10 of the Best Tools to Audit Incoming Links
If you have come to stop in this article, it may be because you are looking for tools to analyze your incoming links due to a Google penalty, due to any change in Google algorithm or simply because you like to have control over who links you (something highly recommended). In the first case, you have to assume the gigantic task of an audit of incoming links to see where the bad or toxic links are, where they come from and how you can get rid of them. Analyzing your link profile can be a tedious task, but highly suggested when you want to detect possible problems.
If you have been affected by Google Penguin, Google Panda or have received a manual penalty from Google for having unnatural links, you will have to analyze the backlinks (inbound links) and make a comparative analysis at least with your top five competitors. There are a number of SEO tools that you can use to evaluate the incoming links or backlinks of your website. Some of these are free, while others require a subscription. Let’s see what each tool can offer.
Tools to Audit Incoming Links
# 1 Ahrefs Site Explorer
Ahrefs Site Explorer is a payment tool (with subscription plans starting at $ 79 / month), although it offers free two-month proofs if you subscribe up to one year and a money back guarantee in 7 days if you’re not happy with it. It has a series of services/tools, which are ideal for the investigation of the competition, as well as the search for toxic links to your website. Its functionality “Site Explorer” is the one you can use to study the profiles of incoming links. Simply typing your domain will give you a tabular view of the links that point to your domain:
– Number of Links
– Types of links
– Number of unique domains
– Most used anchor texts
– Domains that redirect the largest number of links
– New links
– Lost links
The “standard reports” functionality allows research in a different way. You can sort and filter the data according to certain parameters such as social metrics. There is a very nice graphic representation of the links that change so that an in-depth analysis can be made.
# 2 CognitiveSEO
CognitiveSEO is a tool that allows you to investigate your link profile quickly and easily. It is a payment tool and offers reports of backlinks, analysis of incoming links, management of links and a daily monitoring of your ranking. The inbound links analysis module allows analyzing all incoming links using filters such as:
– Link position
– The context of the link
– AC Majestic Ranking
– Inbound links
First, the result will show the web pages with the least quality. The review is very fast with the function of previewing the links and you will have a database of the most toxic links that link to your web page. The tool advises you to review the links manually (one by one) and then export the data to the Google Disavow Tool so that you can disavow those negative links.
# 3 Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is probably the most effective inbound link research tool (and it’s free). The latest functionality available is the ability to download backlinks by date. To know the incoming links of your web page, you will have to go to your Control Panel> Links to your site> Download last links. You can also download all the data of the links in Google Docs format or as a CSV file. The data will have the newest links at the top. The interpretation of the data is very easy since you can follow the links that point to your web page by ordering them by date.
Once you have the list of Google Webmaster Tools links, you can export the data to the other tools mentioned and obtain a final report of the toxic or bad links. The next step would be to use the tool to disavow Google links to get rid of them.
# 4 Link Research Tools
Link Research Tools is a payment tool with a significant number of functionalities, but it has one that stands out from others and it is a “Backlink Profiler” and perhaps it is the best way to know the source and identify the incoming links of several domains and obtain all the details about them. The list that is obtained is already “clean”, the dead links are eliminated in an easy way. It also tells you the type of link, if it is followed or not followed, etc. The tool will also tell you the domains that are happening to you and quality link juice.
It is very easy to read the bar graph of the report and future inquiries will tell you the anchor text of the links. All data can be saved as a CSV file. The tool comes with a one-click export function that immediately creates an appropriate export file for the Google Disavow Tool.
# 5 Majestic Site Explorer
Majestic Site Explorer is free, as well as paid and for in-depth analysis and comparisons such as searching for links on the entire website, you need to have a subscription (there are silver, gold, and other subscription plans). The tool “Bulk Backlink Checker” is possibly the most recommended tool for the control of links for many domains. You can compare your link profile immediately with your competition.
The tool allows you to find:
Web Page Links: To see the list of web pages that link to yours in descending order of the number of links sent to you. You need to activate Index> Key in your domain in Site Explorer> Explore> Referring Domains.
Anchor Text Over-Optimized: Discover the most used anchor texts and also filter them to see them from the perspective of a particular anchor text. Simply click on “Generate Report” to see the list.
Redirects 301: Find the links you are receiving from domains / parked items. We recommend you to read about the link building trends in 2018.
Eliminate Toxic Link Networks: The functionality called “Clique Hunter” allows you to obtain a list of links that point to penalized web pages.
The Identification of the Weakest Backlinks: You can obtain a report of the links to your website in descending order of your strengths. You can download the data also for later use.
# 6 Monitorbacklinks
Monitorbacklinks is a tool that allows you to quickly and easily analyze everything related to incoming links to your website, in addition to presenting the data with a very visual and intuitive design. What is different about this tool and what makes it really useful is its “real-time monitoring.” This means that when you get or lose one of your backlinks from Monitorbacklinks, they send you a detailed email with what has happened. Also, those of the competition, which makes it even more valuable.
# 7 Openlinkprofiler
On the other hand, we have another tool to analyze for free incoming links. In this case, it is a more specialized tool for that matter and it is the Openlinkprofiler. It allows you to do pretty interesting things with your filters and has a sort of qualifier for backlinks, which gives more or less quality through tonalities.
# 8 Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer by MOZ is probably the most used tool after Yahoo Site Explorer left the market. The tool is easy and quick to use and has a free and paid options. The best thing about this tool is that you can compare your website with other internet websites that use domain authority benchmarks. Of course, there is a large amount of information available for the analysis of the anchor text and the data can be downloaded into a spreadsheet to deepen the analysis.
The data of the links include the best pages of your web page, anchor texts used in the links, links to certain web pages and social networks engagement. You can study the links that your competition is receiving and see which of your links goes wrong or better said: “it’s not natural.”
# 9 Semrush Site Explorer
SEMRush is a complete tool that allows you to analyze your competition, your clients’ website or your own website. You just have to insert the URL of the web to analyze and SeMRush will show you many data and variables, in a very visual way, allowing you to detect new opportunities, analyze the strategy of your competitors (they have it anyway), the most relevant keywords and their degree of competence. Its potential also makes it an indispensable research tool for SEO, given that:
– It allows you to discover which keywords are reporting traffic, often with results, you did not expect.
– You can track the keywords that are well positioned, those that are losing positions and those new positions, which show that your positioning strategy is on track.
-You will find keyword suggestions that will help you in the design of Long Tail strategies (the famous Long Tail … “to see who has it longer”).
# 10 Webmeup
WebMeUp is a very interesting SEO tool with which you can evaluate the profile of links on your website, among many others, for example, to see what links may be putting your web positioning at risk due to a defective link building strategy (or construction of links) that you could have made on request to an SEO agency beforehand or a poor execution internally, guided by aspects that with the new updates of Google’s algorithms, have simply fallen into disuse.