Today was a big day!  Well for me anyhow.  Just to give you a little background a big part of my job is to not only to strategize off page SEO campaigns that support all of the onpage SEO efforts for SEP's clients, but to report on all of these efforts. 
Traffic, engagement, conversion, authority all easy…links oh those blessed one way natural links this is what we are all really after, this is hard! 
In the past the only way I knew to track the inbound links that were created by an off page campaign was using some special syntax in queries that our SEP Wis walks me through every time (I do not pretend to fully understand). 
Along with this I would also try and use AltaVista.  But AltaVista seems to report the highest number of inbound links but as I have found out not all links are visible. (go figure).   Another tool was Technorati; Technorati is good for finding fresh links to a given site very quickly.
But in general, the overall numbers of results are estimated at the very start, and this can become misleading. Not all results are reachable from the search engines, so a false illusion can be given.  Until today!!
SEP's Wis has found out a simple traceable and free method that will stream line all of this.  Google Alerts.  Yes Google Alerts are not new but here is what is new setup your alert to report on “link:” this will let you know what new one way links are being created! It also works for the crawlers with using “site:”.