Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently noticed that if I search google for:

link:mysite.com

There are zero results. This is false, because in Google Webmaster Tools, I have plenty of incoming links.

If I change the query to:

link:mysite.dev (my alias set up in /etc/hosts for local development)

I get results for incoming links to mysite.com! How can this be happening?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The link: search in Google is only intended to return a very small subset of backlinks. Google Webmaster Tools is the place to find them all. This does avoid your competitor from seeing your backlinks. According to Matt Cutts this is by design.

I think that when you search for link:mysite.dev it does not recognise the domain (.dev is not a valid TLD so it can't possibly be a 'real' domain anyway) and it is doing a literal search. Try removing the : (colon)... do you get similar results?

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you, this was definitely the case. If i take off the TLD, it shows the expected results. Webmaster tools worked correctly, and now I understand why. Now I can just delete the incoming links widget on my WordPress dashboard. –  jjeaton Apr 5 '12 at 4:00
add comment

You need to search for site:yourdomain.com (see example) this should return most if not all of the pages google has in it's index for your site.

You may be better of using a site like backlinkwatch.com or doing both and comparing the results.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.