The 16 Best Backlink Checkers – Free and Paid SEO Backlink Tools

by | Updated May 8, 2018 | SEO Software | 4 comments

Today’s search engine optimization relies on building high-quality links. It’s not just about how many people are linking to you, it also depends on the value of each link. If you’re investing in keyword research and great content writing, the last thing you want to do it blow your SEO with bad link building practices.

The only way to know for sure is by using a backlink checker tool that will track your links for you.

Take a look at the top 16 backlink checkers in SEO and use them to improve your strategy:

SEOJet

Official Site

To be fair SEOJet is much more than a backlink checker, it is full-featured backlink software. In fact, we integrate with several of the backlink checkers on this list to ensure you get the full picture of your current backlink profile.

What SEOJet does is take the backlinks that your site already has and gives you a roadmap (we call it a link map) for future backlinks you still need to get in order to beat out your #1 ranked competitors. So technically yes we do report on your backlinks but only so that we can give you all of the backlinks you still need to get in order to take over the top spot on Google.

Using real-time Google data SEOJet creates a link building plan that helps you build out a natural backlink profile that matches other #1 ranked pages. In essence, the software doesn’t just report on what you have already done in terms of backlinks, but what you need to do to get to the top of Google.

One of the coolest features inside of SEOJet is our Competitor Lock report. This report compares your backlink profile to your #1 ranked competitors backlinks for any keyword and shows you what you are missing. The report also shows you the backlinks they have that your site doesn’t have.

Obviously, since I built SEOJet, I am a little biased. Check it out for yourself to see how it can help you get to the top of Google quickly.

Linkbird

Official Site

This full-service content marketing platform is a comprehensive solution for SEO research, content creation, management, and analytics. Their backlink feature is part of this suite, offering marketing teams an easy way to research backlink sources. It also remains constantly vigilant of your existing backlinks and will alert you whenever there’s potential danger so you can take immediate action.

The platform includes tools to help you disavow links if an untrustworthy source decides to link to your website. In addition, you can leverage their content seeding feature that helps you build sustainable, high-quality backlinks.

You can view the platform in action in this video, or sign up for a free trial to test all the features for yourself.

BuzzSumo

Official Site

BuzzSumo is a helpful content marketer’s platform that helps you find trending topics to inspire your own content creation. Their database sorts content by social shares, showing you what people are engaging with based on your keyword or query. You can filter results by date, type of content, language, country, and other data to get the most relevant results.

Their backlinks tool allows you to see the websites that link to an individual domain or URL. This is a great way to not only glimpse your own backlinks, but also those of your competitors. See who is linking to your competition and draw conclusions about their most shared backlinks. This feature alone may help you to understand why certain content performs better than others.

You can give the BuzzSumo backlinks feature a free try for seven days. This feature is part of the BuzzSumo Pro package, which also comes with a few other helpful content marketing tools. With the Pro service, you can set alerts to monitor backlinks and keywords to stay on top of your competitors.

Linkody

Official Site

Linkody provides 24/7 monitoring for your backlinks, but that’s just the beginning. They’ve got a lot going for them that makes them a valuable partner over their competitors.

For starters, Linkody has one of the cleanest user interfaces of any backlink tool. They’ve made it easy for you to onboard yourself and start using the best features quickly without having to spend time on tutorials or training.

In addition, they’ve automated their service so you can get hands-free link monitoring.

You can keep tabs on your own links or those of your competitors. You’ll can identify or disavow bad links with ease. You can check your competitors’ link building strategies and use it to your own advantage. But perhaps most importantly, you’ll be able to know in an instant when you gain or lose valuable backlinks. You work hard to earn your links and deserve to know if someone removes them.

Linkody also offers tons of metrics to measure your performance that will give you easy-to-interpret insights. Unlike other tools that offer backlink monitoring alongside other SEO tools, Linkody is strictly geared toward backlink strategies. They’re better positioned to offer a more comprehensive product than those who offer backlink services as part of a platform.

Ahrefs (Integrates with SEOJet)

Official Site

Ahrefs is the ultimate competition spying tool. They claim to be the best backlink data checker in existence, and they might be right. Their bots crawl over 4 billion web pages every 24 hours to keep the most updated list of live backlinks.

You can put any website (yours or your competitor’s) in their URL explorer tool and see every backlink for that page. The results give you information like anchor text, social shares, and other data.

You can use their other features for high-quality spy action, such as the URL Rating (UR) which tells you the strength of a web page’s backlink profile. The URL Ranking factor was designed to correlate with Google’s PageRank formula, and gives you a better insight into how a page will rank compared to the other backlink metrics from Ahrefs.

The Domain Rating (DR) shows you the quality of a website’s overall backlink profile. In general, you want to get backlinks from websites that have a high DR, as these will count for more than backlinks from a low DR.

You can get a seven-day trial to Ahrefs for $7, which gives you full access to all of their features and services.

Kerboo

Official Site

Kerboo is a link analyzing and monitoring service based in the UK.

Their backlink analysis tool allows you to protect your organic visibility from competitors and shady websites that can damage your link profile. You can easily discover link issues via their user-friendly interface so you can take action to correct them immediately.

The platform allows you to disavow links or audit your link profile to make sure nothing is amiss. You’ll know immediately when a link has been removed so you can reach out to set things right with the publisher. Or, in some cases, you can rest assured that bad links have been removed and remain off your record.

Kerboo lets you set alerts that will tell you when a backlinking partner is also linking to your competitors.

Monitoring your backlinks via the Kerboo platform also delivers insights over time so you can better gauge the effectiveness of your content.

In short, their platform makes manually reviewing links streamlined and speedy to save you time without sacrificing accurate results.

Kerboo doesn’t offer a free trial, but if you want to see the platform in action you can schedule a free 20-minute demo. Prices start at £249 per month.

CognitiveSEO

Official Site

CognitiveSEO is a comprehensive SEO service that includes backlink analysis in their product suite. They handle every aspect of your link research within the platform, offering you a complete link profile at a glance. You can see the new links you’ve gained, links you lost, top referring domains, links in content vs not in content, the domain authority of your links, and other critical data to help you create a solid link building strategy.

Their tools allow you to investigate any website’s link profile. All information is real-time to give you an up-to-the-minute impression. Fans love the reporting feature that allows you to run multiple reports instantly that details each website’s history of growth and link data. You can get side by side comparisons of your own website and your competitors to see how you stack up in terms of link building.

You can also use the tool to protect your link rankings. They have an amazing Unnatural Link Detection tool that checks for anomalies that may be causing penalties. You can detect if a link looks unnatural without an extensive search-and-find that manual reviewing entails. You also have the chance to disavow links with a single click.

You can take a free 14-day trial to test these features for yourself.

Rank Signals

Official Site

Rank Signals offers a lot of the same features as other link checking tools, but there’s one crucial thing that makes them stand out from the others: they differentiate between dofollow and nofollow links.

Their link explorer tool not only displays your link profile data, but also tags the links that are nofollow. Nofollow links are usually not picked up by search engines, so they do not impact your SEO score. It’s important you know which links are nofollow and dofollow because it gives you a clearer idea of the most valuable links in your profile. For example, you might have a hundred backlinks, but if only three of them are dofollow you need to find better places to build backlinks.

What happens to your links once they’ve been posted are out of your control. Pages move. Old content gets deleted. It’s impossible for you to keep up with manually. Rank Signals can help you easily identify broken or deleted links so you can correct any issues immediately.

Like other link analyzing tools, Rank Signals will also help you find spammy links that can ding your rankings. They offer link signals and metrics and will help you compare your link profile to your competitors.

Best of all, they offer a free (limited) backlink checker directly on their website – no signup necessary.

Link Research Tools

Official Site

Link Research Tools is backlink checker and so much more. Unlike other link data tools, their link data has been taken from 25 sources and compiled into a single platform to give you the most comprehensive insights possible.

The Link Research Tools platform offers you a quick, easy way to disavow links and remove Google penalties. In fact, they can help get your links crawled faster to help you regain your lost visibility sooner. This is especially critical now that the post-Penguin update means every little mistake you make with link building can harm your score. You must do your due diligence to verify your links are low risk and high quality, both of which are easily determined with Link Research Tools.

They also have a real-time monitoring feature that will notify you via email of new backlinks you or your competitors attain. This is especially helpful in combatting any negative link building you may never know about otherwise.

You can score a seven-day trial for $7 that gives you access to their full suite of features, but beware that the price is pretty steep to use everything after that.

Majestic (Integrates with SEOJet)

Official Site

Just need a quick check on a domain or URL? Majestic lets you search for free. You won’t get much information with your free search, but if you only want to know basic stuff like the Link Quality or Link Volume score on yourself or a competitor, it’s a great solution.

Of course, they also offer more features with their paid service. You can view an entire link profile, which gives you a breakdown of referring domains, external backlinks, anchor text, and other data.

The Referring Domains section of Majestic is full of great insights. You can see at a glance how many referring domains have live links, dofollow links, and other types of links that can help support your strategy. You can also see how many web pages offer more than one link on the same page, called supplemental links.

If you’re the owner of a domain, you can sign up for a free extended Site Explorer that shows you more in-depth data about your own website.

They don’t offer a free trial that lets you see a full report, but prices start at just $49 per month, making them one of the most cost effective backlink tools available.

Monitor Backlinks

Official Site

This dual tool combines backlink and keyword monitoring in a single solution. Users love the simple user interface that makes it easy to leverage all its features immediately. From disavowing bad links with a simple click or seeing all your backlink data in a single dashboard, this tool gives you some of the best features in backlink management.

For starters, this tool gives you an up-to-the-minute look at your backlink profile. You’ll know immediately when a site gives you a backlink, which can in turn help you to start developing strong relationships with these websites. Like other tools, you can also get an immediate notification when one of your links is removed

One of its biggest advantages is the ability to view relevant, high authority websites that can offer link-building opportunities. This feature alone can save you hours of manual trial and error outreach that doesn’t give you a great return.

They use a reverse engineering strategy when it comes to spying on the competition. You can view their backlinks and keywords at a glance to break down their marketing strategy and leverage that information for your own purposes.

SEM Rush

Official Site

This all-in-one digital marketing tool packs a lot of power in its platform, and backlink analysis and auditing is part of their product suite.

Their backlink audit tools allow you to find all your backlinks instantly and gauge which ones are potentially hazardous. You can send these backlinks straight to Google Disavow to keep your profile squeaky clean.

In addition, you get insights into a website’s domain authority to verify the quality of your links. You can view the link’s anchor text for keyword inspiration, compare your inbound links to competitors’ links, see if your backlink is in text, an image, or a form, determine whether each link is nofollow or dofollow, and even see where your referring domain is physically located so you can better tailor your marketing.

Aside from their link building features, you can also research keywords, product ads, and display advertising, compare domains side by side, get keyword ideas, and conduct a full-scale website SEO audit, among other activities.

This is a feature-rich platform and is ideal for those going after an aggressive SEO strategy. You can try it for free, and plans start at $99.95 per month. SEMrush offers several tiers of their services, and you can compare them side by side on their website to see exactly what you’re paying for.

Moz (Integrates with SEOJet)

Official Site

Moz is one of the most famous faces when it comes to SEO tools, and their backlink checker tool is a big part of their success. They focus on helping users create a high-quality backlink profile to drive inbound marketing. And finally, they did a huge update to their backlink index which was long overdue.

Moz is unique in that it offers a toolbar integration that delivers instant SEO insights and metrics for every website you visit. This toolbar is free to download and use.

The Moz platform lets you research backlinks for yourself and your competitors to discover unique link-building opportunities. You can also find potentially damaging links in your profile so you can take action before they cause severe damage to your reputation.

Their bots are continually crawling the web to bring you the most current information. You can view better-than-basic information regarding links like spam score (the lower the better), anchor text, and the title and URL of the linking pages.

You can test out their tool for free by entering any URL on their home page. Their free version lets you see things like domain authority, page authority, and inbound link data. You can try out Moz Pro free for 30 days, then it’s $159 per month.

Backlink Watch

Official Site

This backlink checker tool is probably the simplest to use on this list because there’s nothing else on the page. Just enter the URL of the website you’re investigating and wait for the results.

The information you receive in return is simple and straightforward. Backlink URL, anchor text, page rank, the total number of outbound links on the page, and whether the link is nofollow. They don’t offer much else for backlinks, nor do they have an option to pay for additional features. It’s a quick, easy backlink checker tool that does exactly what its name promises.

The site does have many ads that make it look a little busier. It doesn’t offer the clean user interface that other backlink checker tools offer. It also takes a little longer for the full results to populate compared to other tools. In some cases, not all information will be available for every backlink (for example, the page rank rata might not exist for all entries).

But on the plus side, it is a highly simple backlink tool to use and it’s 100% free. It’s a great option if you’re tight on a budget or just need basic information (especially for spying on your competitors).

Open Link Profiler

Official Site

This straightforward backlink building tool was created specifically for one purpose: getting trustworthy backlink data.

They’ make it easy – just type in any URL and click the green button. Their tool compared the website’s unique links to their total number of active links (no, it’s not always the same!), as well as links to the website’s home page and the number of nofollow links.

The link influence score is a feature not found on other backlink checker tools. This gives you a better idea of the quality of each link and the impact it has on search engine rankings. The higher the link influencer score, the more impact it has.

Other valuable information includes the type of industry each linking website falls under, the page title and URL, anchor text and link destination, and the date the link was established.

The platform also includes a disavow feature to disinfect harmful links, popular anchor text, pages that provide the highest number of backlinks (laid out neatly in a pie chart), a breakdown of industries that link to a website, the context in which a link was provided (blog, news website, etc), counties of websites providing the link, and the ability to set link notifications.

You can sign up for a free account to access most of these features. There’s also a paid version that gives you premium user access.

URL Profiler

Official Site

This multitasking machine is full of SEO-rich features, including backlink tools.

Their link prospecting feature combines the best backlink features of Moz, Majestic, and Ahrefs into a single platform. This gives you a chance to compare URL and domain metrics from different sources to gauge its accuracy. You can use this and other data to build powerful reports that give you a bird’s eye view of your link profile.

One of their strongest features is the ability to pull email addresses from a domain’s contact page to help streamline your outreach. This alone can save you from visiting individual sites you want to prospect.

Another huge selling point is the ability to check site traffic for possible referral sources. URL Profiler uses data from Alexa and SEMrush to gauge a website’s popularity so you can make an educated decision as to whether it fits your needs.

You can sign up for a free 14-day trial (no credit card needed) that lets you access all their features. After that, prices start at £12.95 per month for one device license.

4 Comments

  1. Really solid unbiased post. I’ve heard of SEOJet, SemRush, Ahrefs, and BuzzSumo but the others are new to me. As a new blogger, I am learning about the importance of quality link building. My blog isn’t making me any money since it’s so new — would you still recommend a newbie like myself to spend money on these backlink checkers from the first or should I focus on something else from the get-go?

    Reply
    • Molly, if you have a good base of SEO knowledge then most of these should work for you. If you are new to SEO then I would take some time to learn more before investing in the higher end programs.

      Reply
  2. Thank you for the info. This is a great list.

    Reply
    • Satta, you’re welcome. Im glad its helpful.

      Reply

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