What you Need to Know About Inbound links

Google’s Penguin algorithm, which launched in 2012 and has had subsequent updates since, was designed to filter out anyone gaming the system by buying or obtaining high levels of backlinks to make sites rank better. Consequently, Google favours quality links over quantity links. But even though the backlinks game has evolved, backlinks remain an important ranking signal to Google. If you want to know what inbound links you have to your site and how good they are, here are 5 backlink checker tools you can use.

Free Backlink Checker Tools v Subscription Tools

As you would expect, the tools that carry a subscription charge offer you a more in-depth breakdown of what backlinks you have, which websites they are from and how they are rated. Free tools are pretty basic but offer a no commitment way of obtaining the number of backlinks you have, without you having to pay a fee and in some cases, submit any details other than your website.

Subscription Based Backlink Checker Tools

If you are looking for all singing, all dancing tools then in our experience, the following are worth a look:

Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO has a site explorer tool that provides you with an informative dashboard when you provide your URL. The number of incoming links and unique domains are available to view. You then have to subscribe and pay a fee to view data on the unique IPs and referring subnets.

Price is charged by analysis units and ranges from £39.99 per month and plans include LITE, PRO and API.


Image Source: Majestic SEO


Ahrefs site explorer is equally intuitive, however it is impossible to access it without registering. They offer a free trial for 7 days, for $7.

It reports on new, lost and broken inbound links and new and lost referring domains.


Image Source: Ahrefs

Open Site Explorer (Moz)

Moz’s Open Site Explorer is probably the most well-known tool for checking backlinks. Open Site Explorer, among a host of features, allows you to Gauge a site's influence. See inbound links to the page, subdomain, or root domain you've entered and analyze the linking pages.

For each linking back, you can compare link metrics such as the link anchor text, spam score, link authority and domain authority.

open site explorer

Image Source: Moz’s Open Site Explorer

Moz Pro’s plans include Standard, Medium, Large and Premium and prices start at $99 per month. There is a free 30-day trial you can sign up for to try before you buy.

Free Backlink Checker Tools

You can still discover high quality backlink sources with free tools. If you’re just after a breakdown of how many you have and where they are from then most tools will give you this information, although this will be an overall count rather than a breakdown of new, broken or lost links during a given period.

Google Search Console

Previously called Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is a collection of tools and resources to help website owners, webmasters, web marketers and SEO professionals monitor website performance in the Google search index.

Google search console

Image Source: Google Search Console

Within the search traffic menu, there options to look at links to your site, grouped by most linked content and how your data is linked. Other than that, there is not much more to see but you can use this console to place no follows on any links you don’t want.

Rank Signals

Rank signals allows you to uncover SEO backlinks and traffic sources of your competitors. The free tier gives you data for two titles and URLs of referring pages, however you have to login to view more and to see page rank for each.

rank signals

Image Source: Rank signals

So, there you have it, a few options for free and subscription based backlink checker tools. We’d recommend trying them all out where you can to see what you like best. Utilise the free tools and get a free trial where possible for the others.

Are you a Kent-based business looking for help with your SEO? We are a Folkestone based digital marketing company, with a wealth of experience in SEO and online marketing. Give us a call on 01303 720 288. Alternatively, you can use our FREE SEO audit tool to see how you fair online.