google-thumbOne of the important aspects of any SEO service is link discovery and management, and typically, SEOs have used a special search operator from Google to find these links.  This operator used the format of

[link:www.domain.com].

Although this operator was historically useful, it has become less and less useful for SEOs and webmasters over time.  On top of that, Google has said to webmasters on a number of occasions that they should be using the Google Search Console link report for better link discovery because the link operator only shows a “sample” of a site’s links.

It was noticed last week by Bill Hartzer that the link operator stopped functioning for a number of large sites, including [link:www.google.com]. But, it did/does work for other large sites, like [link:www.yahoo.com].

Gary Illyes, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, told everybody on Twitter that the link operator wasn’t removed:

Check out the following screen shot that shows it not working for a link command on google.com:

Google Link Command

Here is what it looks like when a link command works (in this case, for yahoo.com):

Yahoo Link Command

At this point, it seems that Google has no more to say on the matter, above what Gary Illyes already said on Twitter.

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