Backlinking tools

The ultimate guide to finding the right backlink checker

Backlinks are still one of the most important factors in SEO. Working with linkbuilding to attain more inbound links and thus increase your websites authority is a necessity, if you want to increase rankings and want to obtain rankings on highly competitive keywords. In order for you to work tactically smart around linkbuilding you need to have a proper backlink checker - but how do you choose the right tool for linkbuilding when the market is flooded with alternatives?
This guide will help you find and choose a linkbuilding tool and checker that fits your demands.

What is a backlink checker?

A backlink checker is a tool where you buy access to data - data on how websites link to each other. Tools send out crawler to follow links and bring back data on those links. Data on links that you can then buy access to. In brief, with a backlink checker you get to know what other websites link to and from what urls.

The different linkbuilding tools have, apart from giving access to data on where and to what websites link to, also built in various extra feature so that your linkbuilding can become even more effective.

Basically, what you want to do with a backlink checker is to research other websites in order to get ideas on where you can do linkbuilding, as well as report and research how your own website is doing in terms of links and authority.

Consider this when choosing backlinking tool

  • Data quality: How good the backlinking tool is to collect links and data in your niche is key for your choice.
  • Penalization: Have your website been penalized, you will need functionalities in the backlinking tool to perform link detox audits. It should be able to show and analyze toxic scores, as well as help you manage disavow files.
  • Budget: The price range of backlinking tools are huge. Free backlink checkers are useless and you will have to invest in a proper backlinking tool to perform better SEO. Often all-in-one SEO tools have a backlinking tool built in, but unfortunately data is often poor in such tools. If your budget allow it you should also invest in a backlinking tool in addition to your ranktracker.
  • Experience: If you and your team are highly experienced within SEO you can obviously choose more advanced backlink tools. Some backlinking tools are very advanced and difficult to use and take quite a lot of experience to master.
SEO-powersuite-keyword-research-tool

SEO powersuite is four different tool in one enterprise. You can buy each tool individually or buy them all together in an tool bundle.

Price

9/10

Data

7/10

Depth

7/10

User

5/10

Agency

6/10

majestic SEO tool

Majestic SEO is backlink tool with a huge database of links that you can perform backlink checks and audits from. 

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se ranking seo tool logo

SEranking is all in one SEO enterprise solution that provides you with Ranktracking, crawl data and backlink data

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Depth

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ninjaoutrech seo tool logo

NinjaOutreach is a linkbuilding and influencer marketing tool that allows you to handle automated prospecting and outreach so that you can build relationships and via that authority.

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NA

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NA

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searchmetrics keyword research seo tool

SearchMetrics is a suite of fullservice SEO tools. Basically SearchMetrics have developed three distinct functionalities the SearchMetrics suite with the ResearchCloud and what i call Projects and with their Content Experience.

Price

5/10

Data

7/10

Depth

9/10

User

5/10

Agency

7/10

ahrefs seo tool logo

Ahrefs is link and keyword tool. With the largest database of links Ahrefs allows you to perform the most comprehensive backlink audits.

Price

NA

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NA

Depth

NA

User

NA

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seoprofiler logo seo tools

SEOprofiler is an all in one SEO enterprise tool that lets you track keywords, perform site audits and do backlinking audits in one place

Price

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NA

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NA

User

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The reason why you have to invest in a proper backlink checker

Google actually provides you with some data of backlinks in Google Search Console. However, the amount of links in here is capped as Google don’t want to show you all their data. This is why you need third party tools that have crawled most of the internet, so that you can access data on these links.

When you know where competitors get links and how high their authority is, you can research this and get insights into where you can build and get your own links. Further, you can get to know how many links it would take to beat the competitors on authority and thus also on rankings.

Why the data from backlink checkers differ from each other

Most backlink checkers have built their own database on links by crawling the internet - the same way as Google does it. The different tools often have their specific strength in different markets and even in different niches, as the crawler just keep investigating and bringing back data from websites and areas where it is crawling.

Imaging if you set a crawler to start from an Australian online newspaper. There will be links to international websites, but most of the links and pages, which it will find, will be in Australia. This is the reason why some tools have data on links that others don’t and vice versa.

It’s important for you to choose the backlink checker with the most amount of data on your website and your immediate competitors. However, you should in general decide on a tool that broadly covers a good amount of links and leave out the tools that only provide below ¾ of the links out there. The only way to check this, is to test how many links each tool find on you - or you can simply follow this guide on this page.

Different standard metrics that are relevant when looking at backlinks

Each linkbuilding tool is presenting data in its own way. When choosing the right tool make sure that it gives you datapoints like:

  • From URL: Your backlink checker should give you detailed information on exact urls for inbound links to a given domain.
  • To URL: The linkbuilding tool should also give you information as of where the links goes to on a given domain.
  • Domain Authority: A calculated value of the domains authority is useful in order to decide the value of that domain and its link.
  • URL Authority: The authority of a specific url rather than the whole domain is useful, if you want to know the exact value of the link. The authority differs a lot whether it is on the homepage or on a landing page hidden away.
  • Anchor text: The text in which the link appears is called the anchor text and is important to have in your backlink checker.
  • Dates: It can be very useful to get specific dates on when the linkbuilding tool saw that particular link for the first time, so you can understand what has happened in terms of linkbuilding before.

Measuring Topics and relevance with tools

Apart from the above your backlink checker can have the ability to analyze topical relevance of links. This is useful in order to find out whether links that you or competitors have are relevant for your niche.

The way linkbuilding tools analyze this, is by using machine learning when reading content on the urls that link. After this they divide content into topical relevance in a given niche. This is more basic than how Google does it, but many guesses that it is somewhat identical, even though the Google AI is smarter.

Here, it’s important to notice that topical measure works far from perfect on all languages. Backlink tools have a hard time understanding smaller more complex languages, while working much better on english speaking languages, where the machine learning algorithms are better built to understand it.

Measuring Trust with backlink checkers

Another thing you should consider is whether you want to measure trust as a metric. Trust and the authority of a link (both url and domain) is not the same and it is two different parameters that Google look at.

Trust is basically how far away a website is from the most trustworthy websites on the internet (ie governmental or organizational websites). If a website gets links from governmental websites this is seen as a sign of trust for Google and a sign that this website is important, also, even though, there might be much actual link authority floating from that particular link. Often however, there is a strong correlation between a websites trust and its authority.

Far from all backlink tools are able to give trust metrics and you can definitely do without. Some of the best backlink tools actually don’t measure trust.

Tools to use when your website have been penalized

If your website have been penalized by Google or you suspect that it has, there are backlink checkers and tools that take this directly into account. They let you analyze and research the toxicity of link to give you an overall backlink health score.

This you can use to analyze bad and toxic links in the tool and create a disavow file and send to Google. Some of these tools also let you upload your disavow file to find links and domains that has been dissavowed, but shouldn’t have been disavowed. This let you save authority that has otherwise been thrown out.

A disavow file is a small document where you with the use of “disavow: domain” or “disavow: url” on each domain or url can tell Google if you as webmaster haven’t built and don’t want to affiliate yourself with that particular domain or link.

If you have been penalized due to bad links or been attacked by negative SEO then you simply have to invest in a backlink checker that can help you get out of the penalty. Here, the data Google provides is not sufficient.

In some instances it is possible for you to upload your own lists of backlinks that disavow tools can analyze in terms of toxicity. Here, it is then possible for you, if want to cover a larger amount of your links, to pull out inbound links from several backlink checkers and upload into your tool for checking toxicity and get a broader view. The reason why you want to do this is that not all tools for checking toxicity has a large database of their own. Backlink checkers and tools excel in different areas.