The best thing you can do for your site is to have lots of links pointed at it. It’s great if they are links from old, trusted domains, but even links from so-so sites are helpful.
This weekend I was working on a project which would collect information on a daily basis for our 31 markets and dump it into a databse where we could see the history of SEO ranking metrics.
Oddly enough, I received an email Monday morning which used a very different method to estimate links. Using Google and putting “link:www.newsobserver.com” in the search box. That query replies that there ar 651 links. So why the descripency?
Google has said in the past that using “link:domain” on the web will only give you a “sample” of the links, althought they do say using their webmaster tools “to view a much larger sample of links to pages on your site that we found on the web“. Keep in mind that the data is not “real-time” it is updated about once a month. Using the webmaster tools, the newsobserver.com domain is showing 489,359 links, which is better, but still only about 1/3 of the more realistic Yahoo figure.
So, for the best source of your inbound links, trust OSE’s number.