One of the basics of SEO is checking links. It enables you to see how you stand with the competition, to keep tabs on the competition, and to gauge which keywords to go after. Everyone knows that Google won’t show you their true count of links w/o verifying ownership of the site, so this will focus on Yahoo commands.
link:www.mysite.com/page – this will give you the # of links to the specific page you run the search for.
linkdomain:mysite.com – this gives you the # of links to the domain in its entirety.
External Links Only
When you run the simple commands above, it’s a good “quick & dirty” but won’t give you the most accurate info. The most accurate info is “how many external links does this site have.” In order to find this info, use:
Exclude Specific Sites
Let’s say that you’re really active on a forum…you’re a moderator or something like that, and you have thousands of links from this one source. You’re getting some juice from these links, but not as much juice as you would if they were spread out elsewhere. So…to see how many links you have, excluding this one source (or two, or three) use the following command:
linkdomain:mysite.com – site:myforum.com -site:myfriendsblogroll.com
So…these are the basics. There are some more advanced features out there, but this will get you going!