Once you have backlinks that drive traffic to your site, you need to start monitoring them, so you can keep an eye on their performance.
Now that you know what backlinks are and how to make them, the next step is to start tracking your backlink profile. When your page expands, this will become more relevant, helping you to spot broken links, spammy external links, overuse of anchor text, and more.
The following are the best tools to monitor backlinks, making it much easier to do what could be a difficult and time-consuming process. There’s a service for everyone, whether you have a budget or want to try it for free, so find one that fits your needs and get started.
Free backlink tools
Most free tools offer minimal features, but give you a great place to start when you’re new to SEO and backlink analysis. With fewer bells and whistles, you can get the information you care about the most.
MOZ Open Site Explorer
Why use it: Moz is the authority in SEO
MOZ Open Site Explorer excels at the one thing you want to do — check your backlink profile — without adding any distractions. You can look at backlinks for just one page, such as a landing page or a detailed piece of content you want to watch. You can also review your entire website backlink profile and track information such as anchor text.
Under “Link Type,” you can specify do-follow, no-follow, 301, 302 or more, allowing you to get the overview you’re looking for. Note that there are some drawbacks as a free tool: you can not download or export reports or save your findings.
Why use it: Simple interface with all the most important information
Linkody is great for beginners or anyone who wants a simple, high-level view of their backlink profile. You can use it to search four domains a week and up to 100 links per document. Next to each link, you will see the web site domain authority, the link name, the anchor text, rel (do-or no-follow) and the IP. You can also see Moz’s ranking and total shares for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn when you pay for an account.
This free tool packs a lot into one report, and though you can’t download your results, you can manually track the number of linking domains, a number of no-follow links, and commonly used anchor text — whatever data is most important to you — on a weekly basis in your own spreadsheet.
Premium backlink tools
If you are ready to take backlink management to the next level, check out these premium tools. Each comes with a suite of features that lets you get a deeper look at what’s going on with your backlink profile and more.
Why use it: Robust feature set and proprietary ranking system
Pricing: $50-$150/quarter or month
Most people check two key statistics to determine the overall ranking of the website: Domain Authority and Trust Flow. Majestic created and traded the latter. Their authority in space alone is sufficient to test the tool, and the robust feature set provides significant value at a reasonable price.
For their cheapest plan, Lite, you will have access to all the backlink data you need, and you can even set up campaigns (groups of websites) to track and monitor growth over time. You can use the bulk backlink checker to test your own page or others, check up to 100,000 URLs at once, depending on your program.
Why use it: Easy glance-and-go interface
If you search a domain with Monitor Backlinks, the results will return with a high-level overview of your current reference environment, along with a detailed link list. You can see total links, unique domains, trust flow, and more in a high-level overview. Depending on the level of the account you choose, you will also be able to see from 500 to 5,000 links and check keywords and competitor domains. With a variety of other tracking options, this is a great all-in-one tool to monitor your backlink profile.
Why use it: Detailed reporting
Even the lowest-priced plan of the fully-loaded SEO tool Ahrefs gives you 10,000 links per study, capped at 3 million per month. As an enterprise-level tool, it could be a bit overwhelming for newer SEOs. But if you’re working with big clients, this tool can really show you know your stuff.
Top-level summary metrics include current growth and loss (shown as + or-), so you can easily see if you are gaining or losing ties. If this number spikes abnormally high or low, it’ll be easy to spot and examine. Backlinks are also broken up into “fresh,” “missing,” and “broken,” making it easy for you to quickly find the information you need, rather than searching through results that include all three.
Start your backlink tracking
There are many applications to track your backlink profile, and these are among the most valuable tools for SEO professionals. Choose the one that’s right for you and start to watch.
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