Best Backlink Checker: Semrush vs Ahrefs vs Majestic vs Link-Assistant & More

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Semrush logo
2nd
Ahrefs logo small
3rd
Majestic logo

Do you need help getting better organic rankings for your website? 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.

Article Overview

7 Features To Look For

The best backlink checkers include 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

Best Backlink Checkers

Without further ado, here are our winners for this year.

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. Its 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.

Pros

Cons

  • In-depth analysis of competitor backlinks
  • 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
  • Learning curve to master all of its tools

Pricing

Semrush offers a 7-day money-back guarantee on all plans. The following prices are monthly. You can save up to 17% if you pay annually.

Pro Guru Business Enterprise
Price Per Month $119.95 $229.95 $449.95 Contact
Number of Users* 1 1 1 Contact
Results Per Report 10,000 30,000 50,000 Contact
Projects 5 15 40 Contact
Tracked Keywords 500 1,500 5,000 Contact

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

Screenshot

Semrush's backlink analysis screenshot

Read Our In-Depth Semrush Review

Runner-Up: Ahrefs Review

Ahrefs logo

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Ahrefs was the standard when it came to backlink checking for years. 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.

And it’s incredibly easy to use. 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.

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

Pros

Cons

  • Free version
  • Enormous backlink database
  • 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
  • Only the two highest plans give you everyday updates
  • Can get expensive for small businesses

Pricing

Ahrefs offers a 7-day trial for $7 for its Lite and Standard plans. You can save 20% off the following prices if you pay annually.

Lite Standard Advanced Agency
Price Per Month $99 $199 $399 $999
Number of Users 1 1 3 5
Results Per Report 2,500 30,000 75,000 150,000
Projects 5 10 25 100
Tracked Keywords 750 2,000 5,000 10,000

Screenshot

Ahrefs Screenshot

3rd Place: Majestic Review

Majestic logo

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Many 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.

In 2019, Majestic launched Link Context, a new tool that 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.

While Majestic’s backlink database is larger than Ahrefs, some SEO experts argue that its data isn’t quite as reliable as Ahrefs. Still, many users are extremely satisfied with Majestic’s results.

Pros

Cons

  • Free version
  • Largest backlink database available
  • Get recent and historic backlink profiles
  • Citation and trust flow metrics
  • Excellent ability to uncover new backlink opportunities
  • Helpful anchor text charts
  • Robust reporting
  • Other SEO tools like keyword tracking, keyword research, and site auditing are not included
  • Doesn’t give you email alerts for new, lost, and toxic backlinks
  • Some users say the UI is dated and not easy to use

Pricing

All plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Lite Pro API
Price Per Month $49.99 $99.99 $399.99
Annual Price $499.99 $999.99 $3,999.99
Number of Users 1 1 5
Detailed Reports 60 300 950
Analyzable Links 1 Million 20 Million 100 Million

Screenshot

Majestic Screenshot

Honorable Mention: Link-Assistant Review (Formerly SEO PowerSuite)

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Link-Assistant (formerly SEO PowerSuite) offers a suite of powerful SEO tools includes a Rank Tracker, a 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.

Link-Assistant offers a feature-rich free version. Although you can’t save your work with this version, it’s an excellent way to try out its tools.

Pros

Cons

  • Intuitive ability to crunch massive amounts of data
  • In-depth backlinks research for your site and competing sites
  • Monitor backlinks over time
  • Anti-penalty link audits
  • Deep link quality analysis to help your rankings
  • Branded reports
  • Only one user per software license
  • Some users report slow speeds with larger amounts of data
  • Doesn’t have a central dashboard for all tools

Pricing

All editions include unlimited websites and keywords. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on any license.

  • Professional Edition: $299 License (one-time fee)
  • Enterprise Edition: $699 License (one-time fee)

Screenshot

SEO PowerSuite Screenshot

Frequently Asked Questions

These are questions we’ve received from our readers.

What Happened To LINKCheetah?LINKCheetah logo

LINKCheetah was an affordable option if you were only looking for backlink analysis for your site. You got relatively basic but reliable data, including an overview of your site’s backlink profile, a Google index check, the ability to identify and remove bad links, follow/nofollow and anchor text distributions, and backlink monitor and notifications, all at an affordable price tag.

So where did they go? We have no idea. The site no longer loads, and only the homepage is indexed by Google (and with http:// vs https://, so not secured, which is unusual for a site today). The Google cache page shows the site as backlinkwebsites.com, which has no traffic and despite some advertising doesn’t appear to function. And as you can see by their Semrush traffic chart, they weren’t around for long:

A chart of organic traffic to LinkCheetah.com from January 2019 through 2021, courtesy of Semrush.com
A chart of organic traffic to LinkCheetah.com from January 2019 through 2021, courtesy of Semrush.com.

 

Screenshot

Here’s what the LinkCheetah interface used to look like.

LINKcheetah screenshot

Want A Quick Expert Tip To Build Backlinks?

See SEO guru Neil Patel’s “one simple hack” to build hundreds of backlinks to your site and boost your domain authority (using our number one 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.

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations in the late 1990s, Sally began a long career researching and writing about business, technical and scientific topics.

Her decades of experience as well as a passion to stay on top of the latest online tools and resources combine to help small businesses (and freelancers like herself) flourish. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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