Best Backlink Checker: Ahrefs vs Semrush vs Moz vs Buzzsumo vs Majestic vs SEO Powersuite vs Ubersuggest

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Do you need help getting better organic rankings for your website? Some backlinks pointing to your site could be hurting you. The best backlink checkers can shed those monkeys off your back and drive the traffic you want to your site.

Both I and our SEO expert at We Rock Your Web have put many backlink checker tools through stringent testing. Not surprisingly, some are highly intuitive and easy to use, even with massive amounts of data to sort through. Others are difficult to navigate and don’t give you the results you need.

After extensive analysis, we’ve both determined that Semrush, Ahrefs, and Majestic are among the best backlink tools available today to get your site in top shape. However, I also give you other reliable options that may be a better fit for your budget and specific site needs.

WinnerRunner-UpThird Place
Semrush logo
Ahrefs logo small
Majestic logo
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Why Are Backlinks (And Analyzing Them) So Important?

A man sitting at a desk doing backlink research on his laptop.

Backlinks (links that point from other sites to yours) are a sign of endorsement from other websites, similar to peer recommendations on your LinkedIn profile (at least in the eyes of search engines). They’re crucial in your site’s ability to rank high in search engine results, which inevitably will drive more traffic to your site. In general, the more backlinks you have, the better. But you have to be careful because not all backlinks are beneficial.

My advice, along with many SEO experts, is to ensure that your backlinks are coming from well-respected, high-quality websites. Backlinks from questionable, spammy, and suspicious sites can do a lot of damage to your rankings. That’s one of the main reasons why conducting regular backlink analysis on your site is so important.

Another key reason to run this analysis is to discover your competitors’ backlinks. Seeing what your main competing sites are doing can inform you about linking opportunities that you’re missing and give you invaluable ideas on how to rock out a killer link-building strategy for your site.

7 Features To Look For In The Best Backlink Checker Tools

Our team has been doing backlink checking on our sites for many years. Based on our experience, the best backlink checkers should include (at a minimum) the ability to:

  1. Perform in-depth backlink audits of your site
  2. Monitor new and lost backlinks
  3. Identify toxic backlinks and negative SEO attacks
  4. Discover new link-building opportunities
  5. Perform deep analysis on competitor link profiles
  6. Compare link acquisition rates across websites
  7. Measure campaign progress

Top 3 Best Backlink Checkers

Without further ado, here are our top three picks; all have sustained reliable results for several years. We’ve based our rankings and reviews on several factors, including each service’s reputation, features, accuracy of results, ease of use, customer feedback, pricing, and more.

Winner: Semrush Review

Semrush logo

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Semrush offers one of the best suites of SEO software on the market. Among its standout tools are traffic, competitor, and backlink analysis. The Semrush backlink checker gives you a comprehensive insight into your backlinks and all links pointing to your domain (and their quality).

This tool helps you understand how authoritative a referring domain is and its location, compare inbound links’ weight on competitors’ domains, check backlink types and geolocation, and much more.

Semrush also gives you a Backlink Audit tool that allows you to analyze links referring to a specific URL or subpath and avoid Google Penguin penalties. You get a toxic score for each backlink and the website owner’s email, so you can send them a request to remove the link.

Our SEO Expert’s Personal Experience With Semrush

Semrush is the primary SEO tool I use for our backlink analysis. I find that the page authority score is extremely helpful for easy comparisons of overall URL strengths. I also find Semrush extremely useful while researching new topics as it provides insights into how difficult it is to rank for a certain topic.

Jeff Butler, SEO and Analytics expert, We Rock Your Web

Semrush screenshot of its landing page for backlink analysis.
Semrush’s authority score features give you a thorough analysis of how reputable your backlinks are.
ProsCons
In-depth analysis of competitor backlinksLearning curve to master all of its tools
Monitor the ratio of follow and nofollow links
Email alerts of new, lost, and broken backlinks
Seamless integration with Google Search Console
Backlink Audit tool crawls your site weekly to identify potential problems
Send toxic backlinks to Google Disavow tool

Pricing

You can save up to 17% on the following pricing if you pay annually. In addition to these plans, you can work with Semrush to build a customized Enterprise level plan. Semrush has a 7-day free trial on their Pro and Guru plans and a 7-day money-back guarantee on all plans. All plans include backlink analysis.

ProGuruBusiness
Price Per Month$129.95$249.95$499.95
Number of Users*111
Results Per Report10,00030,00050,000
Projects51540
Tracked Keywords5001,5005,000

*Each plan gets one power user and additional users can be added for $20-50 per month.

In-Depth Review Of Semrush

Read our full review of Semrush to learn about all the ways this all-in-one SEO tool can boost your website and rankings.

Runner-Up: Ahrefs Review

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Ahrefs was the gold standard when it came to backlink checking for years, and it still has an extremely strong reputation for backlinks and many other SEO analysis needs. With one of the most extensive web crawlers on the market, this powerhouse tool can do almost any type of backlink analysis you’ll need.

I’ve found that it’s fairly easy to maneuver around all the features and analyze the data presented, however, it’s not quite as intuitive as Semrush. All you have to do is plug in any website, and you get domain- and page-level metrics, including the total number of referring domains and backlinks. Ahrefs also gives you domain and URL ratings to indicate each page’s backlink popularity.

Ahrefs is an invaluable toxic backlink checker to help you identify unnatural link activity from “spammy” sites and spot negative SEO attacks. It’s also one of the best all-in-one suites of SEO tools, giving you keyword tracking, site auditing, extensive competitor analysis, and much more.

Ahref overview screenshot of its backlink tool.
Ahrefs presents its data analysis in the most user-friendly way to understand your backlink SEO needs.
ProsCons
Free version includes basic backlink analysisOnly the two highest plans give you everyday updates
Enormous backlink databaseCan get expensive for small businesses
Data is highly accurate
Live, recent, and historic backlink data
In-depth analysis of competitor backlinks
Set email alerts for new and lost backlinks
Get a complete picture of follow vs nofollow links and anchor text for any target
Send toxic backlinks to Google Disavow tool
Thorough breakdown of all outbound links

Pricing

With Ahrefs, their starter Lite Plan gives you somewhat limited backlink analysis for your site. For many companies, you’ll want to invest in their Standard Plan, which includes all backlink analysis features.

With all plans, you can get 2 months free if you pay annually. While Ahrefs doesn’t offer a free trial, they have a free toolkit, including basic site audit, backlink analysis, and keyword research. 

LiteStandardAdvancedEnterprise
Price Per Month$99$199$399$999
Number of Users1135
Results Per Report2,50030,00075,000150,000
Projects51025100
Tracked Keywords7502,0005,00010,000
Research Competitor BacklinksBlue checkmarkBlue checkmarkBlue checkmarkBlue checkmark
See All Broken BacklinksBlue checkmarkBlue checkmarkBlue checkmark
Email Alerts for Broken & Lost Backlinks Blue checkmarkBlue checkmarkBlue checkmark

Third Place: Majestic Review

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Many small and mid-sized marketing professionals consider Majestic one of the best backlink checkers on the market — and it gives you a powerful punch for your investment. You get full details about your site’s inbound links, including domain authority, new and lost backlinks, and a distribution breakdown of follow/nofollow and anchor text.

Majestic is well-known for its page authority metrics: Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF). CF metrics show you the number of sites linked to your site, and TF metrics predict the quality of these backlinks. These metrics are now industry standards. Its Link Context tool gives you insights into what content surrounds every backlink you check, including text, other internal and external links, images, whether the main link is an editorial or directory link, and much more.

Majestic is one of the oldest backlink checkers out there. While it still has many fans, it’s not nearly as powerful as Ahrefs and Semrush in backlink analysis and other SEO features. However, it’s still a fantastic tool for small and mid-level businesses.

Our SEO Expert’s Personal Experience With Majestic

I find that using more than one SEO tool for backlink checking is the best way to cover all of your bases. I use Semrush as our primary tool with Majestic to complete all of our backlink analysis needs. Majestic’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow scores are some of the most well-respected metrics in the industry.

Jeff Butler, SEO and Analytics expert, We Rock Your Web

Majestic screenshot of Amazon.
Majestic’s Trust Flow shows you the quality of links pointing to a site and the overall “trustworthiness” of a page.
ProsCons
Free versionOther SEO tools like keyword tracking, keyword research, and site auditing are not included
Get recent and historic backlink profilesDoesn’t give you email alerts for new, lost, or toxic backlinks
Citation and trust flow metricsSome users say the UI is dated and not easy to use
Excellent ability to uncover new backlink opportunities
Helpful anchor text charts
Robust reporting
Decent competitor analysis

Pricing

Majestic offers a 7-day money-back guarantee for its Lite and Pro plans.

LiteProAPI
Price Per Month$49.99$99.99$399.99
Number of Users115
Detailed Reports60300950
Analyzable Backlinks1 million20 million100 million
Backlink HistoryBlue checkmarkBlue checkmark
Email Alerts for New Backlink OpportunitiesBlue checkmarkBlue checkmark

What About Moz Pro, Ubersuggest, Link Assistant & More?

Our top picks for the best backlink checkers may not be the perfect fit for your site’s needs or budget, so we’ve included a few alternatives that are certainly worth your consideration.

BuzzSumo Review

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A popular all-in-one content marketing tool, BuzzSumo has surprisingly powerful competitor backlink analysis features. If you’re primarily looking for SEO analysis, then this tool likely isn’t your best choice due to its cost. However, it’s a fantastic option if your business also needs a robust content research tool to see what’s trending and get ahead of your competitors. BuzzSumo also gives you incredible social media outreach and PR capabilities.

So how can BuzzSumo’s Backlink Analyzer help you? When you enter a domain name, the Backlink Analyzer’s sidebar menu gives you several options to drill down into your competitors’ backlinks. I find the “View Analysis” feature the most helpful. It takes me to the Content Analyzer tool for each backlink, which gives me invaluable insight into the most popular content in our website’s niches. It also lets me see all the sites that are linking to that high-engaging content.

These insights can give you invaluable ideas for link-building strategies for your current content. At the same time, you get new content ideas, which gives you the potential to generate even more authoritative backlinks.

BuzzSumo screenshot of Amazon.
Buzzsumo’s Backlink Analyzer gives you multiple ways to drill down into your competitors’ content, backlinks, social media shares, and more.
ProsCons
Excellent for competitor backlink analysisLacks many backlink features that SEO tools provide (e.g., domain authority, lost backlinks, etc.)
Track backlinks over time
Get backlink alerts
Fantastic keyword tracking
Monitor your brand mentions
Track your competitors’ content

Pricing

Pricing starts at $199/month for 1 user, and all plans include its content analyzer, backlink analyzer, keyword tool, and more. BuzzSumo offers a 30-day free trial (no credit card required), and you can save 20% if you pay annually.

Moz Pro Review

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Moz Pro is another all-in-one suite of SEO tools, whose major strengths are tracking keyword rankings and site auditing. However, you also get access to Moz’s Link Explorer, which gives you the ability to analyze your site’s backlinks.

You get all the basic metrics you’ll find with backlink checker tools, including the number of referring domains and backlinks, domain authority, new and lost backlinks, a spam score breakdown, and more. The Link Intersect feature gives you a decent look into your competitors’ backlinks

I found Moz not nearly as robust as Semrush and Ahrefs when I tested its Link Explorer tool, and I’ve seen a lot of customer feedback that Moz hasn’t kept up with these two powerhouses in general.

Still, you can try out Moz Pro with their free trial to see if it’s a good fit for your needs. Moz also offers a free version of Link Explorer, which gives you 10 link queries and 50 rows of data per query every month.

Moz screenshot of Amazon.
Moz Pro’s Link Explorer gives you the basic backlink data you’ll find with many other tools.
ProsCons
Free versionNot the best value for your money
Easy to use and not as complicated as some bigger namesNot as good at finding backlinks as Semrush and Ahrefs
Decent metrics for competitor analysisSome complaints about page crawl limitations
Set goals, track, and analyze your link-building progress in Link Tracking Lists
Get recent and historic backlink profiles
All plans include 24/7 online support

Pricing

You can save 20% off the following prices if you pay annually. They offer a 30-day free trial and a limited free version.

StandardMediumLargePremium
Price/Month$99$179$299$599
Number of Users*1235
Number of Campaigns**3102550
Backlink Queries/Month5,00020,00070,000100,000
Rows/Backlink Query10,00040,00050,00075,000
Link Tracking Lists13060100
Links/List1005007501,000
  • *Additional users are $49/month per person.
  • **With each campaign, you can track 1 site plus 3 competitors.

SEO PowerSuite Review

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SEO PowerSuite offers several powerful SEO tools, including Rank Tracker, Site Auditor, and two excellent backlink tools: SEO SpyGlass and LinkAssistant.

SpyGlass is a robust, data-driven tool that analyzes your own backlink profile and allows you to spy on your competitors to uncover the most effective link-building techniques. It also gives you fantastic anti-penalty link auditing. With LinkAssistant you can efficiently manage your backlinks, monitor them over time, identify sites that link to your competition, and find authoritative sites in your niche.

SEO PowerSuite offers a feature-rich free version. While you can import raw data in txt/cvs, you can’t save your projects with this version. Still, it’s an excellent way to try out its tools. With all this said, we don’t recommend it for beginners. I find all four tools difficult to navigate, and the data is presented in an overly complicated way, in my opinion. Also, when I tested it out on multiple occasions, the data loads slowly, making it a frustrating experience.

SEO PowerSuite screenshot of Amazon.
SEO PowerSuite’s SpyGlass tool, featured above, can help you with in-depth analysis of your competitors’ backlinks.
ProsCons
Feature-rich free versionOnly one user per software license
Intuitive ability to crunch massive amounts of dataSome users report slow speeds with larger amounts of data
In-depth backlinks research for your site and competing sitesDoesn’t have a central dashboard for all tools
Monitor backlinks over timeInterface is outdated compared to other tools we review here
Link penalty risk audit
Disavow file generator
Deep link quality analysis to help your rankings
Branded reports

Pricing

You can save 20% on a 2-year plan and 34% on a 3-year plan. All editions include unlimited keywords to track. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on any license. View all options.

FreeProfessionalEnterprise
Price/Year$0$299$499
Backlink Tracking & Link Auditing1,100UnlimitedUnlimited
Link Prospecting & Outreach1,000UnlimitedUnlimited
Backlink Profile Comparison2 Sites6 Sites11 Sites
Saving ProjectsBlue checkmarkBlue checkmark
Saving Reports in PDFBlue checkmark

Ubersuggest Review

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If you’re on a tight budget, Ubersuggest is certainly worth your consideration. This SEO tool gives you good backlink data, an SEO analyzer, keyword research, competitive analysis, and many of the other basics you’ll find in all-in-one SEO software. Its Backlinks tool digs into your site’s new and lost backlinks and the number of referring domains and backlinks. It also gives you domain authority scores and much more.

I love Ubersuggest’s advanced backlink filters. They make it easy to drill down your backlinks by region, domain scores, page scores, anchor texts, and more. This feature gives you a better ability to pinpoint the ideal linking opportunities for your site. Ubersuggest was one of the first SEO tools I tested, and I found it incredibly easy to use. It’s excellent for beginners and seasoned SEO professionals alike.

Ubersuggest screenshot of Amazon.
Ubersuggest’s user-friendly layout makes it easy to see which backlinks are helping or hurting you.
ProsCons
Free version and budget-friendly paid plansNot as powerful or accurate as our top 3 picks
Easy for beginnersLacks a few advanced backlink-checking features
View backlink history over past 3 yearsCaps out at 15 domains
Decent competitor analysis
Filters for follow and nofollow links, regional backlinks, and much more

Pricing

All plans come with a 7-day free trial and you can save up to 90% with a lifetime plan.

 IndividualBusinessEnterprise
Price/Month$29$49$99
Number of Domains1715
Reports/Day150300900
Projects1715
Backlinks/URL2,0005,00010,000
Keywords Tracked/Project125150300

Free Backlink Checkers vs Paid: What’s The Difference?

Many site owners, particularly those on an extremely tight budget, want to cut financial corners and use free backlink checkers. Many of the companies we review here offer free versions of their backlink checkers. Unfortunately, the insight you can get from free tools is typically extremely limited compared to what you can accomplish with paid plans. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

Unless you simply can’t afford it, we recommend investing in a paid plan if you want your site to vastly improve in rankings. Still, we have some guidance on some of the best free backlink checkers you may want to try out that aren’t already included in our reviews above.

Want A Quick Expert Tip To Build Backlinks? (Video)

See SEO guru Neil Patel’s “one simple hack” to build hundreds of backlinks to your site and boost your domain authority (using our runner-up pick Ahrefs).

Who Has The Best All-In-One SEO Tool?

Often, one SEO tool doesn’t cut it for all of your needs. Many professionals use two or more to cover their bases. Be sure to check out our extensive reviews of the best SEO tools. And if you’re specifically looking for a keyword rankings tracker or site auditor, we have those reviews, too.

If you use one or more backlink checkers for your site, which ones would you recommend and why? Let us know in our comments.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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