I am a little late getting to this news, but Google finally opened up the door and now allows site owners to view there “Real” back links! Before to find your links within Google you needed to do a search for link:www.mysite.com. The results that were shown could be any number that Google filled like sharing that day. The numbers were never really relevant, as google kept these numbers close by.
Are you familiar with the Google Webmaster Center? With here you can verify to Google that you are the site owner, in doing so they open up a few things and show you how you site is really doing. Some of my favorite things to search for within my account include:
– Query Stats: allow me to view where I rank for keywords within Google, all in one location. This also shows me which of these keywords are driving me the most traffic.
– Sitemaps: allows you to easily upload a sitemap, for the spiders to crawl through and find every page within your site.
– Enhanced Image Search: Tells Google that you want your images to be ranked in the Google Image Search
– Preffered Domain: Allows me to tell Google that my website to rank with the www. or without. Often times you’ll have different page rank for the 2. This option ties the two together.
– Web Crawl: You can tell how fast you want the spiders to crawl through your site.
– Links: This is the new feature that was just added, and now my favorite feature. It gives you a realistic number of backlinks for your site. It will tell you both offsite and onsite links throughout. This information is only available to site owners.
For more information on this new backlink feature I recommend reading Danny Sullivan’s post at Search Engine Land.