I'm trying to figure out if there's a free way to get information on back links to my site.
I've had webmaster tools and Google Analytics set up for years. But I can't find access to data about site back links in either tool set. Webmaster tools, under 'traffic'->'links to your site' gives me the same message for all of my sites: "No data available".
I haven't been able to find anything in GA that gives any information on back links.
I've heard of using "links:" as an operator in Google search, but for each of my sites, this returns either zero or very few results in cases when I know I have many back links. Most of the links simple aren't shown.
My thinking is that Google maintains a graph of who links to my site, so I figured that they might let me see it. But I can't figure out how.
I've found this tool on a spammy website: http://www.backlinkwatch.com. It offers more data than Google on my back links, and offers more results in exchange for a paid subscription. The data it offers for free looks good, but the results are limited and the site has popups and obnoxious ads.
So, in short: how do I get data on who links to me? Is there a free way?