TopRank Marketing Editor

10 Link Building Tools for Tracking Inbound Links

TopRank Marketing Editor     Google, Link Building, Online Marketing, Search Engines, SEO, SEO Tools

Measuring Inbound LinksQuality inbound links are an essential element of web site marketing and search engine optimization programs to increase traffic and online sales. The greater the number of relevant and authoritative links to a web page, the greater the potential for higher search engine rankings and qualified traffic.

A recent survey from SEOmoz illustrates just how important inbound links are to rankings. An impressive 4 of the top 5 ranking factors involve inbound links:

  • Keyword focused anchor text from external links: 73% very high importance
  • External link popularity: 71% very high importance
  • Diversity of link sources: 67% very high importance
  • Trustworthiness of the domain based on link distance from trusted domains: 66% very high importance

Conversely, the No. 2 negative ranking factor was link acquisition from known link brokers or sellers (56% high importance).  Incidentally, TopRank has never engaged in link acquisitions in this manner, focusing instead on earning links through creative content promotions, social media and online public relations.

Tracking links to your web pages — and those of your competitors — is a major part of any SEO strategy. Fortunately, a host of free and paid tools exist to provide a comprehensive looks at where your web pages stand.

Link building and tracking tools:

1. Majestic-SEO

Majestic-SEO allows users to track link information for any domain – their own sites or those of competitors. Illustrated in the image below, users can access the number of:

  • Sub domains
  • Pages
  • Links
  • Referring domains
  • Images
  • NoFollow links
  • Redirects

By verifying ownership of a domain, users can obtain a more detailed report that includes unique links and their anchor text. With registration, the service for your own site is free. Users can buy credits to obtain that same information about other web sites such as competitors. Downloadable data is given on top anchor text, top referring domains and top pages. Plus, the tool offers a “daily update” feature that provides a daily journal of new inbound links.

majestic seo

Majestic SEO

2. BuzzStream Link Building

BuzzStream Link Building focuses on providing tools that help automate redundant tasks in relationship building. It’s a CRM system for link building with applications for SEO as well as online PR.

  • Find Contact Info
  • Track Email & Twitter
  • Manage Link Prospects
  • Monitor Backlinks for anchor text, nofollows, outbound links, banned words
  • Track activities and conversion rate
  • Delegate contacts, split prospecting from outreach

BuzzStream Link Building tools are very robust for link detection, suggestions, relationship management and link management. The BuzzMarker bookmarklet allows easy addition of new link opportunities via the browser. Many other tools focus on link detection, acquisition and the technical site of management. The CRM aspect of BuzzStream and the conversion tracking reports make it unique.

There is a free trial for BuzzStream and monthly costs range from $29/mo to $249/mo. There are also options for Agencies and Enterprise use.

BuzzStream Link Building

BuzzStream Link Building

3. SEOmoz Linkscape

This inbound link tracking tool offers both a free basic version and an advanced version with a subscription to SEOmoz PRO.

The basic search (illustrated in the image below) allows users to determine the number of inbound links to a page and the number of different domains linking to a page. The tool also gives a ranking of the page based on number and quality of inbound links, as well as a ranking of the domain overall.

In the full version, users can not only judge the quality and quantity of links to their own web pages, but to their competitors as well. Users can compare number of links, number of domains and domain ranking side-by-side against competitor sites.

Users can also determine the keywords competitor sites are targeting in their anchor text and identify competitors’ most powerful links.

SEOMoz Linkscape

SEOMoz Linkscape

4. Raven SEO Tools
Raven is a suite of SEO tools including a Links Manager that allows you to easily manage the link status, contacts and tasks related to each link.

Raven will automatically alert if any changes have occurred on an active link, if the nofollow attribute was added, the anchor text changed, the PageRank changed, or the link was removed. There is team link building management functionality as well as the ability to import, export in CSV format or generate reports online.

A standalone linking too is not available for purchase. The cost for the suite of Raven SEO Tools starts at $79 per month.

Raven SEO Link Builder

Raven SEO Link Builder

5. SoloSEO Link Building Tools
SoloSEO is a collection of SEO campaign management and implementation tools which includes “Links Manager” and “Link Build It!” modules for building and tracking inbound links to your web site.

The Links Manager module helps discover links, assess the strength and quality and track progress. It also includes ongoing link detection and automatic notification if a link is deleted. Link Build It! is a bookmarklet that shows backlink count, PageRank, and Alexa rank for the site, DMOZ listing, .edu or.gov links and the ability to easily add the URL of the page being viewed to the Links Manager.

There is a free trial and the cost for SoloSEO is $29 per month for 5 domains and $4 per domain after.

SoloSEO Links Manager

SoloSEO Links Manager

6. Yahoo! Site Explorer
Yahoo! Site Explorer is a popular, free tool for analyzing and tracking inbound links for users’ own and their competitors’ sites. Users can:

  • Determine the number pages within a domain indexed by SLURP, Yahoo’s search engine crawler
  • Explore each page to determine inbound links for each
  • Exclude inbound links from the domain
  • Exclude inbound links from the subdomain
  • Export results into a TSV file
Yahoo! Site Explorer

Yahoo! Site Explorer

7. Page Inlink Analyzer
Page Inlink Analyzer is a tool created by Eric Miraglia that leverages the Yahoo Site Explorer tool mentioned above in a more useful interface that combines a left side column listing of indexed pages for the site being researched and the inbound links to the focus URL in the right column. This allows the user to quickly research the inbound links to each page of a particular site.

For each inbound link the page level and domain level inlink counts are reported as well as the number of Delicious bookmarks (with a link to view them) for each link and the associated keyword tags.

The Page Inlink Analyzer tool is free.

Page Inlink Analyzer

Page Inlink Analyzer

8. pluginSEO Beta Linking Tools
pluginSEO is a service in Beta that works to simplify SEO and linking tasks by having users input keywords and competitor URLs to generate advice including link building suggestions.

Link features include:

  • The Reactor:Links page makes suggestions
  • My Links shows inbound links to your own site
  • Competitor links documents inbound links to the competing sites entered
  • Link suggestions provides a visual listing of new linking opportunities displayed below

pluginSEO is in Beta and is now offering free trials.

pluginSEO

pluginSEO

9. Sheer SEO Backlinks Watchdog
Sheer SEO is a set of SEO project management tools, one of which, monitors “guarded” inbound links. The Backlinks Watchdog tool monitors the following link characteristics:

  • Anchor text
  • Page rank
  • Number of outbound links in the referring page
  • Availability of the page
  • Presence of meta tags “nofollow” and “noindex”
  • Existance of the link to your site
  • Presense of “nofollow” attribute on the backlink (rel=”nofollow” causes the link not to pass rank)

There is a 90 day free trial for Sheer SEO with paid options ranging from $7 to $40 per month.

Backlink Watchdog

Backlink Watchdog

10. HubSpot Website Grader
This free SEO tool provides an overall SEO score for websites based on inbound links, website traffic, SEO, social popularity and other factors. Users submit their website URL, along with competing site URLs, and are then emailed a detailed report that includes:

  • Google PageRank and number of Google indexed pages
  • Number of inbound links, with the option to analyze links through HubSpot
  • Competitive analysis with website grade, Google PageRank, number of inbound links and number of del.icio.us bookmarks

A sample report is shown below.

HubSpot Website Grader

There are many other link building and tracking tools ranging from the SEOBook toolbar and SEO Spyglass Link Assistant. These 10 should be a good start.

What web based or desktop software tools have you found to be useful for tracking inbound links?

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Comments

  1. seointoronto says:

    Nice list, for an quick online tool backlinkwatch.com is good.

  2. Salvatore Corso says:

    Great article with very useful info. Tweeting this now…

  3. Thanx 4 U article… and test DisqUs – very nice comment form!

  4. Your article is very good! Helpful to me, I have learned a lot of things, very grateful!

  5. David Wells says:

    Awesome list!

    I personally use majesticSEO on all my sites and it gives a great overview of what backlinks your site has and the associated anchor text with them.

    I have heard a lot about Raven tools too. I will have to test some of these other services out!

    Does anyone have a service that JUST shows follow links and excludes the rel=nofollow links?

    That would really be useful. Thanks!

    • Yes – you can exclude the nofollow links in Majestic. Infact, we started defaulting to exclude nofollows when you import domains into your control panel. For others, click options and select “exclude” on nofollows; mentions; deleted and maybe redirects to improve the data. [disclosure – I am MajesticSEO's Marketing director)

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  7. I like this post very much.. Generally, I am using yahoo explorer and back link watch. But in this post i saw more websites to track our back links.. Especially seomoz.org tool very nice.. Thanks for your valuable post.. Keep rocking..

  8. Thanks for talking about MajesticSEO. You can (of course) also get anchor text from Majestic! What's REALLY important is that there are only really three databases used in all these tools – Yahoo's; Linkscape's & Majestic's (unless I missed something) and of these, Majestic's is by far the largest data source, with over 1.1 trillon backlinks analyzed so far.

    Thanks again.

  9. Good resource for anyone responsible for site performance.

  10. You may want to include the Link Diagnosis, it is an interesting tool as well!

  11. rogerewing says:

    This is a very complete list. I have used Hubsport before with great results. I am looking forward to plugin SEO Beta Linking Tools and Yahoo.
    Thanks

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  13. Great post. I’ve been using HubSpot for a while but I didn’t know there were so many other resources available. I look forward to comparing them. Thanks again.

  14. Thanks for the mention.

    We're releasing every week so even more good stuff coming soon.

  15. This is a very good list of tools. I have only really used Yahoo Site Explorer, but will have a look at some of the others. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Building additional external links are a productive source for SEO purpose, but often high traffic sites suited for your niche are hard to establish links with. Unless you have something particularly relevant to offer the website, it can usually be deadend. Other SEO methods can also be beneficial but can ultimately take longer to execute.

  17. Michelle Great Article, Very Helpful information

  18. Great post- i allready seached for a solution. This makes it a lot easier for me to find the best tool for me!

  19. zackhanebrink says:

    Good post, bookmarked! I'm a big fan of Yahoo! Site Explorer and I've tried a couple others on your list. I'll have to test some of the others out.

  20. Blizzard uses SheerSEO and are very happy with the features and the customer service. Eyal is great to work with and easy to reach when we have questions or need some help with a feature – I highly recommend using them if you're looking for a solution 🙂

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  22. iphone clone says:

    Great posting , very useful informations

  23. Could you please suggest me which one is better

  24. seomajestic – a great tool for its (free) cost!

  25. marketingonline says:

    Wonderful list of link checking programs. I will certainly use them for my campaigns. Thank you for sharing!

  26. LOVE BuzzStream for link tracking. The tool is awesome. The major drawback with BuzzStream is the cap on # of contacts you can house in your database, which for me was a total deal killer. Even if I shell out $250 per month, BuzzStream only allows me to record and track data for 15K links. Totally unacceptable. Raven charges only $79 and has no link data limits. IMO, BuzzStream is a superior tool to Raven, but the cap on link data makes it a moot point.

  27. Excellent list, Michelle. I have been testing Majestic SEO lately and have been impressed by the data/tools you get for free. Are there any similar link popularity charting tools that you use?

  28. I’ve tried seomajestic, and the free version just works fine. It gave me valuable details regarding links to my site.

  29. That is an awesome list indeed. Thanks

  30. I was currently using Yahoo's site explorer and Alexa to check the inbound links, but this list has definitely added many more to it and i really liked the way they provide inbound links information.

    SEO Optimization Blog

  31. Thanks for the kind words about BuzzStream, Ken. Pricing model is an issue that we've struggled with and I'm still not sure we've found the right solution yet. The hard part is that we have some large enterprises and agencies that are doing very large scale link building and there's no way we could provide them with the level of service that they need at $79/month. We thought about tying pricing completely to number of users, but many of these customers have only 1 or 2 users. We also considered differentiated on features, but we've found that size doesn't dictate unique feature requirements (this might change as we build out our reporting capabilities). What we found so far is that the biggest differentiator tends to be the number of links someone is managing…as your comment shows, that's not always the case though. The way we've handled this to-date is to just be flexible with people when our plans don't meet their needs (we usually create a custom plan).

    Paul May, BuzzStream CEO and co-founder

  32. mymarketer says:

    It's interesting that I found your article today. I've been looking for backlink management tools and a friend just sent me backlinkreporter.com. It's free but you do have to put a backlink on a page on your site. That is why when you go to mymarketer.net (my blog) you see today's post talking about it. Great list post though, I will have to investigate the ones I don't know.

  33. A fantastic collection of some great tools. Thanks for a nice consolidated list.

    I created a simple backlink tracking tool that I'd love to get your feedback on (or a simple review). Among other things (like tracking the PR, URL, contact info, etc. of your incoming links), it automatically checks to see if the backlinks you've gotten are still live. It's a free tool, but requires a link to use it.

    You can find it at http://www.backlinkreporter.com. I look forward to hearing any feedback you or your readers have. Thanks!

    @mymarketer – How have you liked the tool so far?

  34. iphone clone says:

    That Sounds great.Please keep at your good work, I would come back often.*

  35. Great topic and some great resources given up here. I'm currently doing some testing with SEO Spyglass and other desktop backlink harvesting tools to see what produces the best dump of data that is useful in competitive analysis. Thanks for listing these other resources to checkout.

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  38. Brilliant list and just stumbled across this after reading another article on the site. Tried Yahoo and Hubspot before and will look to try out a couple of the others in the new year once the seasons festivities are out of the way. Also a merry christmas and happy and healthy 2010 to everyone here.

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  40. Hi
    i like the tool which check broken links .previously when I was not knowing about this kind of tools I was doing all this stuff manually and it was time consuming. Now I always look for new tools.Thanks for sharing..

  41. Hi, that's really good tools. I think you spend many time to explore all that's tool, maybe you can add WEB CEO TOOLS to that's really good tool and that's free.
    Thank's for sharing really good Job.

  42. excellent list, I would also include LinkDiagnosis, it's been a terrific help for my blog.

  43. IlbertWardell says:

    Inbound links are certainly the most important factor of growth for a site. They should come from pages with a high PR that are also relevant for the keywords used to place the link. Another method of promoting a site is through an affiliate network program. It did wonders for my site and may be a good option for anyone looking for ideas.

  44. Very interesting post. Guess the best way is to have good content on your blog and the rest will follow, as the song sings.

  45. Realy a great list. I'm just checking most of these tools. Curently Majestic is my personal fav.

  46. Realy a great list. I'm just checking most of these tools. Curently Majestic is my personal fav.