According to Wikipedia, “Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top-level domain) from another web node.”
Backlinks are an important parameter for search engine ranking. When search engines calculate the relevance of a site to a keyword, they consider the number of QUALITY inbound links to that site. So how do you know how many backlinks you have for your website or blog? Also, what about competitors? How do you know which sites are pointing to your competitor’s blog?
Here, I’ve listed 9 cool backlink checker tools that will give you a thorough understanding of your own and competitor’s backlinks. I have also mentioned one point about what is Good and Bad in these tools. Most of these tools are absolutely FREE while some have both a free and paid version where the paid version comes with advance features. So let’s check it out!
Google Webmaster Tools is a Google Product and is one of the finest backlink checker tools. Verifying your website in Google Webmaster Tools is one of the first tasks of a webmaster or an SEO. Though it might take a few days to get access to backlink data, the results provided here are precious, not only because it is FREE but also because the data provided is quite accurate. You can even download a list of latest backlinks into CSV file and check when you have gained that particular link. Once you combine this data with other third-party backlink tools, you can get a very detailed report for your site’s backlinks
Good: Quick and accurate
Bad: Can be used only for sites you own or can verify and do not give any information regarding PageRank
The Link Explorer tool from Bing Webmaster is relatively new which allows you to explore the backlinks for any site making a cool tool for competitor analysis. You can use this tool to understand which links point to a URL you enter, and filter between internal and external links. By default, this will show you a list of web page URLs that contain a link to the specific URL along with the title of that page. You can use additional options like Filter by site, Anchor text, etc. to filter the links.
Good: Check backlinks for competitor sites
Bad: Data provided is not very extensive
Alexa is one of the oldest sites that provide information about websites including Top Sites, Internet Traffic Stats, Site Info, etc. Alexa Page Rank is one of the most sought after stats for a webmaster. A higher Alexa rank promises a higher SERP. Along with the other details Alexa also shows how many backlinks exist for a given site. By default it show only the top 100 backlinks but this information is quite accurate and valuable for many SEOs who are doing competitor analysis.
Good: Free competitor analysis and Site profiling
Bad: Shows only 100 backlinks, not suitable for bigger sites
This is one of my favorites. Backlink Watch is one of the most popular backlink checkers. It is completely FREE and gives valuable information like the anchor text, page rank and total number of outbound links on that page. It also shows if the backlink is a “nofollow” or “dofollow”. This tool is avidly used by bloggers and webmasters to check the quantity of backlinks pointing to their sites.
Good: Additional information provided
Bad: Frequent Ads
After Yahoo! Site Explorer had shut down, Ahref had emerged as an immediate alternative. It has both PAID and FREE version. Ahref is a very efficient backlink checker tool as it runs regular updates and shows you the most updated backlinks compared to other tools. When you sign up for a free account you will be able to generate complete backlink analysis report for up to 10 pages along with anchor texts. Like Backlink Watch, Ahref also shows which links are dofollow or nofollow. The FREE version gives you great overview your entire website with nice looking graphs. You can also how you have gained new links and lost old links over the time. The paid version starts at $79 per month, but if you have the money, Ahref can open a lot of doors for your overall SEO analysis.
Good: Extensive overview in FREE version (Paid version gives amazing details)
Bad: No. of backlinks per request is only 10 in the FREE version
Available at $49.99 per month, Majestic SEO is one power packed SEO tool in the market. Majestic SEO uses a database of freshly indexed backlinks for your website. It also gives valuable diagnostics on your website’s backlink profile. Majestic shows an interesting graph for “External Backlinks Link Profile” showing the Trust flow and Citation flow of your backlinks. If you have a paid account, you can dive deeper into this report and actually find out the quality of the backlinks that you have.
Good: Quick service. Export to excel functionality built-in.
Bad: No. of backlinks per request is only 10 in the FREE version and the interface doesn’t look very attractive
The Open Site Explorer is created by Moz (earlier SEOMoz) and considered to be one of the favorite backlink checker tools that are widely used by website owners and SEO strategists. It comes with a premium and free backlink checking and analyzing service. The free version allows for a maximum of 3 searches for backlinks a day while the paid version allows the subscriber to perform an unlimited search on websites for quality backlinks. To get more value for your money, the premium version also provides additional features and diagnostic tools that will help you monitor your competitor’s website and other useful tools that you can use for your SEO strategy.
Good: Quick, simple and easy comparison to other sites through domain authority benchmark
Bad: The FREE version leaves you asking for more forcing you to move to Paid version which is quite expensive at $99 per month. It comes as a part of the Moz Pro subscription.
Link Diagnosis is another free tool that you can use to generate backlinks report either detailed or optimized. You can choose whether you want to check backlink for a single page or whole site. Link Diagnosis provides you different options while checking backlinks for your blog like you need detailed report or optimized, you want to check backlink for single page or whole website, different kind of outputs and more. One thing you need to remember that Link Diagnosis works best with Firefox.
Bad: Slow and works best with Firefox
Rank Signals is another tool to check your backlinks. You can use this tool to check the total number of backlinks, link anchor text, PageRank of the page from where you are getting backlink. Not only it provides you backlink report but also show you, your current Page Rank and Alexa Rank.
Good: Clean and clutter free
Bad: Does not give an extensive report
Let me know which is your favorite backlink checker tool…