I just updated a website, changing all the URLs. There is another website that has (maybe) some links to my old website. I want to generate a list of all the pages in this other website that point to my website.

This use to be easy to do with google:

site:othersite.com link:mysite.com

but the Google/Bing/Yahoo all seem to have gotten rid of the 'link' advanced search option.

More specifically, while 'site:othersite.com' works as expected, 'link:mysite.com' is simply turned into a set of keywords 'link mysite com'. So the previous query will return all the pages within othersite.com that have the words 'link' or 'mysite' on them.

What I want is all the pages within othersite.com that have a hyperlink of the form href="http://*.mysite.com".

As proof that the advanced search option 'link:' does not work at Google (even if their 'advanced search' text says it does) do this search and you will find the result is one page which has the keyword 'javasucks' in it but has no links to javasucks.com.

So, how do I do this?

  • 1
    Sorry, but that just isn't true. Maybe you're not being specific enough about the problem you're seeing? You can even go to the Google advanced form, open the date etc. options at bottom and find a field for "link to x" resulting in a link:example.com search.
    – Su'
    Jun 6, 2011 at 23:22
  • Yes, it is true. If you look at the results from your search, you will notice that while all the results are from codinghorror.com, they are pages that contain the work 'link' or 'stackoverflow' on them. I am looking for pages with links to stackoverflow.com (in your example). Jun 7, 2011 at 0:32
  • Another example: this search returns nothing, but this page has a link to retroverting.com (look for "Citadel"). The page is indexed by google, as evidenced by this search. Jun 7, 2011 at 0:45
  • err, retrovertigo.com. Hopefully, I got all those URLs right. Jun 7, 2011 at 1:15
  • 1
    Still not true. Again: the operator is there. It's not even you typing it in. Their own UI will add it for you. Here's a video in which Matt Cutts provided several reasons you'd only potentially see even "a relatively small percentage" of back links in a straight search. Not seeing something you expect there doesn't really tell you anything. And while the Coding Horror pages do include those words, you seem to not have actually checked your claim. Most of those pages do also have a link. See below for what you should actually be doing.
    – Su'
    Jun 7, 2011 at 2:14

2 Answers 2


Google Webmaster Tools' "links to your site" report will give you "a much larger sampling" of inbound links. I would still not expect it to be everything; they don't make anything that easy(to reverse engineer).


Google can't be counted on to return a full list of backlinks. If you want a reliable report you'll have to use a tool, or write a script, to crawl "othersite.com" yourself. Xenu's Link Sleuth is useful for this: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html

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