Backlinks are crucial to helping a website earn authority. To rank in search engines, you need links from high-quality, relevant websites. Great content is super important, of course, but it's hard to move the needle with the content alone.
Link building is a critical component of digital marketing strategy and has always been an important factor to success. Companies want backlinks from trusted websites because they help to improve ranking in SERPs, increase visitor traffic, and help generate leads.
Good backlink checkers are an SEO's best friend. You want to know where your web pages are getting backlinks from and you should regularly evaluate link quality.
But these tools can be expensive. While the best ones are definitely worth the money, not all marketers have the budget to pay a premium plan. But help is at hand. Use these completely free and limited-use backlink checkers to do some deep dives into backlink monitoring and auditing.
SE Ranking is my favorite backlink checking tool in this list, mostly because it integrates with the suite of marketing tools that come with a paid subscription to SE Ranking. But you don't need a paid plan. The backlink checker is free to use and shows the newest 20 links. So if. You regularly check the report you will get a good idea of how your link building campaigns are going.
Alternatively, SE ranking plans start at around $20 per month and include powerful rank tracking, keyword analysis, and competitor research tools.
Link Assistant SEO Powersuite
SEO Powersuite’s Spyglass tool is a powerful free backlink checker tool. The paid version also gives you a ton of features that more advanced marketers can take advantage of. The full version of SEO Spyglass is a desktop product that uncovers pretty much every link to your site on the internet. There’s a ton of information in every report but you can easily filter for the important stuff.
Find quality backlinks, discover your competitors' anchor text profiles, and uncover new sites for link-building campaigns.
One of the premier SEO tools in 2021 started over a decade ago as a backlink analysis tool. So needless to say that Site Explorer is the core of the product today. While Ahrefs offers keyword research and site audit tools, it’s the backlink checker that offers the most value. Ahrefs is an expensive product but you can check backlinks for free. Even better, sign up for a free account and you can automatically check all your websites for on-page SEO issues, new and lost backlinks, and a ton of other valuable features.
Ahrefs is one of the best tools to monitor backlinks so you know when you win or lose a new connection.
Google backlink checker
While this is the most “accurate” backlink checker, it’s only possible to examine links to your own website and it’s not that easy to use.
Backlinks in Google Search Console are the ones Google recognises or has found and may be different from the backlink profile on other tools (in fact, they might be quite different). This is because Google ignores many links if it considers them spammy or low quality backlinks.
Many backlink tools list all of the links they find, including links that the search engine algorithm ignores or hasn’t registered.
Seobility is a free backlink profile checker that you can use up to 3 times a day without registering. You can check entire domain backlink profiles and backlinks pointing to single URLs. Register an account to get a couple more checks per day than the free version offers.
SEOProfiler’s interface is intuitive and offers the ability to filter links based on many different criteria. Filter by destination URL, link quality, type of link (nofollow, UGC, etc), anchor text, and Industry, among others.
The proprietary Link Influence Score is useful for determining the quality of a link. Domains with large numbers of high quality links pointing to them will score higher. So you can sort your own links or filter them based on quality.
To use the free tools you’ll need to create an account.
The homepage displays a backlink checker so you know that Rank Signals takes backlink checking seriously.
While the service is free, you need to create an account to use it.
Backlinks are nicely displayed with useful link metrics such as nofollow, noopener, and no referrer displayed prominently.
Rank Signals also shows when a link has been removed, even for new accounts.
Built by Rand Fishkin back in 2004, Moz is one of the original SEO tools. The company coined many of the SEO terms we use today and even created it’s own metrics (Domain Authority and Page Authority) that other SEO services use.
Moz’s Link Explorer is free for up to 10 searches a month. While the metrics are proprietary, you can trust the reliability and comparing websites based on DA or PA can be useful when doing due diligence or backlink building.
The link explorer tool also has a spam score report which is useful when evaluating link opportunities and determining potential bad links.
Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest
As one of the most visually appealing tools to use, Ubersuggest is popular. And the information is reasonably useful. But what started out as a free backlink checker tool (and free SEO tool) is becoming a gated, paid tool.
It’s free to use for 3 searches a day and I don’t think the information is as accurate as other products on this list. The keyword information tools are certainly not accurate but if you’re on a tight budget, this is a fast, easy to use option for checking anchor text, new and lost referring domains, and other quality metrics.
What started out as a keyword and backlink tool has morphed into an entire marketing suite. But that hasn’t changed the fact that it’s still one of the best backlink checker tools. Semrush’s pricing is similar to that of Ahrefs.
I’ve put Semrush last because you only get 10 free checks before you’ll need to subscribe to a plan.
Have you used any of these tools? Which is your favorite?