Backlinks are important when it comes to SEO. It’s one of the factors that search engines like Google looks into to determine if your site is worth showing in the top results. And while Google is constantly updating its algorithm, backlinks had always been a crucial part of it.
Clearly, having the right backlink tools is so important if you want to outrank your competition.
In this post, we’ll look at paid and free backlink tools that you could use to improve your website’s SEO performance.
Majestic SEO is a backlink-driven software with features that sets it apart from its competitors. Let’s take a closer look at everything it has to offer.
Why Do You Need Majestic SEO?
Majestic helps you find every source that links to your website. But more than that, it has the ability to contextualize those links.
For example, the Link Context tool lets you filter the results to determine the nature of the backlink (whether it’s an editorial link or part of a directory). It can also tell you if the link is surrounded by images, text, or other links.
It even goes on to tell you where you’ll find your link (above the fold, in the footer, etc.).
Because Majestic’s index is updated regularly, you can be sure that the list given to you is fresh. Majestic collects backlinks every 120 days.
For advanced users, you can use Majestic’s API to design your own apps.
There are four main features:
- Site Explorer — Use this to explore a domain or page (yours or a competing site) and see the backlinks for each.
- Backlink History Checker — This shows you the number of backlinks detected by Majestic. You can compare up to five domains using this feature.
- Search Explorer — Enter a keyword and Majestic will see page titles and URLs where the term appears.
- Link Intelligence API — Lets you add raw data into your applications.
How Much Does Majestic SEO Cost?
Majestic SEO has three plans at the moment. There’s the Lite plan that costs $49.99/month. Those who need a little more can go for the Pro plan at $99.99/month. Marketing agencies can choose the API plan at $399.99/month.
You can cancel renewals at any time. Both Lite and Pro plans have a 7-day money-back guarantee for new customers.
A friendly UI and powerful capabilities make Monitor Backlinks a formidable contender in this list backlink tools. Let’s explore what Monitor Backlinks can do for your website.
Why Do You Need Monitor Backlinks?
Monitor Backlinks is for people who are new to backlink monitoring tools. Its clean interface allows you to interpret data without the fuss that is commonly associated with complex marketing software.
But don’t its simplicity fool you. Monitor Backlinks is packed with features that would allow its users to understand how their domain holds up against the competition.
After you set up your account, Monitor Backlinks will automatically update your backlink status. This goes both for your domain as well as your competitor’s. The data gathered comes from sources like Majestic SEO and Moz.
You can also use Monitor Backlinks to keep track of keyword rankings. This gives you more control over your traffic volume and CPC data. You can even optimize for local searches using the software.
If you need a more customized backlink report, the software gives you options on what reports you want it to send you. For example: If you want a report based on IP distribution, you can have Monitor Backlinks send you a list that’s filtered accordingly.
Saw a backlink that’s giving you trouble? Monitor Backlinks has a built-in disavow tool. Use this to create a disavow list for submission to Google. And best of all, you can do all this within a few clicks.
How Much Does Monitor Backlinks Cost?
Monitor Backlinks has a different pricing model compared to its competitors. How much you pay would depend on how many domains you intend to manage using the software.
If you only have a single domain, you have to pay $25/month. Do take note that there’s a limitation on how many competitor domains, links, and keywords you could process depending on what plan you get.
For comparison, 10 domains will cost $187.42/month. Monitor Backlinks also have a Custom plan for agencies and companies with specific needs.
You’re allowed to try the tool for free through a 30-day trial.
Linkody works for both site owners and online marketers. It allows you to spy on competitor backlinks to understand their ongoing link building strategy.
Why Do You Need Linkody?
Linkody is the solution for those who want to manage all their links from one location.
Its deep data gives users an inside look at their competitor’s link building campaign. You can also use it to check your own site to find areas for improvement.
Linkody uses data gathered from some of the SEO SaaS companies today like Moz and Majestic.
Expect to see how your links are distributed across the web when you use Linkody. You can even see the keywords and anchor texts used when other parties refer to your domain. You can then use all the data you gathered to compare it with the competition.
And when it seems like you’re running out of opportunities, Linkody gives you a way to find new ones. By letting you see which sites link to your competitors, you can now have a list of domains to contact for link building opportunities.
As with some of the other tools listed here, Linkody has a disavow function. This allows you to get rid of any unwanted link with ease.
When you enter the domains you want to monitor, Linkody will monitor these sites all day and night. It will then send you a report whenever there are changes in status.
Linkody allows multiple users to access the same account. This makes it ideal for those who like working with a team.
How Much Does Linkody Cost?
There are five plans available. You have Webmaster ($14.90/month), Advanced ($24.90/month), Pro ($49.90/month), Agency ($49.90/month), and Agency XL ($153.90/month).
If you sign up for the yearly plan, you get three months free. Also, there is a 30-day free trial.
One of the most popular SEO tools, Ahrefs lets you find and analyze backlinks fast. And because it’s more than a backlink analysis tool, you can do so much more when you sign up.
Why Do You Need Ahrefs?
Ahrefs has a strong reputation as an SEO tool — and for good reason. It has a powerful filtering system that lets you find the exact information you’re looking for. It also has a massive community of users so if you ever have questions, there’s always someone who could help you out.
Here’s a sampling of what Ahrefs can offer:
- Backlink Research — Know which links provide the most value, both for you and your competitors.
- Competitive Analysis — Enter a domain and review it based on the most important SEO factors.
- Keyword Research — Find keywords that people use to search online with the weakest competition.
- Content Research — See which of your content performs well on social media and search engines.
- Rank Tracking — Assess which of your pages rank on search engines based on keywords used.
- Web Monitoring — Get alerts whenever you or your company gets mentioned on third-party sites.
Ahrefs claims that it has the biggest link database. How big? The tool has, at the very least, scanned 290 billion pages.
That means whenever you scan for backlinks, you’re mostly getting a complete list. And you can arrange these pages based on factors like domain rating, URL rating, referring domains, linked domains, and more.
How Much Does Ahrefs Cost?
Given that Ahrefs does a lot more compared to other backlink analysis tools, its plans can be quite expensive for most people. Their cheapest plan, Lite, is $99/month. Their most expensive, Agency, is $999/month.
A 7-day trial is available but this will cost you $7.
SEMrush has a reputation for being comprehensive as it covers a lot of ground. Not only can it handle backlink checks, but it can also do social media monitoring, content marketing, and more.
Why Do You Need SEMrush?
SEMrush has the tools to push your online marketing game to the fullest. You should capitalize on SEMrush’s various features to improve your site performance.
So, just what can SEMrush do for you?
Here’s a list:
- Organic Research — Do site audits, analyze your content, and check your on-page SEO.
- Keyword Research — Measure keyword difficulty and other keyword metrics from the tool’s dashboard.
- Backlink Analysis — Check your backlinks and do keyword research if necessary.
- Content Marketing — Research topics for your next post.
- Social Media Monitoring — Track your progress across the biggest social media platforms.
SEMrush has a powerful backlink audit feature. It can find links that drag your domain’s SEO performance down. SEMrush’s disavow tool allows you to handle these with very little effort necessary.
SEMrush lets you make adjustments to the backlink audit settings. For example, you can set up a campaign scope that lets you audit the root domain (www vs non-www version). Or if you want, you can do brand settings where you can edit the brand name (or use any word or phrase that’s closely associated with your company).
There’s even an option to identify the country where your target customers live in.
After you enter your settings, getting a backlink analysis is as easy as hitting the “Start Backlink Audit” button. A summary of the report will show up afterward.
How Much Does SEMrush Cost?
Like Ahrefs, SEMrush is on the expensive side because of its packed features. The Pro version (which is the cheapest plan it offers) is $99.95/month.
Those who need more might opt for the Guru plan or Business plan at $199.95/month and $399.95/month respectively.
SE Ranking says that its software makes SEO simple. And while that can be debated, what’s certain is that its pricing system is unique and configurable — making it an appealing option for marketers on a budget.
Why Do You Need SE Ranking?
SE Ranking is an all-in-one SEO solution. So if you need a tool that does more than just backlink checks, this is the tool for you.
To use SE Ranking, you would need to set up its Rank Tracker feature. What it does is track whatever keywords you add to the list. You have the option to select what search engine you want the keywords to be tracked on.
You will have the option to select how often you want SE Ranking to track your keywords. This is important as whichever option you choose can affect pricing. Having SE Ranking check daily will cost more than checking every three days.
Aside from backlink checks, you can use SE Ranking to do the following:
- Keyword Research
- Competitor Research
- On-Page Audit
- SEO Reports
But let’s focus on backlink research. Unfortunately, the backlink research feature on this site is limited compared to the others that made this list. But if all you need is the ability to look at your (or your competitor’s) backlinks and see basic information like the anchor text used, the affordable pricing might convince you to try it out.
You would also have the ability to track new and lost backlinks and see how these affect your search ranking.
Why Do You Need SE Ranking?
Let’s talk about that pricing structure. To start, users could choose how often the tool checks the rankings. Selecting Daily won’t change the pricing. However, if you select Every 3 Days, you’ll get a 20% discount. If you choose Weekly, you get a 40% discount.
You also get discounts based on the length of the subscription. The longer you subscribe, the bigger the discount.
Assuming that you ask SE Rankings to check Weekly and you sign up for the annual subscription, you’d get a 60% discount.
That would make the Optimum plan (their most basic plan) cost $18.6/month.
Serpstat has the right balance of functionality and affordability, which is why it made this list. It provides an endless amount of data for building an effective SEO campaign. But how does it fare when it comes to backlink checks?
Why Do You Need Serpstat?
You need Serpstat if you need the following features for your website:
- Keyword Research — See the most popular keywords you could capitalize on to improve your ranking in the SERPs.
- Competitor Analysis — See what your competition is up to by looking at the keywords they rank for.
- On-Page Optimization — Fix all on-page problems you’re facing by using Serpsta’s on-page optimization features.
- Link Building — Improve your SEO performance through Serpstat’s link building features. Find out what domains link to your competition and use this information to build relationships with them.
As far as backlinks go, Serpstat does have a Backlink Analysis feature where you can enter a domain to get a link profile overview.
Once you have your account set up, the overview section will show you crucial information about your backlinks.
This includes the URL of the referring domain, the Alexa Rank of these pages, and their Flow Metrics (Serpstat Page Rank and Serpstat Trust Rank) — which are indicators of site quality.
If you enter your competitor’s domain instead, you can use this information to start a link building campaign. You can do guest posts, sponsorships, or just build new relationships with site owners in your niche.
Serpstat also gives you a breakdown of new and lost backlinks. If the lost backlink came from a high-quality site, this gives you a chance to reclaim the lost link.
How Much Does Serpstat Cost?
There are four plans available on Serpstat. The Lite plan is $69/month. There’s also the Standard plan at $149/month. The Advanced and Enterprise plans are $299 and $499 respectively.
If you pay annually, you do get a 20% discount, making the plans more affordable. There is an option to try Serpstat for free though the number of queries you can make is limited.
SEO Spyglass by Link-Assistant is part of the company’s SEO Powersuite line of SEO software solutions.
Why Do You Need SEO Spyglass?
Do you want a dedicated tool for checking backlinks? This is it.
With SEO Spyglass, you can do the following:
- Find Backlinks — Want to know which sites link to your competition? Spyglass will find them for you.
- Build a Strategy — By looking at which domains point to your competition, you can create strategies to help you rank.
- Backlink Analysis — Review backlinks based on SEO factors like domain reputation, social signals, or even anchor texts.
- Reporting — If you’re working with clients, SEO Spyglass can make reports that look professional.
How Much Does SEO Spyglass Cost?
There are only two pricing options to choose from. The Professional license costs $124/year while Enterprise is at $299/year.
Free Backlink Checker Tools (5 of ‘Em!)
Up to this point, you’ve only seen paid tools. For those who have a limited budget, here are a few options.
Do remember that since these are free tools, some features will be limited or unavailable.
If you can’t afford Ahrefs, you could breathe a sigh of relief. The company offers a Backlink Checker free of charge.
Simply enter the domain you want to check and hit Check Backlinks.
This could also allow you to test out Ahrefs without having to pay the $7 trial cost.
Just like Ahrefs, Monitor Backlinks lets people try out its backlink check capabilities for free. Their Free Backlink Checker SEO Tool lets you find backlinks to any domain that you enter.
If you want to sample Linkody’s backlink tracking capabilities, you could use its free Backlink Checker. However, this only lets you see up to 100 referring domains. If you only need to see that many backlinks, this is actually a good alternative to paid software.
The Small SEO Backlink Checker Tool is an option for those who just want a quick and easy way to monitor their backlinks.
While its overall site design could leave you wanting more, it is free and it’s there for those who need it.
Enter a domain and click Perform Check. That’s all it takes to use the Backlink Tool/Links Checker by SEO Review Tools.
The tool uses SEMrush API to check backlinks. So it’s like using SEMrush minus the fee associated with it. However, being a free tool, you can expect to find limitations when using the SEO Review Tools Backlinks Tools/Links Checker.