On October 1st, Bing is shutting down Link Explorer, a link analysis tool that has been available from the company since June 2012, according to a new announcement. This is likely bad news for the many webmasters who used the tool to gain a deeper understanding of their own inbound links or to get a look at the links pointing to competitors’ sites.
According to the announcement, Bing isn’t shutting down the tool due to lack of popularity or demand, but because they had simply outgrown it. The size and architecture of Bing’s index have reached the point where there is just no way for Link Explorer to prove effective.
“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. Bing’s Duane Forrester explains the Inbound Links tool is more efficient for assessing your own links.
Link Explorer’s powers were limited since its inception as it only gave a view of a limited sample of your backlinks, meanwhile the Inbound Links tool you can view and export up to a million inbound links in just a few clicks.
Forrester also encourages those who used the tool to evaluate their competition to look for one of the many third-party alternatives available, saying the third party tools “provide even more comprehensive link analysis” than provided by Link Explorer.