There are many Backlink Checker, some cost a lot of money, others are free. Today we show you which Backlink Checker are available and what the free Backlink Tools are good for. If you think that we have forgotten a tool or if you have questions, please leave a comment.
For what do you need a backlink checker?
By setting up backlinks you can check the domain popularity of a website. In the past, building backlinks was easy. You spammed up the forums and link directories and you have already shot up in the search engine. Those days are long gone, at the latest since Penguin has shaken up the scene. Cynical search engine optimizers have already declared the link building dead and proclaimed the content as the new king. Freely according to the motto: “Le roi est mort, vive le roi” (Dead is the king, long live the king).
Even though we as SEO Agency would like to add ourselves to this list, unfortunately the number of backlinks is still of crucial importance. Of course you can build up a good visibility through content, but the question that always arises here is how much capital you have to build up this content and what you do when the zenith of visibility through content is reached. A fair SEO world would be, if only the content, the technique and the quality of a site brings the judgement about top or flop. But this is really not the case. Fortunately, a lot has changed since the beginning and now it also depends on the quality of these links. But Google also uses other evaluation criteria for links and their value. Basically, with search engines, artificial link building is undesirable or even against the rules.
Danger through backlinks
For all those who have not yet dealt with this topic, it should be said that link building can lead to a drastic penalty with the major search engines such as Google. Those who still can’t help it, need tools to check from where websites get their links. There are different approaches here. Some SEOs also use these tools to evaluate how valuable a link is. I advise against giving too much importance to this evaluation. I think the range of a link source and the thematic relevance are much more important. The features that some tools have are discussed below.
Different functions of Backlink Checker
Not every backlink checker is the same, the tools differ not only in quality but also in their functions. Some backlink checkers only examine where a website gets the links from, other tools look at their own evaluation criteria to determine how valuable the link is supposed to be. It should also be said that not all backlink checkers have the same amount of data available. Therefore you will find more backlinks in the test with some tools than with others.
The following link properties can be tested theoretically:
- number of links
- Link origin
- link quality (as said theoretically)
- Follow links or No-Follow (Advertising links are usually provided with a No-Follow attribute, which Google does not officially use for rating. This means: the content does not pass on its linkjuice to the linked page)
- Domains (Links from other sites should not always come from the same domain. The more domains are obtained, the more interesting the content seems to be)
- IP addresses (here the same principle applies as for domains)
- C-Classes (same principle as for domains – if you have many links from different domains and IP addresses, but they always come from the same C-class, you could easily get the suspicion of artificial link building)
- Text links (Does the link come from a text? Whoever links the same keyword also raises the suspicion of unnatural link building 😉
- Picture links (You can also link pictures, such as infographics and banners.)
- Broken-Links (are there any links that do not work anymore? This circumstance is especially interesting for Broken-Linkbuilding)
As you can see, there is a lot to display links. Of course not every tool can do that.
Backlink checker under the magnifying glass
Now let’s take a closer look at some Backlink Checker. We have included the following tools in our analysis:
- SEO United
- Backlink Tool.org
- backlink test
- Wise SEO
- Open Site Explorer MOZ
- Small SEO Tools
As you can see, there is plenty of choice.
Most backlink checkers collect their data with their own servers. Often the capacities for this are limited. With LinkResearchTools (short LRT) the data is fetched from 25 different link data sources. But not only that: LinkResearchTools prepares, checks and documents this data again independently. As far as I know, no other backlink tool has such a large effort. However, the data and its quality speak for themselves. Even with good tools for SEO, we as an agency often have the problem that too little data is collected.
For evaluation and processing LinkResearchTools uses 97 SEO metrics according to its own information. Even with penalties by search engines, in most cases the bad backlinks can be quickly identified and eliminated. But not only by self-caused circumstances one can slip with baking links fast in the search results. Even though the Google algorithm is becoming more and more perfect, there is still a whole industry that specializes in negative SEO and tries to devalue certain pages by building bad links.
Especially in the competition analysis LinkResearchTools is worth its weight in gold and helps to evaluate competitors. Speed also plays a role in link building. If your site uses link building, it should not be too fast but also not too slow, otherwise you will arouse the mistrust of the search engines. Since every industry has a different speed, how links are distributed in the net without being helped, LinkResearchTools can evaluate this speed and help you to understand the right speed.
Especially during the relaunch of a website, when the URL changes and not all new addresses are cleanly set to the new URL via 301 redirection, broken links occur. These links still lead to you, but generate an error message. To help you find broken links on other websites, LinkResearchTools will show you these broken links. Now you can either take the trouble and ask the website operators to correct them, or even better: direct the links correctly to the right target.
Of course LinkResearchTools offers much more features. Even if the prices are in the upper range, you have the fair chance to test LinkResearchTools for free. One must also emphasize positively that there is no annoying subscription, but the test phase simply ends after seven days. Nothing stands in the way of a test, does it?
Sistrix is mainly known as a brilliant SEO tool. But Sistrix can do much more with its modules. Among other things there is a link module. With Sistrix you can quickly see where the links from pages come from and how many there are. Sistrix also offers the possibility to check if the links might look inorganic, i.e. suspect that they were bought. You can do this not only for your own website, but also for those of your competitors. For those who want a bit more, you can refine this data and combine it with Majestic’s data. But also the link module of Sistrix itself offers a great variety of application scenarios.
Ease of work
At the beginning of a website, when the visibility is not yet high and the number of links is manageable, you can still get along well with your own website, for example with Google’s Search Console. But especially if you want to analyze competitors or the amount of data is growing, you need a reliable tool in the form of a backlink checker. Sistrix helps you out of the time-consuming manual sorting and takes over the evaluation of link sources. With the integrated link rating, Sistrix crawls websites that link to a domain in real-time and uses its own powerful database for rating. The module works according to 30 defined rules. This rating is unfortunately limited to one domain per week without additional costs, but I think for the evaluation and the implementation of the acquired knowledge you will probably need more than one week.
When evaluating the links, the checker looks at which links there are, how many links there are and how valuable they are. In addition, for text links you can see which anchor text was linked to. As already mentioned, the wrong or always the same anchor text can also be an indication of unnatural links.
Especially for advanced SEOs, the Backlink Checker offers a variety of possibilities to examine the results and ads more closely according to your own filter criteria. This way, no detail escapes you while you work. With the API you can also use the data from Sistrix with your own tools. Furthermore, you have the possibility to export all results as a table or to make them available in a report to employees or your customers. Even with support you can’t complain with Sistrix.
All modules of Sistrix can be tested for 14 days for free. After this time no cancellation is necessary.
Majestic claims to have the largest link database in the world. This backlink checker is especially useful if you want to find out how websites link to each other. You get a lot of information and vivid graphics. With the Site Explorer you can work through and crawl the individual domains. It shows you the referring domains, the anchor text and which backlinks there are. Among many other functions it also shows you which links are new and which you have lost. A subdivision into topics is also possible.
The Backlink History Checker determines the number of backlinks and you can see the development by means of a graph that goes back a long way. You can even analyse an industry by entering ten different domains, which are competitors. Now Majestic searches the database for all domains that link to more than one of these websites. With the Flow Metrics History you can analyze the relevance and trustworthiness of certain websites by comparing the Trust Flow and the Citation Flow.
The Search Explorer searches Majestic’s index for specific keywords and displays the corresponding titles and URLs. The search hits of the URL can also be retrieved. The Search Explorer is very good for building a list of topic-related URLs. It also explains why the URLs are displayed and what makes them special.
Majestic provides an API for developers.
Ahrefs offers not only the Backlink Checker but also many other analysis options. The analysis is based on a database with about 240 million search terms. Already for 100 countries in the world ahrefs monitors the index of search results. According to ahrefs 6 billion websites are searched every day, 12 trillion links are found, 200 million root domains and three trillion URLs. That’s what I call a high capacity.
ahrefs also insists on having the world’s largest backlink database with 4 billion pages. As soon as you enter a URL into the backlink tool Site Explorer, all available backlinks are displayed, with various SEO factors as a help. Here the supposed quality of the website is shown. The outbound links of a page are also analyzed for structure and function.
CognitiveSEO has some strong references to offer. Unfortunately the Backlink Checker is not yet available in German language. Just like the other tools mentioned so far, CognitiveSEO offers much more features that go far beyond backlink checking. Especially when searching for unnatural looking links CognitiveSEO can be a great help. You can display them in a list and, if necessary, you can have them packed and validated directly in the Google Disavow directory.
The detailed and well designed graphics are always well received by the customer. The data that CognitiveSEO provides for link building is very detailed, especially when analyzing competitors. Especially if you want to find out which links were used to change a website, detailed graphics help you to find out, if possible. Disclosing the link strategy of the competitor can have a lot of advantages in competition. This makes it much easier to find potential link targets. You can also set up an e-mail alert, which keeps you up to date.
SEO United offers a completely permanent free backlink checker, which shows you which links point to an entered domain. Not even a registration is necessary. The value of the domain popularity is displayed, which you can also see in the history. In the actual view, the URLs, the link text or whether it is an image and the domain value of the linking page are displayed. It is a pity that it is not shown what the domain value refers to or how it is calculated. Nevertheless, as a free backlink checker, it is a good place to go for analysis.
BACKLINKTOOL.org offers amazingly detailed information for a free backlink tool. As of our research (13.11.2017) the Backlink Checker is limited to 200 requests per hour. After that no further requests are possible, only after 58 minutes the tool is ready for use again. The following information is provided by the Backlink Checker after entering a domain:
- backlink count
- number of domains
- IP address number
- C-classes Number
- number of text links
- number of image links
- Backlink sender address
- anchor text – which anchor text the link has
- How many external links the linking page has
- How many internal links the linking page has
- Ob Linkjuice flows in the form of Do-Follow or not
This is an amazing amount of data for a free tool and we like it very much. We also like the fact that the operators state where the Backlink Checker gets its data from. It fetches them through an interface from Xovi, which is already a trustworthy source. With the two additional functions anchor text checker and Easylink the backlink tool rounds off its service. Here you can analyze the anchor texts even more precisely and find relevant link sources.
Backlinktest.com also offers a free backlink checker. During our test we were unfortunately punished with a very long loading time. Whether this is always the case, we can not say. The processing time is indicated with 1-5 minutes. For the test we have entered the provider’s page. It also took about 5 minutes. Maybe this is because, according to the information, the checker collects more information in real time from the database. Backlinktest collects data since 2012 with a self developed crawler. According to Backlinktest, the database now contains over one billion links.
Nice is the function to download the result of the evaluation as PDF or table. Also the graphics and the amount of information do not look bad. Beside the Backlink Checker you have here another tool with the Dead-Link-Checker. This tool finds dead links, which lead to nowhere.
Many important information about backlinks
In the analysis Backlinktest provided us with the following information:
father-domain – the plus at the beginning of the table makes the view much clearer, because if several pages link from one domain, the plus summarizes them under one tab. By clicking on the plus the view opens.
- Backlink URL
- Linkjuice -Follow or not
- Alexa rank – if available
- Number of additional links on the found page (This is very useful, because the more links on the page go outside, the less the link is probably worth).
- Due to a variety of factors, the quality factor of the page is determined (it is also nice that it is explained how this is achieved).
- If the backlink is active (green = yes, yellow = temporarily unavailable, red = link no longer exists)
- Type of backlink (image or text)
- anchor text
- IP address
- more information about the site (e.g. age, wiki listing, screenshot)
As if this were not already a mass of data, it goes even further. After the table you can find more information and graphics that give information about the number of backlinks (Linkpop, Domainpop, IP-Pop). The graphics illustrate all values clearly in diagrams. We would not have expected so much information.
Wise SEO offers a 14-day free trial. At first glance, the variety of possibilities to filter the results is striking.
In the overview you can see after a relatively short loading time including history, how many links there are and how many different domains, IPs and Class-Cs form them. The Backlink Checker also accesses the outdated rating of Google’s Pagerank, which no longer exists. Links, which do not have one, are indicated with NB. You get a good overview of deeplink and no-follow ratio. Below you get to the table, where you find the following information:
- Evaluation of the link
- Keywords which the domain has in the Google results
- Top 10 keywords which the domain has in the Google results
- Number of backlinks of the domain
- IP number of backlinks of the domain
- Class-C number of backlinks of the domain
- Position of the link
- Active or not
- Website size
Even if the graphical representation is not quite as round as the last test candidate, you have to be amazed again how much information you can get here without money. It seems that you can get even more data for a comparatively low monthly fee. Below you will find a bar chart and an overview.
SEOkicks has over 200 billion links in its database. It shows you for free:
- the backlink domain
- IP address
- Number of links
- Ranking history with the data from Sistrix
- Linking URL
- Follow status
- anchor text
- Link destinations
- Status codes
You can download the data as a table. With a registration at SEOkicks you can see much more.
With semrush you can also perform extensive backlink analyses. Of course, the first step shows you which links all lead to a page. semrush also evaluates the incoming links and displays the anchor text. Semrush also checks whether the links come from websites of an authority or educational institution, which can be an indication of quality.
Of course the tool offers a lot of other possibilities for evaluation. You can test it with a registration. The following information is also interesting:
- find relevant websites
- Link origin (image, form, frame or text)
- Geolocations (shows from which country the domains originate)
- IP addresses
According to Semrush, it has over 160 billion links in its database – quite a lot.
MOZ is very clearly arranged. As soon as you have entered the desired analysis URL, you will find information about the domain authority, the spam value and the number of links. In the table you get information about the backlinks, the anchor text, the spam value, the page authority of the link and also the domain authority. These values are only available for five links, for more information you have to be a customer. If you want to see more, you can test the site for 30 days for free.
Additionally you can filter the table.
Smal SEO Tools
At Smal SEO Tools, the name seems to be taken literally. After entering the URL, you are shown nothing more than the pure backlinks and these are limited to 100. The test turns out rather sobering.
Searchmetrics has already made a good name for itself as an SEO tool. Also here a module is included to control the backlinks of a page. Thereby incoming and outgoing links are examined extensively. You get the anchor text and the strength of the link. The data is re-crawled every day. As usual elegant of searchmetrics is the graphical presentation of the results. Searchmetrics checks how valuable a link is based on its own criteria (several hundred). The Backlink Checker looks at which links pass on the juice. Of course this is not all that the suite of searchmetrics can do. If you would like to learn more, please register and request a demo.
Conclusion on Backlink Tools
All in all it remains a question of functions, quality of data and your own taste which SEO tools you use as backlink checker. Our favorites are:
LinkResearchTools has extremely good data, is enormously reliable and the evaluation is very clear, but for this you also pay a proud price. If you don’t have that much money, you should choose a Sistrix account and combine the data with Majestic. What we really liked about CognitiveSEO were the graphics. If you don’t have any money or don’t want to spend any, the tool from BACKLINKTOOL.org will probably be the best choice. Even though we don’t actually use free backlink tools in the agency, we were still very surprised how much information some providers provide and that for free.