Best Backlink Checker Tools: Backlinks, backlinks, backlinks!
Of all 200 ranking factors of Google, backlink is the most prominent one. So, how can you make backlinks?
If you ask me the question, I will say competitor analysis. You need to check the backlinks for a blog ranking for the same keyword you want to target. And then, replicate the same. That’s all.
Again a question arises. How can you check backlinks?
Don’t worry! I am here with a list of Free Backlink Checker SEO tools to help you out.
Best Backlink Checker Tools to Steal Your Competitors Ranking
During my blogging career, I have used about a dozen free and paid backlink checker tools. In light of such experiences, I am going to list out them.
Do you want the best-in-class backlinks checker? Then, I can’t resist myself from suggesting SEMRush to you.
As a blog owner or an SEO professional, a backlink checker isn’t the only tool you want. You must need a keyword research tool and a paid traffic analyzer if you are into such methods.
When it comes to SEMRush, you don’t need any other tools. You can check backlinks, steal the keywords your competitor is ranking for, analyze paid traffic, research for new keyword ideas and do a lot more.
Though you can use SEMRush for free, you have to purchase it to leverage all the features. The free version only gives you limited number of data.
Once you visit SEMRush website, you will see a search bar there. All you have to do is inserting the URL there. Within a few seconds, it will show you all the information about that particular domain.
The organic keywords section fetches all the keywords and phrases that particular domain is ranking for. And, the backlinks section brings you to the backlink checker of SEMRush.
If you want to save the data, you can export them to XLS or CSV format too.
The backlink checker SEO tool is so useful that it can filter the links based on the type; do follow or no follow. As we all know, a no follow link only keeps an optimum ratio in the backlink profile, you should go for do follow links to get benefits from SERPs.
You can purchase SEMRush in four different plans. Each one differs in features and price. If you want to keep an eye on the ranking of your own sites, you can do that too. But you have to project for the same. And, the number of allowed projects varies from plan to plan.
- Perfect competitor analysis
- Additional features like keyword difficulty
- Paid campaign details
- Rank tracking features
- Keyword researching capabilities
- Best backlink checker tool
- The search bar works a bit slow sometimes
- As the tool lists out all the keywords, the filtering is a headache.
2). Open Link Profiler or SEO Profiler
Are you looking for a full fledged free backlink checker? I know how hazardous the quest for such a tool is.
For a newbie digital marketer, it may not be feasible to spend hundreds of dollars on a backlink checker tool. What most people do today is they go for group buying sites. I am not saying group buying not good. But it may turn dangerous if you don’t play safe. You shouldn’t leave anything that reveals your niche. Often, newbies fail to do so.
That’s why I am sharing this here. If you don’t know how to be careful while using a group buy product, you must go for Open Link Profiler.
The best thing about it is you don’t need an account to check backlinks. Still, there is a problem. They don’t allow unlimited number of backlink analysis.
How can you overcome this? Simple! All you have to do is creating an SEOProfiler account. Once you do so, you can check as many backlinks as you want to.
They have a unique metrics called LIS or Link Influence Score. It indicates the quality of links a website has. When I make backlinks using SEOProfiler or Open Link Profiler, I go with the domains with the most possible LIS. Guess what? It works well for me.
You can’t use their filters with a free account. (Still, you can sort the list). For that, one should purchase a premium account for $99.95 per month. But for the first month, you have to pay only $1.
Just like SEMRush, SEOProfiler also is a full-fledged tool with tons of awesome features. You can find link opportunities, export 1000 backlinks of a given website, track ranks, audit websites and even check the uptime as well.
- Completely free SEO tool with no limits in number of checks
- Impressive features like rank tracker, link opportunity finder, etc.
- Link exporting feature for backlink checker
- You have to purchase the premium version to use all the features without limitation
I hope you don’t need an introduction to this tool. The name says it all. If you built at least a few backlinks on the web, you would know what ahref means.
Though the tool first made only as a backlink checker, it has grown as a complete SEO tool with time. You can do competitor analysis, backlink check, track your own keywords and do a lot more.
Unlike SEMRush, Ahrefs doesn’t offer you anything for free. You can’t even have limited checkups. If you want to try their tool, you must sign up for a trial account. It won’t cost you anymore. Once you become sure about the quality of the tool, you can join for a premium account.
With the recent update of being a complete SEO tool, Ahrefs got a keyword difficulty feature, which calculates the hardness of a keyword to rank for. In my experience, it isn’t accurate. The only criterion it takes for calculation is the number of visible links. For the same reason, we don’t get a consolidated score as Ahrefs neglect domain age, social signals, hidden backlinks and CTR. For keyword difficulty, I prefer using SEMRush.
When it comes to backlink checker, nothing can outperform Ahrefs. The tool has a regularly updated link database that gives you complete idea about active, lost and new backlinks. If you have enough funds to afford separate tools for backlink analysis and keyword research, I strongly recommend you should buy this.
In case you can only afford one, my pick will be SEMRush. You can do keyword research, backlink analysis, competitor analysis and a lot more on it.
Of course, you can create a campaign for your site and track all progresses of it with Ahrefs. Just like SEMRush, the tool is available in different pricing plans.
- The best backlink checker available on the web.
- Decent competitor analysis
- Allows keyword research
- Trial version available for 14 days
- Regularly updated database
- Keyword difficulty calculation is not accurate
- A bit pricey
4). Rank Signals
Not every digital marketer is rich enough to buy expensive tools, especially during the beginning. We get our hands on free tools first. Then with ample knowledge and money we make over time, we switch over to better paid tools.
If you are such a person, who can’t manage hundreds of money to purchase Ahrefs or SEMRush, you have to find a free backlinks checker. I have already given you one free SEO backlink checker above. I have been using it since the beginning of my career and still I use it sometimes.
In any case, you don’t like SEOProfiler or Open Link Profiler, you must use Rank Signal. The link crawlers of Rank Signals are as powerful as that of SEO Profiler. If you ask me to choose between these two, I will certainly hesitate. But you give me user interface as a criterion, I can’t help myself from choosing Rank Signals as the best free backlink checker available on the web.
The tool is completely free of costs. Just like SEOProfiler, you have to make a free account to get the complete list of backlinks. Though the UI is superior to SEOProfiler, there is no way you can recognize quality links on Rank Signal. They don’t have a score like LIS neither do they have any filters to rank the backlinks as well. And, it makes our job hard as we have to manually browse through the countless number of links in each list to find worthy ones.
If you don’t have money and you don’t like SEO Profiler, the second best free backlinks checker tool available on the web right now is this one. So, better you do some work.
When it comes to new domains, I don’t think Rank Signals is efficient in displaying links.
- Free backlink checker, no feature is limited.
- Best user interface
- Strong link crawler
- Displays internal and external links on a page (helps you calculate the number of OBL)
- Offers premium link building services
- Doesn’t catch links for new domains
- No options to categorize backlinks in the order of their quality
5). Open Site Explorer (Moz)
As a digital marketer, I am sure that you have heard about Moz. The Moz, formerly SEO Moz is a company that provides digital marketing services to people. You can use their service for a month without any cost and keep on using it by paying a monthly cost if you like it.
Moz has their own matrices to calculate the quality of websites. They are the ones, who introduced domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) into the blog-o-sphere. If you accept sponsored posts on your blog, you might have been asked many times what your DA is. Though not 100% accurate, DA indicates the quality of your backlinks. Isn’t it great to see such matrices on your backlink checker tool?
I know there is now a vibe going on that DA has nothing to do with site quality and their spam score is something with no uses. As far as I am concerned, a good DA indicates the site has good backlinks. When it comes to spam score, the higher the score, the more spammy links (maybe tons of links from a single domain) your site has. I know, the score may not do justice for a few sites. Still in my case, their DA, PA and spam score did justice so far.
Of course, they have a backlink checker called Open Site Explorer. Just like SEMRush, you can do a maximum of three checks for free with limited details. Once you purchase an account, you will be able to get the complete information without any constraint.
When I get a keyword, the first thing I do is checking the DA of sites, which are ranking. If I see any sites with DA less than 20, I would definitely pick that keyword up. Moreover, I see no reason to reject the keyword when all sites ranking have DA similar to mine.
You have to install Moz browser extension for this. It allows you to check DA, PA and number of backlinks right from the SERPs as well.
When it comes to checking backlinks, I am more inclined towards Ahrefs. If you want complete SEO software, you can definitely go for Moz’s Open Site Explorer.
- A complete SEO tool
- The matrices like DA, PA and spam score helps you in niche and keyword research
- A comprehensive user interface
- Free checkups are allowed
- Pretty decent backlink checker SEO tool
- The backlink checking is not as powerful as Ahrefs
- Not a complete tool in comparison with SEMRush
6). Backlink Watch
Next up in this list of best backlink checker tools is Backlink Watch. In my quest to find a free backlinks checker tool in the past, I have come across this one. Yeah, it is a free tool that you can use anytime with zero limits.
All you have to do is visit their website, enter the URL to be checked, and get the report. That’s it! As soon as you type the URL for checking and press Enter, you will get the report.
Though it provides almost all necessary details of a backlink, I really don’t like their interface. The website looks like a spammy one. Sometimes they even make use of popup ads. As a person, who doesn’t like blocking ads (I hear you fella marketers :p), it definitely is annoying for me.
Inside the backlinks report, you can get type of links (do follow or no follow), page rank (no use), anchor text and the total number of outbound links. In order to get additional details like DA, you have to do manual analysis.
I hope you all know the best links are from pages with the least number of outbound links aka OBL.
You may ask this question. ‘You don’t like this tool, then why are you sharing it’? Well, you have already got two best free backlink checker tools above. I don’t think there will be any chance for you to dislike them. In case you don’t like any of them, you can have a choice. That’s why I have shared it here.
- Completely free backlinks checker
- Displays necessary details
- Not the best UI
- Poor link crawling
- No filters
7). Majestic SEO
Don’t tell me you never heard of this, please. As a digital marketing professional, you should hear about this tool. Majestic SEO is one of the widely used digital marketing tools around the globe.
Just like Open Site Explorer, Majestic themselves have specific matrices like CF and TF. The higher the quality of backlinks and your own site, the better the CF and TF will be.
I have already told you that Majestic is not just a backlink checker. It can help you in every aspect of your digital marketing campaigns. As the article is about backlink checking tools only, I need to talk about that certain area of Majestic.
Once you visit their site and plug in a URL, it will show all the backlinks pointing to that specific address you typed inside the summary tab. As we all know, the quality is what matters when it comes to backlinks, not the quantity. Majestic team knows the mind of a real marketer. That’s why they have built a strong filter into their tool.
You can filter any type of links you want to in order to get a meaningful list with at most no spammy links.
So how can you do that?
If you ask me, I will
- Filter out more than three links per domain
- Rule out links with ‘replytocom’ inside the URL
- Overlook links from pages with spam domain extensions like .tk, .co.nz, .co.nr etc.
And, you will have the most useful list of backlinks on your screen after you do this. You can adopt this methodology with any backlink checker tools given that they have a strong filter like Majestic does.
The best thing about Majestic is that it has a free version. If you are a newbie marketer who needs a basic backlinks checker, the free version works well for you. There are three premium versions with difference in price and features in case you need in-depth backlink analysis reports.
- An all-in-one SEO tool
- Decent crawling rate
- Powerful backlink filter
- The own matrices help you find the quality of site with a single glance
- Not as good as SEMRush, in keyword research and competitor analysis
8). Google Webmaster Tools
Your computer will slap you if you say you are hearing GWT for the first time. No, I am not kidding.
Google Webmaster Tools should be in your digital marketing armory. But why is not everyone recommending Google Webmaster Tools aka GWT as a backlink checker. The prominent reason for it is you can check the backlinks of your own site only, using this.
In an experiment done by the famous digital marketer Mathew Woodward, GWT is found to be the best backlink checker that found the most number of backlinks. Still, the problem is you can’t spy on competitors using GWT.
When it comes to finding backlinks for your own site, I strongly recommend you use this one. Sign into Google Webmaster Tools and follow Search Traffic>> Links to your site. You can see backlinks, top pages and anchor texts separately. I often use it to know which pages of my site has most backlinks and which one has zero. Trust me! It really helps me to find and build links for those pages with least number of links.
Needless to say, GWT is a complete tool with tons of features. You can find the keywords you are ranking for. Still, the competitor analysis isn’t possible.
- The most accurate backlink checker ever
- Free for life without any limitation
- Includes tons of features like indexing your pages, finding ranking keywords, top pages etc.
- Best user interface
- Detailed link reports
- No keyword research possible
- No room for competitor analysis
So, what do you want?
Do you want a tool solely for checking backlinks? Ahrefs, all the way! It is the best backlink checker after GWT.
If you are a person who needs a complete all-in-one SEO tool with a strong backlinks checker inside it, I can’t help myself from recommending SEMRush.
What if you can’t spend anything? Well, in such cases I suggest SEOProfiler. It has got a fast crawler that catches almost all your links.
I hope I cleared all your doubts. Do you still have anything in mind? The comment section is all yours. Don’t forget to jot down your thoughts here.
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