When it comes to building your brand, there are many ways to go about it. You can write articles and blog posts, create videos, or even do some influencer marketing. But one thing that has been proven to be effective time and time again is creating backlinks.
These are links that point back to your website from other websites. If you have a lot of them pointing back at your site, then Google will see that as a sign that people like what you’re doing and want more information about what you offer—so they’ll rank your site higher on search results pages.
Backlinks are also important because they help make your site look more legitimate in the eyes of search engines like Google or Bing. If someone searches for something related to what you do, then those backlinks will help them find yours instead of some other site that just happens to have similar content but isn’t as well-known or established yet.
The best way to get backlinks is through quality content creation. When people read something interesting on one website and want more information so they can learn more about it later on down the road (such as when they’re researching something specific), then having
Free Backlink Checker Tools
Website and page authority, as defined by the number and quality of backlinks, is one of the most important search ranking factors. It is also one of the search engine optimization areas where you can gain the most advantage over your competitors. Sure, there are also technical and on-page SEO, keyword research, and content optimization, but there is only so much you can improve in these areas. With link building — the sky’s the limit.
This is why it is crucial that you are equipped with the best backlink tools. The best backlink checker will enable you to spot new link-building opportunities, discover the strategies of your competitors, and monitor the health of your backlink profile. In this post, we will focus on some of the best backlink checkers on the market, with one added condition — they have to be available for free, either completely or at least partially.
- SEO SpyGlass
One of those backlink analysis tools that can truly do it all.
SEO SpyGlass provides you with a fully specced-out dashboard for backlink analysis and management. Unlike other free checkers, SpyGlass allows you to sort and filter the discovered backlink data using any of the several dozen backlink parameters:
Linking and linked pages;
Anchor text and anchor URL;
Dofollow and nofollow attributes;
Domain and page authority of the link source;
Penalty risk, i.e. how spammy the link source is;
The number of backlinks you can view for free is limited to 1,100 per domain, but the number of domains you can check is unlimited, so you can research your own websites as well as your competitor websites. And if you want some additional data, there is an option to connect SEO SpyGlass to Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Once connected, you will be able to pull your backlink information from Google tools, pour it into SEO SpyGlass, and process the data using the SEO SpyGlass dashboard — free of charge.
And when it comes to discovering new backlink opportunities, SEO SpyGlass is equipped with a feature called Domain Comparison. Add a few of your competitors and find the websites where their backlinks intersect. These websites are your immediate leads. Since these websites are linking to two or more of your competitors, it means that they do not have a particularly exclusive partnership and will probably agree to link to you website as well.
Best for: with advanced analytics and the largest data allowance on this list, SEO SpyGlass is best used as your home base for backlink research and management.
Free data allowance: up to 1,100 backlinks per domain, unlimited domain checks, unlimited backlink analytics.
- Google Search Console
A completely free backlink tool with a large data allowance, but limited opportunities for backlink analysis.
Search Console is a Google tool meant to help webmasters improve their websites. It is completely free, but can only be used to analyze the websites that you own. Once you get your ownership verified, you will be granted access to a variety of site quality dashboards, one of which is the list of backlinks drawn directly from Google’s index. However long the list, you can only view the top 1,000 results. No additional metrics and no analytics features are provided on-site, but you are free to export the data and analyze it using other tools.
A peculiar thing about Search Console is that its backlink lists are usually much shorter than the ones from other backlink checkers. It’s because Search Console removes low-quality backlinks from the list and only counts the ones that matter. This type of vetting means you can’t use the tool to catch spammy backlinks and remove them from your profile. But, on the bright side, it also means you receive a set of backlinks very different from other tools.
Best for: Google Search Console is best used as a source of raw backlink data, which can then be exported to SEO SpyGlass for analysis and additional insights.
Free data allowance: up to 1,000 backlinks, but you can only check the sites that you own.
A perfect tool for a quick review of your or your competitors’ backlink profiles.
Seobility allows up to three backlink checks per day and limits the number of backlinks you can view to 400 per check. The list of backlinks is sorted from the highest link rating to the lowest, so, even though the number of links you can view is limited, you do get to see the best ones.
The links are accompanied by a few additional parameters, like anchor texts, dofollow/nofollow attributes, link types, and linked pages. At the top of the page, you also get a quick summary of the overall backlink profile: total backlink count, domain rating, and the number of referring domains.
Best for: Seobility can be used in two ways. One is to check your own website and perhaps find some of the links missed by Search Console and SEO SpyGlass. Two is to run a quick check of your competitor’s backlinks and gain an insight into their strategy.
Free data allowance: 400 backlinks per check, three checks per day.
A popular link checker tool that draws data from one of the largest backlink indexes.
Ahrefs backlink checker allows an unlimited number of checks per day, but the number of backlinks you can view is limited to the top 100. Backlinks come with some additional metrics, like domain and page authority, traffic, and anchor text and type. There is also a quick review of the overall backlink profile: domain rating, the total number of backlinks, and the total number of referring domains.
Best for: use this checker interchangeably with Seobility for a quick exploration of your own or your competitor’s websites. Use Ahrefs first because it doesn’t have a daily limit. If it looks like there might be something interesting beyond the first 100 backlinks, switch over to Seobility to retrieve another couple hundred backlinks available over there.
Free data allowance: 100 backlinks per check, unlimited checks per day.
The best tool for generating high-level backlink reports and domain summaries.
Most of the tools on this list try to attract users by allowing them to see partial backlink tables and then asking for a payment to check out the rest. SEMrush has gone in a completely different direction. It shares a ton of backlink analytics, but no backlink lists. So you are free to explore the high-level stuff, but, if you want to drill down, you’d have to buy a subscription.
This is perfectly fine because high-level analytics is about the only thing missing from most of the other free backlink checkers. And SEMrush has got plenty to go around. They offer over a dozen of tables and graphs summarizing your backlink profile: backlinks by industry, by country, by top-level domain, attribute, type, anchor, and authority score, as well as backlink history going back over five years.
Best for: SEMrush is a great tool for generating quick, attractive-looking reports and taking the bird’s-eye view of your or your competitors’ link-building effort.
Free data allowance: unlimited reports, but only 5-10 actual backlinks per domain.
One of the trade-offs of using free SEO tools is that you might have to sacrifice some of the convenience. In the case of backlink checkers, it could mean using a combination of different tools in order to satisfy all of your backlink research needs.
Of the link checker tools discussed in this article, the majority of your needs will be satisfied with a combination of SEO SpyGlass and Google Search Console. The analytics in SEO SpyGlass can be used to compensate for the lack of metrics in Search Console, while Search Console data can be used to combat the backlink limit in SEO SpyGlass. Together, these two make a solid home base for monitoring and managing your own backlink profile and some spying on your competitors.
Other than that, the free versions of Seobility and Ahrefs can be used for quick but limited backlink extraction, while the free version of SEMrush can supply much-needed analytics and reporting. Together, these three make a perfect combo for spying on your competitors and uncovering their backlink strategies.
Best seo tools for backlinks
Over the past few years, so much of SEO has changed. But one thing left untouched is the power of quality and natural backlinks.
Old school SEO was about backlink quantity, but now we’re in a place where it’s more about the quality and relevance.
One key to successful online business is to always monitor backlinks of your website – and competitors’ sites too. You need to know your competitor’s SEO strategy – traffic resources, keywords, and referring domains.
I can say that there are lots of premium tools for long-time pros, like SEMrush and Majestic. But for beginners, these link analysis tools have what you need and come at a cheaper price. If you’re an SEO newbie with a limited budget, try these tools to monitor backlinks.
- SE Ranking
- Monitor Backlinks
- SE Ranking
SE Ranking is one of my favorite backlink checkers that allows you to check incoming links to your website based on Google Webmaster Tools data. It’s a paid tool (starting at $9 / month) and also includes website audit, rank tracking, keyword research, and competitor rank tracking.
You can generate a detailed link analysis for the following parameters: index / noindex, follow / nofollow, cached / not cached, date discovered, Moz Domain Authority, anchor text, anchor text, Alexa rank, Ahrefs rank, social popularity and more.
From there, you can disavow links and generate a file to submit to Google Webmaster Tools.
Sitechecker is a great backlink tracker for SEO and marketing managers to track and analyze your backlink profile for your website. The tool enables you to keep track of all your backlinks, get notified once any of them will be lost, and will bring them back to life.
With its easy reports, you can evaluate your link-building strategy and do the best to increase its efficiency. You can reveal the most used anchors by other websites that lead to your website. Moreover, you can check out which landing pages have the most links and figure out how these links affect your website traffic.
RankActive is a pretty new tool available on the market that helps you discover backlinks in live mode. The tool has a huge in-house backlinks database, and graphs and tables will show which links are good for your SEO and which ones don’t work. The tool provides not only the full list of backlinks with detailed metrics for each one but also shows all lost and gained links.
RankActive enables you to track your competitors’ backlinks to learn more from your competitor’s strategy and improve your SEO campaign. All the data provided by RankActive is available in Excel format. Moreover, you can get your backlink report on your email scheduled and monitor your progress on time.
Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools to monitor website backlinks. It has a free version where you can monitor 10 backlinks and 2 domains per request. The paid versions start at $99 per month for a complete analysis of the backlink profile: dofollow/nofollow, anchor text, image backlinks, etc.
“Ahrefs is the second most active web crawler after Google and they have the best backlink database in the industry,” said David Munoz from Mission Legal Center. “And this is the only tool that does such an awesome job at everything the tools have to offer like keyword research, site explorer, website audit, and many more.”
Thanks to the addition of “link loss” reasons (e.g., 404, noindex, 301, etc.), there’s no need to guess why some backlinks dropped out of your site. Besides analyzing anchor texts, you can also avoid penalties by disavowing suspicious links from the Ahrefs’ dashboard.
Coupler.io is an unusual tool that helps you monitor your backlinks. It doesn’t work as a standard backlink monitoring tool but it allows you to consolidate all your links from all your business units. This tool is perfect for small businesses and freelancers.The best thing about it is the ability to store and organize all your data in one place that you can review later on. You can directly import links to Google Sheets using Coupler.io or automate the data transfer by setting up a schedule. To visualize your data, you can even create bar graphs, pie charts, and Venn diagrams.
OpenLinkProfiler is a great tool that provides up to 200,000 links per report. It has a large and fresh database of links and shows which links are active in the last 90 days.
The free version allows exporting up to 100 backlinks in .csv format. If you want to export more, you can use the paid version. The tool also provides the nature of the linking website and the category of each link. You’ll get the overall idea of backlink influence, anchor page, link date, and more. This information will help you get an overview of the links that lead to your website.
RankSignals is another free tool that helps you find competitor’s backlinks and traffic sources to build up your link-building strategy. Using this tool, you can get a number of dofollow and nofollow links and a number of unique domains leading to your site.
It shows not only the PR of the site and the link anchor text but other parameters like PageRank, Alexa Rank, social signals, and unique backlinks. Find out all bad, spammy links and have the option to disavow them.
BuzzSumo is one of the most popular backlink checkers that helps you track the backlinks of your website and your competitors. The tool allows you to monitor not only keywords and domain names, but also see the highest-ranking pages and see who is pointing to these pages.Using this tool, you will get notifications about new links and build good relationships with those new sites. “The tool is perfect for getting organic growth with quality backlinks,” says Saitej Makhijani from SendX.io. “This insight allows you to optimize your marketing strategy to generate more links for pages that don’t perform well.
- Monitor Backlinks
Monitor Backlinks is one of the most popular and recent SEO tools to track link profiles. You can check out up to 10 results without registering. If you want to get more results, the paid tool starts at $25. The tool provides the overview of a domain, SEO metrics, keyword rankings, anchor text reports, and lets you disavow low-quality links.
Monitor Backlinks provides a detailed analysis of each link and domain and quickly reports it to Google Webmaster Tools to disavow links if required. You can also monitor all mentions about your brand that you meet across the web.
“Monitor Backlinks is a great tool for small businesses to detect spammy backlinks and prevent from the Google penalty,” says Gregg Hollander from Hollander Law Firm. “It allows SEO specialists to locate good backlinks that they don’t know about which can generate a lot of traffic.”
Link reclamation is about finding people who have mentioned you without linking to you. Once you’ve found them, you can reach out and ask them to include a link back to your site.
SEO expert Matthew Barby shares his link reclamation process using Mention that complements your backlink strategy:
Step 1: monitor brand mentions. Set up alerts by adding keywords related to your brand or products.
Step 2: set up notifications or daily email alerts. Check your mentions daily or as they happen.
Step 3: checking for links. Out of all your mentions, find articles that mentioned but didn’t link to you. These are the opportunities you want.
Step 4: reach out. Contact the author to request a link for the mention. In Matthew’s experience, the success rate is higher if the post is recent. This is why real-time monitoring helps heaps.
Want more ways to monitor backlinks? Download our free cheat sheet for 5 ways to spice up your SEO strategy with media monitoring.
Over to you
Performing SEO tasks, you should always keep your eye on links, keywords, audit info, positions, and more for your own company and competitors. Experiment with adding some of the tools above to your SEO stack to get an overall picture of important backlink profiles.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.