It’s been announced by Duane Forrester, the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft Bing, that they are going to retire the Link Explorer tool, which is found within Bing Webmaster Tools, on October 1, 2015.
The purpose behind the Bing Link Explorer Tool was to let you discover links for competitive analysis. The tool was released back in 2012, and was praised as Bing revitalized the Yahoo Site Explorer feature that closed down in 2011.
The tool, according to Forrester, is being shut down due to the fact that The Webmaster Tools team at Bing won’t have access to run the queries they need to power the tool.
Duane Forrester said.
“However, as the size of the Bing index has grown many times over since 2012, and as the architecture of our index has evolved to improve speed and efficiency, we no longer will have access to this information at query time going forward.”
This isn’t a problem, as Forrester stated that “Link Explorer was often misunderstood in that people were looking for the inbound links pointing to their own site in Link Explorer.” You can still explore how webmasters link to your site with the Blog Inbound link tool. This feature has no intention of going away. The inbound link tool shows up to 20,000 inbound links per page and has more advanced reporting for webmasters, where as the Link explorer only showed a sample of links. I think we know which one I’d pick if I wanted a good amount of information to go off of.
You’ll have to use third party link tools in order to get competitive link data. You won’t be able to get this data from Bing or Google Webmaster Tools any more.