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Free Backlink Checkers for SEO Analysis

Last updated Jun 15, 2023

Use Backlink Analysis Tools for SEO and Competitor Insights

Comprehensive SEO work includes many factors, including understanding the backlink profile of your own site and key competitor sites as well.

Fortunately, several free SEO tools exist for checking website backlinks. Some are offered by popular SEO tools vendors, and Google provides an important free tool in this area as well.

Read on for an intro to several of the top free backlink checkers available today.

Table of Contents (+/-)
    seo spyglass includes a free backlink checker online
    Backlink profile reports provide numerous details about all known external links pointing to a target website or specific URL. This example is from the SEO SpyGlass application, part of SEO PowerSuite.

    This post contains a few referral links to vendor partners. We may receive compensation for purchases made via these links, at no additional cost to buyers.

    SEO Tools and Backlink Profile Analysis

    Important Insights for SEO Improvements

    Much SEO effort is generally focused on things like keyword and topic research, high-quality content generation and ‘on-page’ search optimization, technical site audits, periodic rank checking, SEO reporting tasks, SEO tool evaluation and selection, etc.

    However, it’s also important to understand off-page SEO (or off-site SEO) elements such as your external backlink profile.

    For your own website and for target competitive sites as well, you can understand things like:

    • Number of external sites linking to the domain and/or specific target URLs
    • Total referring inbound links
    • No-follow vs ‘do-follow’ link attributes
    • Link anchor text used
    • Referring domain and link quality attributes (e.g., are they ‘valuable’ backlinks?)
    • Penalty risk factors (e.g., for Google ‘backlink disavow’ consideration)
    • Backlink gains or losses over time (backlink graphs / timelines)
    • Competitor backlink profiles
    • Backlink ‘gap analysis’ vs SEO competitors (e.g., for link-building opportunities)
    • Estimates of organic search traffic to the referring page (some tools but not all)

    On a related note, the overall strength of the backlink profiles for competitors in the Google SERP for a specific target keyword plays a significant role in determining the organic keyword difficulty (search difficulty) of that keyword.

    It’s also worth noting that you don’t always need a strong backlink profile in order to rank high on Google or other major search engines. Learn more here about ranking without backlinks.

    The rest of this post highlights several free tools for performing SEO backlink analysis.

    Free Backlink Checkers for Website SEO

    Several backlink analysis tools are offered for free as a way to introduce people to specific vendor backlink tools while also providing a valuable free SEO resource.

    This section introduces a handful of free backlink tools worth checking out, listed below in vendor alphabetical order.

    Ahrefs — Free Backlinks Data from an SEO Powerhouse

    ahrefs seo tools logo - one of several free backlink checkers available
    Ahrefs includes comprehensive backlink checking within their Site Explorer tools.

    Ahrefs offers a free backlink checker on this page. It’s part of their Site Explorer tool.

    You can enter any domain you want to check, then just wait a few seconds for the results to populate on the screen. You will typically see these metrics:

    • Referring page
    • Domain Rating (DR, on a 100-point scale)
    • URL Rating (UR, on a 100-point scale)
    • Number of total backlinks
    • Number of referring domains
    • Estimated monthly organic traffic from search
    • Anchor text and backlink
    • Nofollow indicator

    It’s a good way to take a quick look at how Ahrefs’ backlink analysis works, and can be useful for doing very basic backlink analysis.

    Google Search Console — Free Link Analysis Reports

    google search console logo - seo tools include free backlink checker
    Google Search Console provides backlink data for sites you own or can access as a GSC admin, but not for competitor websites.

    Google Search Console (GSC) is Google’s main tool for webmasters and includes many essential tools for SEO work.

    One of the tools is their Links Report, which provides details about both internal and external links for a website. The external links section is essentially the backlink profile for your website.

    The catch here with Google Search Console is that the website under scrutiny must be one that you have access to. Most likely, it’s your own website. Or it could be one for which you’ve been granted GSC access (such as an SEO client website).

    So, GSC’s link report is not a general-purpose backlink checker tool for any website you may want to check. It’s not useful as a competitive SEO analysis tool like the others profiled in this post.

    However, for understanding your own website’s backlink profile as Google sees it, or for a friend’s or client’s website where you can get GSC access, then Google Search Console’s links report is highly useful.

    Majestic — Free Backlinks Metrics from a Pro SEO Tool

    majestic logo
    Majestic provides advanced tools for comprehensive backlink profile analysis. They are an industry leader in this area.

    Majestic’s backlink checking service goes all the way back to 2008, and is highly regarded as one of the absolute best tools for backlink profile analysis.

    Their ‘Flow Metric’ scores — Trust Flow and Citation Flow (TF and CF) — are SEO industry standards. Other SEO tools sometimes incorporate Majestic data into their own backlink analysis tools and domain strength calculations.

    Majestic offers a free backlink analysis tool on this page. Try it on any domain you are curious about.

    Some of the free data is obscured a bit and/or only available to Majestic subscribers, but the free backlink analysis data provided is still useful.

    You can also see a more complete Majestic backlink data set on this Site Explorer demo page.

    Majestic also offers key high-level backlink metrics in their browser extensions:

    Majestic’s Chrome browser extension

    Majestic’s Firefox browser extension

    Moz — Free Basic Backlink Metrics

    moz logo
    Moz is an industry leader in SEO tools, including advanced backlink profile analysis.

    As a comprehensive SEO software suite, Moz of course also includes backlink analysis tools. They offer their Link Explorer tool and a free test option here.

    The catch with Moz is that to run their free backlink checker, you must first set up a free user account. This provides 10 link queries and 50 rows of backlink analysis data per month.

    For casual periodic SEO analysis, Moz’s free backlink analysis option may be all you need.

    Visit the Moz Link Explorer here.

    SEO PowerSuite — Explore Backlinks Metrics for Free

    seo powersuite applications include free backlink analysis online
    SEO SpyGlass is the primary tool for backlink analysis within the SEO PowerSuite application bundle. They also offer a free online backlink checker.

    SEO PowerSuite includes some elements of backlink data in all of their applications, but SEO SpyGlass is the main app for doing comprehensive backlink analysis.

    seo spyglass backlinks report - free backlink checker tool also available online
    Sample backlink analysis in SEO PowerSuite’s SEO SpyGlass application.

    The free ‘desktop’ version of SEO SpyGlass is useful for basic backlink analysis, and may be all that some people need for their SEO work.

    The paid versions (starting with Pro) offer full functionality, saving of project data, etc., required for more serious and ongoing backlink analysis.

    Free Online Backlink Analysis

    There is also now a free online backlink checker from the SEO PowerSuite team. As with the free Moz backlink checker, you’ll also need to sign up for a free SEO PowerSuite / SpyGlass account in order to use it.

    Try the free SEO SpyGlass online backlink tool here.

    I personally do use SEO PowerSuite and recommend it as a referral partner. If you’re interested, try the free desktop / laptop version via the banner below.

    seo powersuite free download version
    SEO PowerSuite includes four applications essential for complete SEO work. A free version is available as an entry point into these tools.

    Ubersuggest — Another Good Free Backlink Checker

    ubersuggest logo
    Ubersuggest offers a free backlink checker within its overall SEO toolkit.

    Positioned as an affordable all-in-one SEO toolkit, Ubersuggest includes a free backlink checker available here.

    Ubersuggest’s link checker includes metrics like overall Domain Score (DS), total backlinks and referring domains found, no-follow vs do-follow link indicators, estimated organic traffic, etc.

    As with other backlink checkers, you can also use Ubersuggest’s version to identify competitor backlinks and spot new link-building targets for your own outreach efforts.

    Ubersuggest’s free backlink checker is useful on its own and is also a good intro to the user interface design you’ll find across the entire toolkit.

    Free SEO Backlink Checker Tools — Closing Thoughts

    The SEO tools highlighted above are some of the most popular and well-known free backlink checkers available today.

    There are others too, of course, as the SEO tools field is certainly crowded overall.

    With some of the free backlink tools, you may be asked to register for a free user account. However, that’s often a reasonable hoop to jump through in order to get no-cost access to important SEO insights and competitor backlink data.

    Also, free vendor tool access provides a sneak peek into how these tools work, what the user interface looks like, and if a particular SEO tool may be the right fit for you and your marketing team.

    Questions or Comments?

    I hope this collection of free backlink profile analysis tools is helpful for your SEO efforts.

    Feel free to add your own insights in the comments below with any thoughts, feedback, or related questions. Thanks also for any social shares on this post via the buttons below!

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