Now that you know what backlinks are and how to build them, the next step is to start monitoring your backlink profile. As your site grows, this becomes more important, allowing you to spot broken links, spammy external links, overuse of anchor text, and more.
The following are the best tools to monitor backlinks, making what could be an arduous and tedious process much easier. There’s a product for everyone, whether you have a budget or want to try for free, so find one that fits your needs and get started.
Free backlink tools
Most free tools offer minimal features, but give you a great place to start if you’re new to SEO and backlink analysis. With fewer bells and whistles, you can get right to the information you care about most.
MOZ Open Site Explorer
Why use it: Moz is the authority in SEO
MOZ Open Site Explorer excels at the one thing you want it to — checking your backlink profile — without adding any distractions. You can look at backlinks for just one specific page, like a landing page or robust piece of content you want to watch. You can also check the backlink profile of your entire website and monitor details such as anchor text.
Under “Link Type,” you can specify do-follow, no-follow, 301, 302 and more, allowing you to get just the overview you’re looking for. Note that as a free tool, there are some drawbacks: you can’t download or export reports or save your findings.
Why use it: Simple interface with all the most important information
Linkody is perfect for beginners, or anyone who just wants a quick, high-level view of their backlink profile. You can use it to check four domains a week and get up to 100 links per report. Next to each link, you’ll see the Domain Authority of the linking site, the page it’s linking to, the anchor text, rel (do- or no-follow), and IP. When you pay for an account, you can also see Moz ranking and total shares for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
This free tool packs a lot into one report, and though you can’t download your results, you can manually track number of linking domains, number of no-follow links, and commonly used anchor text — whatever data is most important to you — on a weekly basis in your own spreadsheet.
Premium backlink tools
If you’re ready to take your backlink management to the next level, check out these premium tools. Each one comes with a suite of features that allow you to get a deeper look at what’s going on with your backlink profile and more.
Why use it: Robust feature set and proprietary ranking system
Pricing: $50-$150/quarter or month
Most people check two core stats when determining the overall ranking of a website: Domain Authority and Trust Flow. Majestic created and trademarked the latter. Their authority in the space alone is enough to try the tool, and the robust feature set provides significant value at a reasonable price.
With their most inexpensive plan, Lite, you’ll have access to all the backlink information you need, and can even set up campaigns (groups of websites) to track and monitor growth over time. You can use the bulk backlink checker to assess your own site or others, checking up to 100,000 URLs at once, depending on your plan.
Why use it: Easy glance-and-go interface
When you search a domain with Monitor Backlinks, the results return with a high-level overview of your current link landscape, along with a detailed link list. In the high-level overview, you can see total links, unique domains, trust flow, and more. Depending on what account level you choose, you’ll also be able to see from 500 to 5,000 links and check keywords and competitor domains. With a variety of other tracking options, it’s a great all-in-one tool for monitoring your backlink profile.
Why use it: Detailed reporting
Even the lowest priced plan of the fully-loaded SEO tool Ahrefs gives you 10,000 links per report, capping at 3 million per month. As an enterprise-level tool, it might be a bit overwhelming for newer SEOs. But if you’re doing work with large clients, this tool can really show you know your stuff.
Top-level overview metrics include current growth or decline (shown as + or -), so you can quickly see if you’re gaining or losing links. If this number jumps abnormally high or low, it will be easy to spot and investigate. Backlinks are also broken out into “new,” “lost,” and “broken” making it easy for you to quickly find the information you want, rather than digging through results that include all three.
Start your backlink tracking
There are many tools to monitor your backlink profile, and these rank among the most valuable for SEO professionals. Find the one that’s right for you and start tracking.