Best Backlink Monitoring Tools
As part of the link building process, it’s important to accurately monitor and analyze the number of backlinks pointing to your site. Otherwise, how else would you keep track of your SEO campaign?
In this article, we’ll provide a list of the top backlink monitoring tools on the Internet. We’ll provide information and screenshots besides each tool as well as discuss the pricing options and features.
Top Backlink Checker Monitoring Tools for SEO
1. Ahrefs.com – $79/Month
Ahrefs.com is the no.1 backlink checker tool that you’ll find online. It’s also the same tool that I use for all of my SEO campaigns.
Although pricey (the cheapest premium version costs $79 per month), Ahrefs.com has a very simple user interface that allows you to see all backlinks to a URL. You can easily filter links by dofollow, date found, new links, lost links, government links, educational links, referring IPs and more.
Like most backlink checker tools, Ahrefs.com gives users the option to export their list via CSV. This includes a maximum export of 2,500 results.
In addition to a backlink checker, Ahrefs.com has other useful features such as SEO reports and a Mentions Trackers.
2. OpenSiteExplorer.org – Free or $99 for Moz Pro Account (Includes 30-Day Free Trial)
OpenSiteExplorer.org (OSE) is powered by Moz.com and is another great tool that is very popular with SEOs.
This tool is free to use when running backlink reports on the free version (up to 2,500 rows). You can filter the backlinks by dofollow, top pages, linking domains, anchor text and more. They also recently added a new feature called Just Discovered, which lets you discover brand new links to your domain faster than any other tool (this is great for immediate reporting such as PR).
The best feature of OSE is that it measures and assigns value to different webpages based on Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). This is one of the only tools on the internet that actually analyzes the link authority of a website or individual page in real time since the Google Page Rank Toolbar became updated less frequently.
You can also install the Mozbar extension for Chrome in order to quickly to view DA and PA values when doing competition analysis.
The only thing I don’t like about OSE however it that is has a less intuitive user interface then Ahrefs.com. You have to go through more steps and click more buttons to filter the backlinks, plus it takes a little longer to load.
If you upgrade to the premium version (Moz Pro) for $99/month than you’ll also get access to Moz Analytics Campaigns and the ability to track up to 300 keywords. This is great for getting starting on new SEO campaigns and it also analyses other factors such as brand mentions and social signals. This all helps to record the success of an inbound marketing campaign.
3. Google Webmaster Tools – Free
Google Webmaster Tools is provided by Google for free. All you have to do is sign in and register your website, then you’ll find the links report under Search Traffic > Links to Your Site > Download Latest Links.
Although Google Webmaster Tools is essential for every webmaster (it alerts you to errors and penalties on your site, as well as lets you submit a site map), it’s backlink reports are pretty poor.
The problem with Webmaster Tools’ backlinks reports is that you only have three options: domains that link to you, entire list of latest links or your top linking anchors. It’s impossible to filter the links based on other important dimensions such as link authority, dofollow, site-wide links, educational links, referring IPs or lost links etc.
Part of the reason for the poor backlink reporting is that Google doesn’t want to give away too much information to webmasters about their own backlinks. For example, if Google provided a full list of backlinks to your site in order of trust and authority than it would be compromise their secret SEO algorithms. Therefore, you’re better off using one of the other options above.
4. Majestic SEO – Free or £29.99 for Silver Premium Account
Majestic SEO is the final backlink checker tool that we can recommend to users.
Upon analyzing a URL, users can view the backlink report, site explorer and see the citation/trust flow of each site.
The report also includes useful charts and graphs for new backlinks over time and a breakdown of your top pages based on trust flow and citation flow. Trust flow is calculated by the number of links from a seed set of trusted sites (similar to how Page Rank works), while citation flow is based on the number of citations given to a URL or site.
Personally, I don’t see a need to upgrade to the premium account as the basic backlink reporting tools are available for free. The only advantage of a premium account is if you need more than 2,500 site explorer rows.
What are the Most Important Features in a Backlink Reporting Tool?
The most important features that a backlink reporting should include are:
- Ability to view all backlinks to yours or a competitors site
- Filter links by dofollow/nofollow, root domain, anchor text
- Domain Authority metrics
- Exportable CSV file for backlinks
Other features, which are not important but useful include:
- Site explorer
- New/Lost links
- SEO campaign reports
- Link graph history