15 Dec, 2010 | Adam Henige in SEO

SEO On a Nickel: Search operators you don't know but should

Aside from SEO circles and some serious techy blogs there hasn't been an enormous tidal wave of anticipation for the new search engine Blekko (at least as far as I can tell).  Given the veritable graveyard of failed attempts to dethrone Google, it's safe to say that the public has grown skeptical of any attempt to unseat the industry kingpin.  That said, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Blekko is going to set the search world on its head, hell, I won't even tell you that it will exist in two years.  What I will tell you is that it offers some useful functionality for the general search user and also offers some useful SEO benefits.  So I won't waste any more of your time with an introduction, but here's two highly useful non-Google queries that can be valuable in your link building efforts:

Blekko's /link operator

If you head to blekko.com and add a domain like netvantagemarketing.com and follow it with the /link operator Blekko will offer up all of the backlinks in its ever growing index.  No limit of 1,000 like Yahoo, so this is a nice find as far as another method for looking into competitor links.  As you can see from our results, the Blekko index isn't that substantial yet, but I'm sure this will grow in the future.

Have a look at who's linking to us if you wish...

Have a look at who's linking to us if you wish...

Learn more about Blekko

Bing's linkfromdomain operator

Sometimes you'd just like a quick way of figuring out how you could possibly get a link from an authoritative site in your industry.  This can be a bit of a chore sometimes, but Bing's linkfromdomain can possibly give you a hand with this with it's linkfromdomain search operator.  Running this operator will allow you to utilize Bing's index to identify sites that a domain links out to.  So, if I you ran a blog on fly fishing you might identify the site activeangler.com as a target site you'd like to gain a link from.  Using a search of linkdomain:activeangler.com fly fishing will run a query on sites linked out to by activeangler.com that pertain to fly fishing.  As you can see, there are quite a few sites who have done this, so you might just be in luck!

We may have struck fly fishing gold!

We may have struck fly fishing gold!

Now, the only problem is this search won't tell you what page on the site is linking out to these pages, so you'll need to do a bit more research.  I'd suggest one of three ways:

  1. Use one of the remaining Yahoo indexes that isn't using Bing's algorithms, like Yahoo India where you can use the linkdomain search operator.  Here you could run a search for our first Bing result - linkdomain:fedflyfishers.org site:activeangler.com to search that index for pages on the activeangler.com domain that link to fedflyfishers.org
  2. Utilize a non-search engine backlink checking tool (Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer come to mind) and export the backlinks for your Bing results, export and do a quick Excel search for activeangler.com
  3. If the target site has its own search feature, you can always try to use that to seek out your Bing resulting domains (or even just your keywords)

It's quite likely one of these methods should dig you up the result you're looking for.  That's all for this morning (yep, it's 1:54am...I'm still earning the blog title here!), good luck trying these operators.  Any other suggestions?  There's a dofollow comment link if you care to share.  That's incentive folks!

About Adam Henige

Adam Henige is Managing Partner of Netvantage Marketing, an online marketing company specializing in SEO, PPC and social media. Adam heads the SEO and link building efforts for Netvantage and has been a contributing blogger for industry publications like Search Engine Journal and SEOmoz.

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