Matt Cutts: The “link:” operator is accurate. It only shows you a sub-sample of your links. My preferred way would be to log-in to Google Webmaster’s Tools and we will show you a very exhaustive list of all your backlinks, pretty much all the backlinks that we know of in Google’s Webmaster console.
The nice thing is other people can’t spy on that, so your competitor can’t look at your backlinks. You can start to see some backlinks for other sites, Yahoo! Site Explorer for example, if you type in a URL into Yahoo Site Explorer, just their search box, you can explore backlinks a little bit that way.
So those are a couple tools that you can use. But, again it’s not that “link:” shows wrong links, it’s just that we don’t show all of the links that we know of. So there are a lot of different options that you have to find out more about backlinks for different websites.
Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.