A magnifier zooming in on a backlink - best backlink checker tools concept

Best Backlink Checker Tools: 4 Options to Consider

A magnifier zooming in on a backlink - best backlink checker tools concept
Tamara Danielyan Tamara Danielyan
Table of Contents

Are you here because you want to analyze your backlink profile?

Or maybe you want to check out your competition?

Either way, you’re definitely in the right place!

Well, it’s no secret that backlinks are a powerful factor when it comes to search engine rankings and attracting traffic to a website. One study even showed that nearly all (92.3%) of the 100 top-ranking domains had at least one backlink.

So, the fact that people constantly want to keep an eye on their backlink profiles and use the best backlink checker tools is not surprising. In fact, it’s expected (and also kind of the least you can do).

While you can control some of the links pointing to your website, and often you’re the reason those backlinks exist, other times, you will have no idea that you have a backlink from this or that website.

And those backlinks don’t always turn out to be good.

This is exactly why you have to regularly check your backlink profile. It’s basically a fortune teller that tells you whether you’re on the right track or not.

Well, how do you do that? How do you monitor your backlink profile? 

Well, easy! 

You simply have to use the best backlink checker tools!

What are Backlink Checker Tools?

Backlink checker tools are specialized software programs that use web crawlers to identify all the websites that have links pointing to a specific web page or domain. They help you conduct a backlink quality analysis and get insights into the quantity and relevance of backlinks pointing to a domain.

Businesses look for the best backlink checker tools to gain insights into what’s working and what’s not and alter their SEO strategies accordingly.

Why Use a Backlink Checker?

Now, you might be thinking, why would I want to look for the best backlink checker tools or spend time using them?

Well, let’s break it down.

Finding and Analyzing Backlinks

First things first, the best backlink checker tools are there to help you find and analyze backlinks that you might have no idea exist. The best backlink checker tools also provide you with invaluable data about the website that is linked to you, which later assists you in improving the efficiency of your SEO and link building efforts. 

They essentially help you identify areas for improvement. Learning how to track backlinks and doing all that manually, even if possible, will take you ages.

Assessing Backlink Quality and Relevancy

As mentioned before, not all backlinks have a positive impact. 

Yes, quantity is also extremely important, but it should never ever be at the cost of quality and relevancy, as this holds far greater significance in the eyes of search engines. The best backlink checker tools use advanced algorithms to do a backlink quality analysis and assess the context relevancy of each inbound link. 

​​You can also use the best backlinks checker tools to find toxic links that might be harming your website instead of helping it. One way to check for links that are not good for you is by looking at the Anchors report. 

In the screenshot below, I looked up a website in Ahrefs and found a couple of suspicious anchors that are linked but probably need to be removed or fixed.

A screenshot of backlinks with suspicious anchor texts that should be fixed/removed.

With all this knowledge in the palm of your hands, you can easily differentiate between the backlinks that boost your SEO efforts and the ones that are blocking the way for your SEO success.

Identifying New Link Building Opportunities

In today’s mega-competitive world, staying ahead of the curve is crucial, and surprisingly (or not so much), the best backlink checker tools can also help here.

You can use the best backlink checker tools to find websites and domains that are likely to link to your content and then reach out to them and suggest starting a partnership! 

How?

You can just conduct a backlink profile analysis of your competitors and find out which websites link to them. The truth is websites that link to your competitors are likely to link to you, too, as you’re all in the same industry and provide similar products or services. 

Let’s say I want to check out SayNine’s competition, but I don’t have the time or the energy to do it all manually. I would start by logging into Ahrefs and typing in the domain name then I would scroll down to the part that says “Top Organic Competitors.”

And voila, there you have it, your main competitors!

A screenshot of SayNine's organic competitors according to Ahrefs.

So, using the best backlink checkers will help you pinpoint new potential avenues to improve your link building efforts and expand your online presence.

Optimizing SEO Performance

The search for ways to improve your SEO performance is probably what led you to the best backlink checker tools in the first place. By using the best backlink checker tools, businesses can adjust their strategies to market needs and rise to the top of the game. Whether you want to identify broken backlinks, disavow toxic ones, or check spammy backlinks, the best backlink checker tools are your indispensable buddies. 

4 Best Backlink Checker Tools For a Better Strategy

Okay, now that we know exactly what backlink checker tools are and why it’s so important to use them, let’s go through a short list of the best backlink checker tools in the market and analyze their pros and cons.

Ahrefs

Starting off strong with an industry classic – Ahrefs, which is one of the best backlink checker tools.

Ahrefs is an extremely handy tool in SEO that essentially gives you all you need in one platform. Apart from the Ahrefs backlink checker being considered one of the best backlink checker tools on the market, it offers so much more. From keyword research to rank tracking and coming up with content ideas – you can have it all. 

To put it briefly, Ahrefs’ use in link building and SEO in general is incomparable to any other platform really. It has a giant toolbox with features that will allow you to spy on your website’s backlinks as well as those of your competitors, making it one of the best backlink checker tools.

But, like Spider-Man famously said: “With great power comes a hefty price tag.”

Oh wait, that wasn’t it…

But you get the point 🙂

However, as an avid user of the Ahrefs backlink checker, I will say that it’s actually worth it if you take into account all the different tools it provides and, more importantly, the accuracy of those tools. 

Let’s take a look at all the features Ahrefs offers.

It mainly focuses on three areas – keyword research, backlink analysis, and on-page optimization and each of those has its own tools and features. So, let’s go through these one by one.

Keyword Research

  • Keyword Explorer helps you discover new keyword ideas, analyze search volumes, and assess keyword difficulty.
  • Content Explorer helps you find high-performing content on any topic.
  • Rank Tracker tracks your website’s ranking progress for specific keywords over time.

Backlink Analysis 

  • Site Explorer allows you to analyze the backlink profile of any website. You can see how many backlinks a website has, where those backlinks are coming from, and the quality of those backlinks.
  • Link building tools such as a broken link checker and a content explorer.
  • Advanced backlink filters help dive into your backlink data and find the most relevant backlinks for your needs.

On-page Optimization

  • Site Audit tool that crawls your website and identifies technical SEO issues.
  • Content Gap Analysis that helps identify topics that your competitors are ranking for.
  • Page Inspector that analyzes any webpage and identifies on-page SEO issues.

Eager to know whether Ahrefs and its in-depth toolkit will be worth it for you? Well, I happen to have a pros and cons list for this occasion, want to see it?

Pros (aka the good stuff)

  • Massive Backlink Database

Ahrefs is not considered one of the best backlink checker tools for no reason. It has got eyes everywhere. It has a big collection of backlinks, almost as big as Google’s! This means you can find pretty much any link pointing to your website, which is super helpful when you’re trying to learn how to track backlinks, keep tabs on the competition, and find new ways to get your site noticed.

  • Accurate and Fresh Data 

Ahrefs’ updates are super frequent, meaning you’ll always be working with the latest information, and this, of course, can have a crucial impact when it comes to making SEO-related decisions and deciding on strategies.

  • Advanced Backlinks Analysis

Ahrefs goes way beyond simply showing you backlinks. It provides more metrics like Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR), which estimate the linking website’s authority and the linked page’s strength. You can also filter and analyze links by different criteria, meaning you can get more control over your backlink profile. It’s essentially an advanced backlink management tool.

In the video screenshot above, you can get a glimpse of all the different data it provides in one platform. From basic metrics like the DR and traffic to broken backlinks and anchors, along with their sources, you can have it all!

  • Additional SEO Features

It offers so many SEO tools (both free and paid, by the way), including Site, Keyword, and Content Explorers, a Site Audit tool, and a Rank Tracker. This means you’re not only getting the Ahrefs backlink checker, which simply allows you to check backlinks of a site, but also other tools to find keywords, keep an eye on the competition, and regularly audit your own website.

If you look at the very top and left sides of this screenshot you can see some of these advanced features that Ahrefs provides, it’s basically everything you will ever need to know about your own website all collected in one platform.

Sounds like the best of all worlds!

Cons (aka the not-so-good stuff)

  • Quite Pricey

Well, there’s no denying it: Ahrefs can be quite expensive, especially for small businesses or companies that are just starting their SEO journey. It can be quite an investment, starting at $99 per month. So, if you’re only going to use it for the Ahrefs backlink checker, you might want to explore other options.

  • Takes a While to Get Used to

Because it offers so many tools and so many insights within each of these tools, it’s not the easiest platform to wrap your head around. Although there are hints to help you, in order to fully grasp how it works and squeeze everything out of the insights that it provides, you will probably have to be using it for a while.

  • No Free Trial and Very Limited Free Features

Despite being considered one of the best backlink checker tools on the market, unfortunately, Ahrefs doesn’t offer a free trial. It does provide some free tools, including a free backlink checker, however, it does not give you much and will make you feel like you’re only getting a small portion of the whole cake.

Pricing

Above, we discussed all the pros and cons I think you should consider when weighing your options, but let’s also talk a bit about the pricing system that they have set up.

Ahrefs has 4 main plans – Lite, Standard, Advanced and also an option for agencies. Now, let’s break them down a bit.

  • Lite: Ideal for small businesses and individual SEOs, with basic backlink analysis and 175 daily link checks.
  • Standard: Suitable for growing businesses, offering more analysis features and 500 daily link checks.
  • Advanced: Designed for agencies and large businesses, with extensive data exports and 1750 daily link checks.
  • Agency: Best for large agencies and enterprises, providing maximum limits and priority support.

If you want to be billed monthly, the fees are $99 for Lite, $199 for Standard, and $399 for Advanced.

If you choose to be billed annually though the prices will be $83, $166 and $333 accordingly.

To learn more a bit what features all these plans include I suggest you go to their pricing page, as truly there’s a lot more to uncover here.

So, should I get Ahrefs for backlink monitoring?

I think we can all agree that Ahrefs is one of the best backlink checker tools, but honestly, it’s not for everyone. If you’re a big company or an SEO pro, Ahrefs’ offerings might be worth the price. But if you’re just starting out or are on a tight budget, there might be better options with a gentler learning curve.

The bottom line? Ahrefs is a superhero of sorts, but you have to decide whether you need a superhero or if regular not-so-fancy tools will do the trick.

Moz

Moz and the Moz backlink checker are also well-established SEO tools that can fulfill the list of the best backlink checker tools for SEO professionals.  It offers a good balance of features and affordability, making it a popular choice for businesses of various sizes. 

Some of its key features include:

  • Website rank tracking that tracks the ranking of your website’s pages for specific keywords.
  • Site SEO auditing to identify technical SEO issues on your website.
  • Keyword research to discover new keywords to target on your website. 
  • Competitive research to analyze your competitors’ SEO strategies.
  • Link research to get insights into your website’s backlinks. 

It also provides content insights and suggestions and its own guide to SEO basics.

Now that we’ve identified Moz’s features, it’s high time to break down its pros, cons, and pricing so you can decide whether it’s the right backlink checker tool for you.

Pros

  • Reputable and Reliable

Moz has been around for a long time and is known for its quality SEO tools and data. Its Link Explorer is a backlink management tool that offers a trustworthy source for backlinks analysis.

  • Good Balance of Features 

The Moz backlink checker provides essential backlink data like anchor text distribution, linking domain metrics (DA), and broken link identification. It allows you to monitor your backlink profile, analyze competitors, and identify link-building opportunities.

​​In the screenshots below you can see some of the data Moz provides once you use their Link Explorer and type in your domain name.

A screenshot of Moz dashboard with insights about top followed links to a site, top pages on a site, top anchor text for a site, and linking domains by DA.
  • Free Backlink Checking

Moz offers a limited free version of Link Explorer that lets you check basic backlink information for your website. This is a great way to do a quick test drive before committing to a paid plan.

A screenshot of backlink profile insights, including information about domain authority, linking domains, inboun links, and ranking keywords, provided by Moz.
  • Beginner-Friendly Interface

Unlike some of the best backlink checker tools with tons of confusing buttons, Moz is user-friendly. It’s easier to navigate and understand, even for those who are quite new to SEO.

  • Integrates with Other Moz Tools

If you already use other Moz SEO tools, Link Explorer will obviously integrate seamlessly with them.

Cons

  • Limited Data Compared to High-End Tools

While Moz Link Explorer is good when you’re just starting to learn how to track backlinks, it might not find every single website linking to you compared to some more powerful (and expensive) tools. For businesses needing the most comprehensive backlink analysis, other options might be better.

  • Slower Data Updates

Moz updates its information and databases a little slower compared to the best backlink checker tools mentioned earlier. This might not be ideal if you need to get real-time updates and know about every new link the second it happens.

  • Limited Free Version Features

Sure, having a free trial is great for the best backlink checker tools, but Moz’s free trial lacks some of the cool features that the paid plans offer.

Pricing

Moz Link Explorer is available as part of Moz Pro subscriptions, which start at $99 per month. Here’s a quick look at the pricing options:

  • Standard ($99/month): Ideal for freelancers and small businesses, offering basic backlinks analysis with 500 backlink queries per month and 3 campaigns.
  • Medium ($179/month): Suitable for growing businesses, with more features, 10 campaigns, and 20,000 backlink queries per month.
  • Large ($299/month): Designed for larger businesses, providing up to 25 campaigns and 70,000 backlink queries per month.
  • Premium ($599/month): An ideal option for big agencies and in-house marketing teams, offering advanced features, 50 campaigns, and 100.000 backlink queries per month.

As usual, you can get a 20% off, if you decide to be billed annually for each of these plans. Again I recommend browsing the Moz pricing page to learn more about each of these options and compare them to each other.

So, should I get Moz?

If you’re a business owner (or freelancer) looking for the best backlink checker tools, a solid backlink checker like Moz, that’s both easy to use and affordable, is a great option. 

It gives you the important information you need to track your backlinks and find new opportunities. But if you need one of the best backlink checker tools with real-time updates, you might need to look at some pricier options.

To put it shortly, Moz Link Explorer is a reliable backlink checker that most businesses can use effectively, without needing a lot of professional skills or knowledge.

SEMrush

Next on our list of the best backlink checker tools is the SEMrush backlink checker. Compared to other SEO tools, SEMrush has all the fancy and advanced features one might need, including a powerful backlink checker. 

Its features can be categorized into SEO, Competitive Analysis, Content Marketing, and Social Media Management, but it also offers so much more. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key functionalities:

SEO Toolkit

  • Tools like Keyword Magic Tool and Keyword Gap Analysis help you discover relevant keywords, analyze their search volume and competition, and identify keyword opportunities.
  • Features like On-Page SEO Checker and SEO Content Template help optimize your website content.
  • SEMrush can conduct an SEO audit and identify any technical SEO issues.
  • You can use SEMrush for a detailed backlink analysis and monitor your backlink profile, understand your competitor’s backlinks, and identify link-building opportunities.

Competitive Analysis

  • Conducts organic research to analyze your competitor’s organic traffic sources and top keywords.
  • Provides a comprehensive overview of a competitor’s website’s organic search performance, traffic sources, and backlinks.

Content Marketing

  • SEMrush helps identify trending topics and content ideas.
  • Provides an SEO Content Template, which creates content outlines optimized for your target keywords.
  • Offers an SEO Writing Assistant that gives suggestions to improve your content’s readability and SEO score.

And, of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

But, just like everything else in life, it all comes with a price. Let’s see if this price is worth paying for you.

Pros

  • Can Be Used For Free

Unlike many SEO tools, SEMrush offers a 7-day free trial that will let you dip your toes into the SEO world. So, whether you want to check out the SEMrush backlink checker or any other backlink management tool, you can test the waters first and see if it’s a good fit for you without any commitment.

  • All-in-One SEO Toolkit

Like Moz and Ahrefs, SEMrush isn’t just a backlink checker. It’s a complete SEO toolbox. You’ll find different features for keyword research (both organic and paid search), competitor analysis, and more—all in one place.

A screenshot of SEMrush's tools for different areas of interest, including Keyword Research, On-page SEO, competitor analysis, content marketing, and so on.

In this screenshot, you can see some of the tools SEMrush provides, but make sure to explore all its other features and tools to get a better understanding of how it works.

  • On-Page SEO Tools

It offers tools to adjust your website’s content and structure for search engines, making your website more user-friendly and improving your website’s ranking.

  • Test Drive it Risk-Free

SEMrush offers a seven-day money-back guarantee. This means you can take this backlink management tool for a spin for 7 days and if it doesn’t meet your needs you can apply to get a refund.

Cons

  • Pricey Investment

SEMrush can be quite expensive, starting at almost $130 a month. This might be a bit much for smaller businesses or those just starting out with SEO.

  • Learning Curve

There’s a bit of a learning curve with SEMrush. With all its features and data, it can be overwhelming at first and it’s definitely not one of the most user-friendly options. However, they do provide an SEMrush 101 guide as well as other resources to help out people who are just getting started. 

  • Limited Free Version 

The free version of SEMrush actually doesn’t show you much, making it even harder to decide if you want the full package and full commitment.

Pricing 

SEMrush offers 3 main pricing plans:

  • Pro ($129.95/month): For newbies and smaller teams, offering SEO, PPC, and research tools.
  • Guru ($2499.95/month): For agencies and mid-size businesses, offers the Pro features as well as a Content Marketing Toolkit, historical data, multi-location, device tracking and more.
  • Business ($499.95/month): For large agencies and enterprises, provide all Guru features and Share of Voice, extended limits, API access, PLA analytics, free migration from third-party tools, and more.

I have to mention, though, that keyword, domain, and backlink analytics are included in all 3 and provide the same results, so if you mainly need to use SEMrush for these features, go with the cheapest option!

Oh, and we forgot to mention, like with the other two tools, SEMrush also offers up to 17% off if you purchase a yearly subscription, making it one of the best backlink checker tools.

They offer custom solutions depending on your needs, so if you’re a big business, maybe chatting with them about this will help you make the right decision.

So, is SEMrush worth it?

If you’re a big company or a real SEO pro looking for one of the best backlink checker tools, SEMrush’s backlink checker, with all its other tools and features, might be worth the price. But if you’re just starting out or on a tight budget, keep looking for better options that are easier to learn and use.

Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO and the Majestic backlink checker have been around for a while now and they are worthy competitors to the other best backlink checker tools on our list. However, it’s not as widely used as the rest of them. 

So, what features does it offer?

  • Backlink analysis, which allows you to see all the websites linking to a particular domain. 
  • Unique flow metrics to determine the Trust and Citation Flows.
  • Competitor research to help you compare your website’s backlink profile with your competitors. 
  • Link building tools to identify good websites for link building. 
  • Access to historical data, which allows you to see how a website’s backlink profile has changed over time.

Now, let’s quickly break down its pros and cons to help you decide if it’s the right tool for your needs.

Pros

  • Extensive Historical Backlink Data

Unlike some newer tools, Majestic SEO has a massive collection of backlinks, including those from way back in the past. This lets you conduct a thorough backlink profile analysis and see how your backlink profile has evolved, which can be interesting and insightful.

  • Focus on Trust Flow and Citation Flow

It doesn’t just count your backlinks, it judges their trustworthiness. It can help you identify bad backlinks to get rid of or find the ones that have good metrics. Think of backlinks as recommendations – some websites are more credible than others, and Majestic SEO tries to figure that out.

For instance, here I checked the trust and citation flows of SayNine. As you can see these are machine-generated estimates of the quality and quantity of backlinks. 

A screenshot of
  • Niche Connections

Majestic SEO can even see if linking websites are relevant to your niche. This can be especially helpful when trying to find link-building opportunities in your specific area of expertise.

  • Budget-Friendly

Compared to some of the best backlink checkers, Majestic SEO is a bit easier on the wallet, which can be a huge plus for smaller businesses.

Cons

  • Limited Toolkit

While Majestic SEO has some cool features, it doesn’t have everything. You won’t find tools for things like keyword research or website optimization.

  • Dated Interface

The interface for Majestic SEO is a bit outdated, so it might take some getting used to finding what you need.

  • Accuracy Concerns

Some users have noticed that the backlink data from the Majestic backlink checker doesn’t always match up with other tools. While they have a lot of info, it might not always be the freshest or most accurate.

Pricing

Majestic SEO offers a variety of paid plans, ranging from $49.99 per month to $399.99 per month. The higher tiers offer increased limits on daily checks, reports, and access to historical data. Here’s a quick look at Majestic SEO’s pricing plans:

  • Lite ($49.99/month): Ideal for audit and prospecting of a small group of sites.
  • Pro ($99.99/month): For agencies, domain traders, and SEO consultants, offering access to a wider range of reports and extracting more data.
  • API ($399.99/month): Best for agencies who need maximum power and for developers who want to grab data directly from Majestic.

Like SEMrush, Majestic SEO also offers a 7-day money-back guarantee for all new users but only for the Lite and Pro plans.

So, should I get Majestic SEO?

Majestic SEO is a good option if you’re on a budget and want a backlink checker with a focus on historical data and trust flow. But if you’re looking for a modern, feature-rich tool with guaranteed up-to-date data, you might want to explore other options.

I think those who should consider it are:

  • Businesses on a tight budget looking for a basic backlink checker with a focus on historical data and trust flow metrics.
  • Users who value affordability over a comprehensive feature set.
  • Best for SEO professionals who already use other tools for keyword research and on-page SEO and simply need a dedicated backlink checker.

If you don’t find yourself here, you’ll probably need to consider another option.

To Sum Up

To wrap up what we discussed today:

  • Backlinks are a powerful factor when it comes to search engine rankings and attracting traffic to a website.
  • By using the best backlink checker tools, you can find and analyze your backlinks, assess their quality and relevancy, identify new opportunities, and optimize your website’s overall SEO performance.
  • Some of the best backlink checker tools include Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, and Majestic SEO.
  • Ahrefs is perfect if you’re already a big, established agency and are looking for a tool that offers many different SEO features.
  • Moz is a reliable option that is easier to use for people who don’t have much experience and knowledge in the SEO world.
  • SEMrush is one of the best backlink checker tools that offers various SEO tools but comes with one of the more expensive options.
  • Majestic SEO is also among the best backlink checker tools list and is ideal if you’re looking for a simple backlink checker.

FAQ about the best backlink checker tools

What features should I look for in a backlink checker tool?

Look for features that analyze not only the quantity but also the quality of backlinks, including referring domains, anchor text, and link types.

Can backlink checker tools help improve my SEO rankings?

Absolutely! The best backlink checker tools can help improve your SEO rankings by providing insights into your website’s backlinks and informing you on how to fine-tune your link-building strategy.

Are there free backlink checker tools available?

Yes, there are several free backlink checker tools available online, and although they might not be the most comprehensive ones, they still get the job done.

How often should I use a backlink checker tool?

The frequency of using backlink checker tools depends on the stage of your SEO or link building efforts, but checking monthly is a good starting point.

Which is the best tool to check backlinks?

The market is full of backlink checker tools, however for a tool to be considered the best for you it simply needs to fit your specific needs.

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