Search Engine Queries for Webometrics

This page summarises the main queries useful for webometric purposes in the major commercial search engines. Thanks Kim Holmberg, David Stuart and Liwen Vaughan and Isdro Aguillo for suggestions on earlier versions of this page.

February 2012: Hyperlink searches no longer work in any of the major search engines except for linkfromdomain: in Bing (see below), and link: in Google (see below). Bing now has link search facilities similar to Yahoo!'s former Site Explorer (thanks to Han Woo Park for pointing this out). No APIs seem to give automatic access to link searches, with the exception of Bing's linkfromdomain: The best current (non-API) source of link data seems to be blekko.com (thanks to Rasmus Hagen for pointing this out). You have to register and log in to access the SEO tools link and access lists of links.

History: Yahoo! Site Explorer has shut down. Yahoo! is now owned by Bing and seems to be fully integrated into Bing now. Bing has stopped most of its link searches and Google has shut down its university API. The information below only relates to Google and Bing since Yahoo! and AltaVista are now owned by Bing and give its results.

The queries below give "URL Citation" alternatives when link searches are not available. These are described in the papers below, amongst others. "Title mention" queries are also possible but not described here (see the first paper below). See also the discussion of link analysis with webometric analyst.

Webometric Search Engine Queries

Number of pages in a Web site that has its own domain name D, or directory/path d

Number of pages containing a link to a web site with domain name D excluding all pages in the site D

Number of pages containing a link to a web site with domain name D (including all pages in the site D)

Number of pages containing a link to a page http://P

Number of pages containing a link to a page http://P excluding all pages in the site D containing P (i.e., site inlinks)

Number of pages containing a link from a web site with domain name D excluding all pages in the site D containing P (i.e., site outlinks)

Number of pages containing a link to any pages in both of two specified web sites with domain names D1 and D2, and excluding all pages in the sites D1 and D2 (i.e., co-inlinks)

Number of pages linked to by both of two specified web sites with domain names D1 and D2, and excluding all pages in the sites D1 and D2 (i.e., co-outlinks)

Tips

For a web site with domain name starting with www. remove the initial www. from D before running any of the searches above. This is important for big web sites with many domain names.

In all the above cases, where URL citation queries are described, it may be possible to substitute them with title mention queries, which may work better for organisations with distinctive names.