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That's the 'official' definition found on Search Engine World. Now the question, and forgive my ignorance, I'm still learning...:
Suppose I did "link:website.com" in Google and G returns a list of 15 results.
Now the same command in AlltheWeb returns a list of 390 results.
Could anyone here enlighten me? Why does Google only find a measerly 15 results and AlltheWeb 390? Is one of them wrong, or exaggerating?
I don't think AlltheWeb exaggerates, and the reason is that if I search Google just for website.com and then click on the option "Find web pages that contain the term "website.com"" G returns about 400 sites. Examining these sites carefully teaches me that about 80% of these contain not only the term "website.com" but a link as well. Almost all of these pages are relevant to website.com with a few exceptions...
It sort of undermines my belief that Google is the most accurate SE out there...
These days, using "link:website.com" (or "link:www.website.com") in google does not produce very reliable results. Or maybe I should say that google may know about more links than are shown by this command.
Folks are pretty sure that google does not show backlinks that are below a certain PR. But, in addition, there have been some strange changes with the backlinks over the past few months - resulting in a lot of fluctuation in the number of backlinks shown for a site.
This has been discussed a lot recently in this forum. Try searching this forum for something like "link:www.website.com". You might find a better explanation than I've given here. :)