Backlinks are a major factor in SEO as you know. Knowing who links to you is important, not only for tracking your SEO efforts and progress, but also since you do not want to get low quality links. Hence, you must monitor your links on a regular basis to make sure someone is not trying to sabotage your rankings by giving your low quality links and if that happens you need to do throughout link analysis and report the bad links to Google for disavow.
Be advised that no one tool would ever spider 100% of the web or have as much data as Google does. We have found that many of back link analysis tools would miss some backlinks, so if you really want to find more data, you may have to use 2 or more tools and also combine the data with Webmaster Tools backlink data.
Here are our top picks for back link analysis:
Majestic has been around for a few years and has one of the bigger databases of back link data compared to some of the other competitors.
Majestic offers 2 databases: Fresh and Historic. The historic is the backlinks that were present in the past but have been removed. The Fresh is what is most important, but the Historic data may help to see the big picture, specially if you start loosing rankings, so the loss of past links may be a reason and you can figure it out from here.
Majestic have also come up with 2 measurement factors called Trust Flow and Citation Flow. They are both numbers from 0 to 10. The higher these numbers, the higher the power of the site would be. It is sorta like the Google PageRank value. For more details on exactly what these factors measure refer to their FAQ page.
Majestic also have some other useful tools, including Majestic Million, which will show you the top 1 million domains with most links and link juice power.
Majestic pricing stars at $49.99/month and you can save $99 if you prepay for a year.
Moz has also been around for a few years, The founder Rand Fiskin is well respected in the SEO community and often writes about the latest SEo trends and topics and provides video tutorials.
Moz have come up with their version of PageRank called Domain Authority or DA, which is one of the most widely used measurement factors in SEO community, since Google no longer provides PageRank data.
However, even tough Moz spiders millions of pages on regular basis, their database is not as big as Majestic. You can find this out for yourself if you just randomly check the backlinks for a few domains. You will see that majestic almost always has more backlink data.
However, there are many SEO professional that prefer Moz over Majestic. The reason could be because Moz also offers many other valuable SEO tools within its package. For example, it has a ranking check tool and also offers insights into your website, such as keyword opportunities, crawl errors, competitor suggestions and a spam analysis tool.
Moz pricing starts at $99/month and you can get a discount if you prepay for a year.
AHREFS is another popular software among the SEO’s. It also claims to index millions of new pages monthly. AHREFS starts at $99 a month.
AHREFS also offers several other tools such as keyword research tool and a content research tool, that will look for most popular articles based on a keyword.
They also offer a ranking checker, but their ranking checker is a little unique in its capabilities that I have not see other ranking checkers offer. They claim to have ranking data for 300 million domains in their database. As an example of something you can do, you can put in a URL and see what keywords it ranks for.
Comparing their link to data on few random domains to Majestic and Moz, I found that AHREFS always had more backlinks numbers than the said competitors! Hence it seems that AHREFS has the largest database of backlink data.
SEMRUSH is another popular SEO tool among’s the SEO’s that provides backlink data as well having some other features. When comparing the data of a few random domains to the above 3 tools, SEMRUSH had less baclink data than Majestic and AHREFS, but more data than Moz.
The graphical interface of SEMRUSH looks better than all the competitors in my opinion. It has a nice one page summary of many data, such as backlink data, organic and paid keyword chart over time, main organic competitors and more.
It offers other SEO tools, such as ranking checker, keyword research tool, backlink audit tool and bran monitoring tool.
The pricing starts at $69/month, with a discount available if you pay one year upfront.
Unlike the other providers above, Link Research Tools (LRT) does not crawl the web for data, rather they partner with other providers to grab their data. In fact, LRT grabs data from all above providers plus more. They grab data from 24 different link sources, including Google Search Council and Google Analytics. Hence, LRT has the biggest database of all link tools. For this reason their pricing is also the highest of all link tools, starting at $169 a month.
If you have penalization issues with Google or want to create a disavow file to submit to Google, LRT offers a tool called Link Detox, which is also available on its own as stand alone product at www.linkdetox.com.
This is by far the best tool we have see to find low quality backlinks that you may have. The tool will analyze all your backlink and categorize them in 5 different categories of risk: High, Above Average, Average, Below Average and Low. Based on this you can easily find the most toxic links and add to your disavow file.
They also provide explanation of why they feel a link is toxic or suspicious by marking each backlink with the corresponding rule number that you can lookup.
I hope this article provides you some valuable info in your decision of finding the best backlink checking tool for your needs.