Best Backlink Checker Tools with FREE & Paid Options
Do you need a backlink checker tool? As explained by the number and quality of backlinks, website and page authority is one of the most important search ranking factors. It is also one of the search engine optimization fields where you can gain the most advantage over your competitors. Sure, there are also technical and on-page SEO, keyword research, and content optimization, but there is only so much you can grow in these areas. With link building — the sky’s the limit.
This is why you must be dressed with the best backlink tools. The best backlink checker will allow you to spot new link-building opportunities, discover the strategies of your competitors, and monitor the health of your backlink profile. In this post, we will concentrate on some of the best backlink checkers on the market, with one extra condition — they have to be available for free, either entirely or at least partially.
FREE Backlink Checker
SEO SpyGlass gives you a fully specced-out dashboard for backlink analysis and management. Unlike other free checkers, SpyGlass gives you to sort and filter the discovered backlink data using any of the several dozen backlink parameters:
- Linking and linked pages;
- Anchor text and anchor URL;
- Dofollow and nofollow attributes;
- Domain and page authority of the link source;
- Penalty risk, i.e., how spammy the link source is;
- And more.
The number of backlinks you can view for free is limited to 1,100 per domain, but the number of domains you can check is unlimited so that you can research your websites as well as your competitor websites. And if you want some extra data, there is an option to connect SEO SpyGlass to Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Once connected, you will be capable to pull your backlink information from Google tools, pour it into SEO SpyGlass, and process the data using the SEO SpyGlass dashboard — free of charge.
And when it comes to discovering new backlink opportunities, SEO SpyGlass is furnished with a Domain Comparison feature. Add a few of your competitors and find the websites where their backlinks meet. These websites are your immediate leads. Since these websites are linking to two or more of your competitors, it implies that they do not have a particularly exclusive partnership and will probably agree to link to your website as well.
Best for: with advanced analytics and the most significant data allowance on this list, SEO SpyGlass is best used as your home base for backlink research and management.
Free data allowance: up to 1,100 backlinks per domain, extensive domain checks, unlimited backlink analytics.
Google Search Console
Search Console is a Google tool intended to help webmasters improve their websites. It is totally free but can only be used to analyze the websites that you own. Once you get your ownership verified, you will be granted access to various site quality dashboards, one of which is the list of backlinks drawn directly from Google’s index. However long the list, you can only see the top 1,000 results. No additional metrics and no analytics features are provided on-site, but you can export the data and analyze it using other tools.
A peculiar thing about Search Console is that its backlink lists are normally much shorter than the ones from other backlink checkers. It’s because Search Console eliminates low-quality backlinks from the list and only counts the ones that matter. This type of vetting intimates you can’t use the tool to catch spammy backlinks and remove them from your profile. But, on the bright side, it also implies you receive a set of backlinks very different from other tools.
Best for: Google Search Console is best utilized as a raw backlink data source, which can then be exported to SEO SpyGlass for analysis and additional insights.
Free data allowance: up to 1,000 backlinks, but you can only review the sites you own.
Seobility provides up to three backlink tests per day and limits the number of backlinks. You can view 400 per check. The list of backlinks is sorted from the highest link rating to the lowest, so even though the number of links you can see is limited, you do get to see the best ones.
The links are conducted by a few extra parameters, like anchor texts, dofollow/nofollow attributes, link types, and linked pages. At the top of the page, you also get a fast summary of the overall backlink profile: total backlink count, domain rating, and the number of referring domains.
Best for: Seobility can be used in two approaches. One is to check your website and maybe find some of the links missed by Search Console and SEO SpyGlass. Two is to run a fast check of your competitor’s backlinks and gain an insight into their strategy.
Free data allowance: 400 backlinks per check, three tests per day.
Ahrefs backlink checker provides an unlimited number of tests per day, but the number of backlinks you can view is limited to the top 100. Backlinks come with some extra metrics, like domain and page authority, traffic, and anchor text and type. There is also a fast review of the overall backlink profile:
- Domain rating
- The total number of backlinks
- The total number of referring domains
- Use this checker interchangeably with Seobility for fast exploration of your own or your competitor’s websites.
- Utilize Ahrefs first because it doesn’t have a daily limit.
- If it seems like there might be something interesting beyond the first 100 backlinks, switch over to Seobility to retrieve another couple hundred backlinks available over there.
Free data allowance: 100 backlinks per check, unlimited tests per day.
Most of the tools on this list try to bring users by allowing them to see partial backlink tables and then asking for a payment to check out the rest. SEMrush has gone in a completely different direction. It shares a ton of backlink analytics but no backlink lists. So you are free to explore the high-level stuff, but if you want to drill down, you’d have to buy a subscription.
This is absolutely fine because high-level analytics is about the only thing missing from most of the other free backlink checkers. And SEMrush has got plenty to go around. They give over a dozen of tables and graphs summarizing your backlink profile: backlinks by industry, by country, by top-level domain, attribute, type, anchor, and authority score, as well as backlink history going back over five years.
Best for: SEMrush is a great tool for generating quick, attractive-looking reports and taking the bird’s-eye view of your or your competitors’ link-building effort.
Free data allowance: unlimited reports, but only 5-10 real backlinks per domain.