Creating back links is only part of the story which is incomplete without monitoring them.
Every webmaster should understand the value of having inbound links to their website(s) which might help in getting their pages/content ranked higher in Google.
One can easily identify the strategies implemented by the competitors after backlink analysis and either follow the same or create a new one (read better one) from scratch to rank higher.
In this guide, I will be discussing about Freemium online as well as desktop based backlink checker tools which can be utilized in quantifying your own efforts and of your competitors too in OFF PAGE SEO.
You can also read Link Building strategies for SEO in 2016
- 1 What are backlinks?
- 2 Why do we need to analyse the backlinks?
- 2.1 Tools
- 2.1.1 Ahrefs
- 2.1.2 Majestic SEO
- 2.1.3 Open site explorer From MOZ
- 2.1.4 SEMRUSH
- 2.1.5 SEO Profiler
- 2.1.6 Open Link Profiler
- 2.1.7 SEOlytics
- 2.1.8 Buzz Sumo
- 2.1.9 Rank Signals
- 2.1.10 Web SEO Analytics
- 2.1.11 Moon Search
- 2.1.12 Backlink watch
- 2.1.13 Backlink Test
- 2.1.14 SEO Chat
- 2.1.15 Link Diagnosis
- 2.1.16 Siteexplorer.info
- 2.1.17 Linkody
- 2.1.18 Lxrmarketplace
- 2.1.19 SEO Spyglass
- 2.1 Tools
- 3 Closing the Coil
When a webpage links to your webpage or the website, it is called backlinks. These backlinks must come from relevant or closely relevant domains in your industry or else you might face Penguin.
A and B loves to write about Cooking
B while writing an article on his website took some reference from A and decided to give him the due credit via a hyperlink in his article.
Back linking strategy now should focus on the quality of the links from high authoritative websites instead of quantity from spammed, paid, link farms etc.
Brian Dean from Backlinko wrote 200 Google ranking factors
- To find links which can land us into the penalty zone of the search engines (if any)
- To determine the Do follow and No follow ratio
- To analyse the top countries and top TLDs linking to us
- To determine the anchor text ratio
- To analyse the number of links coming from homepage
- Competition analysis: there is nothing better in this world than understanding your competitor strategy and then creating one on our own as mentioned here (link)
- To weigh our efforts in SEO with regards to the competitors
- To find the high authoritative websites linking to their domain and then getting ourselves linked there too.
And a lot more!!
Following is the list of online as well as desktop based tools which can help us in determining the inbound/incoming links.
Few tools are completely free and you need not require to sign up whereas few are paid one with extensive reports and might require you to sign up
One of my favourite tools when it comes to checking backlinks to a website, used by beginners as well as SEO gurus and amazingly comes with a 14 days trial too.
One can easily get analysis about number of backlinks, Referring domains & IPs, and anchors, broken links, do-follow, top pages etc.
Vouched by the industry leaders like Neil Patel, Jon Cooper etc.
Apart from back links reporting, they do provide other features like position tracking, content explorer etc.
They have got their own web crawlers (AHREFS BOT)
Looking for a website’s diagnostic report? Look no further than Majestic SEO.
One of the strongest competitor to the leaders in the industry like Ahrefs, open site explorer etc.
They are known for regularly updating their database of indexed backlinks which helps the webmasters with fresh and quality reports.
Pretty easy to use and comes with a free sign up option after which you can get the basic analysis
Few of the available tools to explore the endless possibilities it provides.
They have got their own web crawlers (James BOT)
Open site explorer From MOZ
As the two tools mentioned before, OSE also helps in backlink research, finding new opportunities for link-building and determining un-wanted links pointing to your websites.
Moz also indexes regularly and provides incredible reports to the webmasters
Checking inbound links, Top pages, Linking domains, Anchor text and Link opportunities are some of the features one can use to extract advanced reports from OSE.
One of amazing feature of OSE is Spam analysis, which is a paid tool and requires subscription to Moz Pro that comes with a 30 day trial period.
MOZ Pro gives some more add-ons like
OSE has got its own web crawler called rogerbot
SEMRUSH armed with features that can make competitors life difficult as one can very easily generate reports and do further analysis on them to beat the crap out of the players in the market.
The tool lets you perform Site wide audit, Backlinks analysis, keyword research.
One of the plus points is that it comes with a step by step guide for beginners as well as Internet marketing pros and you don’t need to register for getting the basic reports out of it.
Moreover, SEMRUSH has got their own web crawler (SEMRUSHBOT) which means that they don’t have to rely on third party services for generating reports.
SEOprofiler is one of the company that comes into my mind when I’m looking for a solution to a small sized enterprise who cannot afford much to get the proper SEO done.
It supports multi-user accounts where you will get SEO tools like link analysis, keyword research, website optimization, website audit etc.
Used by companies like Entrepreneur.com SEOprofiler delivers on most of the aspects.
It would require a sign up before you can get the insights of the software and can enter upto 2 projects in the free version.
It comes with step by step instructions and with their own web crawlers called spbot
Currently free but won’t be for longer because of the kind of reporting they are providing right now.
It does not requires any sign up and all the features are free of cost.
Here is the anchor text report, which seems pretty good to me given that the tool is free.
And yes they have their own web crawlers (spbot)
Loaded with features like keyword research, backlink metrics, In-depth domain analysis, seolytics one of the recommended platforms if you’re looking at quick reports in your mail box.
Once you sign up on the website, enter your URL and it will generate a free report
Note: you would require google translate to change the language from German to English.
The tool can generate a report of up to 2000 backlinks for a registered domain in the free version. Whereas the paid version comes with different plans starting from 99$/month.
This tools doesn’t have their own web crawlers.
One of the most popular tool when it comes to content research also offers an option for backlinks analysis but only for its pro users
Doing content research is like walking in the park
But when it comes to the backlinks section, it would require you to pay or take the monthly subscription after which you will be able to start a free trial.
Like other paid tools, buzz sumo also allows exporting the reports
Another free tool for checking backlinks is Rank Signals.
It is as simple as it gets, just enter the desired URL and tadda..
The tool can provide competition analysis, social metrics reports, bad & broken link reports, No-follow & Do-follow reports etc. and that too for free
Apart from it being free, the Rank signals comes with a chrome extension which is quite handy if you don’t want to come back to ranksignals.com over and over again.
Here is the backlinks report for Flipkart.com from rank signals
Rank signals come with their own web crawlers
A freemium tool where you get up to one report per day and comes with a free trial option too can be utilized for getting in-depth competitor’s analysis as well as other reporting features like keyword research, webmaster tools etc.
You would be supposed to sign up first before getting the reports
The trial version comes with a limitation where we can only generate one report which is quite enough to figure out if the tool is worth your efforts and most importantly your money.
One of the major downside of the trial offered is that you would require to add your credit card.
Although you can still get the basic analysis like I did, even without adding my credit card
Again one of the tool which comes with an extension for your beloved browser “chrome” and some advanced features not provided by the leaders in the market like ping service, whois, registrars etc.
The tool is completely free and doesn’t require any prior registrations which means that we can directly input our website or competitors’ website URL and get the backlink reports like I did.
One of the best features is that it lets you know what all domains are under the company’s name
A free tool for backlink analysis and comes with ads cluttered all over the webpage.
In the free version of Backlink watch, it tells us about the number of backlinks only using Ahrefs API but if other features like referring domains, anchor text etc. are to found, it redirects to Ahrefs where you will be supposed to sign up and get the free trial.
Moreover, there is no option to export the back link reports.
They don’t have their own crawlers.
Not the tool I would recommend to any SEO guy for the very obvious reason that it doesn’t give the correct and complete information about the website.
Also, the website is in German language and cluttered with Ads like backlink watch as mentioned in the previous point.
Although this being a free tool can be tested once but definitely not the one you should choose from this long list.
Small example of Flipkart.com
One and the only advantage of using this tool is that it lets you download the report summary without any sign ups
Out of the N number of services they provide, one is Internal/External Link Analyser, where we need to enter the URL and captcha to get the internal as well as external links along with anchor texts.
It requires a sign up to get the reports.
One of the best features that I always use is Schema.org tools and is highly recommended for people who find it difficult.
Some of the other SEO tools they provide are
Link Diagnosis uses SEOMOZ engine type to get backlink reports which ranges from 500 to 1000 links to even higher in SEOMOZ full option.
The tool comes with few more options to choose from like if you want to test inbound links for your main site or for a single page.
One of the nicest feature is that it comes with an extension for your Firefox browser and you won’t be able to see the full report if using any other browser than Firefox.
The reports can be exported or saved too.
One of the powerful FREE SEO tool for backlink analysis, although comes with few ads but given the kind of in-depth reports, I’m pretty much satisfied with this free tool.
It provides information about inbound domains (dedicated IPs and subnets), inbound links to homepage etc.
TLDs, countries and anchors linked to the specific backlink report are also displayed with recent discovered one in the past 30 days
One downside is that the reports cannot be downloaded or exported.
Linkody comes with a free trial period where you need not attach your credit card and get the back links report for 2 domains and 500 links, competitor reports, social shares and the most important one Disavow tool, all these things can be exported into CSV & PDF format.
You can just directly enter your website URL and wait for the next page to load, where it will ask you to sign up to see the reports.
Linkody doesn’t have their own set of web crawlers
As the name suggests, it’s a market place from where you can download the reports for plenty of tools provided by them. For example
Since this is a market place, so you would be supposed to pay before getting into any downloadable reports
Lxrmarketplace can be used in building sitemaps, weekly keyword tracking reports, Robots.txt generators, social media analysis etc.
SEO Spyglass from Link Assistant is one of the best desktop based tool which can be utilized for back link analysis of your website as well as your competitors.
With SEO Spyglass, one can compare projects, understand the domain strength and can also export the reports in PDF, html, text formats.
The tool segregates backlinks from Forums, link directories, links with penalty risk, and traffic coming via these backlinks.
This is one of my favourite tool because of the detailed reporting it does.
SEO Spyglass comes with a 15 days trial period which can be extended on a later stage if you decide to buy 😛
Closing the Coil
Apart from the tools mentioned in this guide, there are plenty of them both free and paid which can be used by any SEO beginner or even a pro.
Some of the basic ones we should be aware of are –
- Google webmaster tool
- Bing Webmaster tool
- Yandex webmaster tool
Where our website(s) should be at least added for proper indexing of the sitemaps (if submitted) and detailed reporting of crawl errors and search analytics as well as indexing status.