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The 3 Best Backlink Checker Tools for Professional SEO

Whether you're a freelancer, at an agency, an in-house SEO, or doing enterprise SEO, it's crucial to keep a close eye on your backlink profile. Regardless of anything you may have read, backlinks remain the single largest search engine ranking factor. In a later post I'll be covering why you should be monitoring your backlinks in the first place.

While this is a small list, I should note that I don't recommend one over the other, rather I recommend all of them together as they work best in conjunction with each other in addition to the Google Webmaster Tools (WMT) external links report.

#1 - Ahrefs Backlink Checker

ahrefs backlink checker
Ahrefs brings in the number 1 spot for consistently providing the best and most up to date results.

Some of My Favorite Features:

  • New/Lost Backlinks Graph
  • ccTLD Distribution Map
  • Anchor Phrases for Referring Domains & Pages
  • Broken Backlinks Tool
  • 01 Backlink/Domain Filter
  • Top Pages by Referring Domains

My only complaint is the issue with the "First Seen" date. If you've had a client for a year and the CMO checks Ahrefs and sees a "new" spammy backlink that was first seen in the last few months, naturally they're going to have a few questions. The interesting thing with this issue is that I've seen the date listed change as months go by, so it always looks fresh.

#2 - SEMrush Website Backlink Checker Tool

semrush backlink tool
The first seen feature in SEMrush works a lot better than Ahrefs, it seems to pull dates from the site itself (e.g. the link is in a blog post and the date is visible). This system, while not always accurate, seems to work much better than a date based upon the tool's crawler.

Some of My Favorite Features:

  • Referring Domains By Country
  • First Seen Date
  • Backlinks by Indexed Pages

#3 - Majestic SEO Backlink Checker

Majestic SEO Backlink Checker
For the most part I don't use Majestic on a day to day basis anymore, however it has a few fantastic options that make me unable to stop using it.

Some of My Favorite Features:

  • Free for Sites Verified in WMT
  • Topical TrustFlow & CitationFlow
  • Finds Links Missed by the Other Tools