ...

Get Yahoo! Hacks now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.