Thanks Sharron - there are some excellent tools collected here.
Re JWJ's point, I got a crazy MSN result when I first tried this - but doing a link: search directly on MSN generated the same wrong number. So, in this case at least, the error was with MSN rather than this tool. And it's now corrected itself.
Very interesting link. I'm including a page from that site that gives their take on back links. The interesting part of this is when google was dropping sites, it was due to unrelated links to that "dropped site".
Now that actually makes sense as what silktide was telling me. At the same time google dropped my pages, silktide lost the 48 links to my site. Per silktide I had 48 links and only 1 or 2 quality links. Keep in mind, this happened to my site at the same time, in that: google dropped site and silktide lost the links into my site.
And as a side note to this, silktide didn't show all of those links until I finally put my url into this SC forum. Within a day or so of adding my url to this forum, silktide's count of links jumped dramatically. Therefore, it is possible that google didn't like that link from SC. "note" This is googles doing, no blame on SC should be inferred.
There is much discussion in these last few months about reciprocal linking. In the last Google update, reciprocal links were one of the targets of the search engine's latest filter. Many webmasters had agreed upon reciprocal link exchanges, in order to boost their site's rankings with the sheer number of inbound links. In a link exchange, one webmaster places a link on his website that points to another webmasters website, and vice versa. Many of these links were simply not relevant, and were just discounted. So while the irrelevant inbound link was ignored, the outbound links still got counted, diluting the relevancy score of many websites. This caused a great many websites to drop off the Google map.
I think the site,http://www.webconfs.com/ itself should get all the kudos for these tools and articles. I can't remember the convoluted path that lead me to their pages. But I know it was not a direct result of googling for tools. I sort of fell on to it.
I'm glad my stumbling proved helpful to so many. I'm no expert so I can't comment of accuracy or correctness. But a tool is a tool.........what is the definition of tool?
Tool: A device, such as a saw, used to perform or facilitate manual or mechanical work.
Used that tool to test some sites, it was reported on one site that arlen's statue site was not listed in the google index. So I went and googled it, it comes in at #1. So I don't know what the deal is.