Some things just never gonna change. Like it or not, but the importance of backlinks for SEO is one of these things. In 2019, backlinks haven’t lost any of their power and still remain a strong indicator of your website’s quality.

To make sure backlinks don’t get you in trouble, it’s dead important to keep your fingers firmly on the pulse of the quality of your links by running regular backlink audits. And the secret behind a successful backlink audit is to arm yourself with a powerful backlink checker. However, choosing software that would 100% fit your website’s needs and marketing goals is not an easy task. So here are 4 core aspects to look at when choosing a backlink checker:

1. Backlink index
Size matters, but it’s not the only characteristic to be taken into consideration when judging about a backlink index. It also needs to be fresh for you to see all newly acquired links and up-to-date statuses.

2. Backlink analysis metrics
In order to maintain a strong backlink profile, a backlink checker should provide you with all necessary metrics to check the quality, harmfulness, and statuses of your links.

3. Cost-effectiveness
Make sure that the plan and feature set you’re going for fit the size of your site, marketing objectives, the number of people that will be using the tool, as well as your budget.

4. Usability and support
If you’re just making your first SEO steps, it’s crucial for the software interface to be intuitive and easy-to-use. Of course, it’s nice when a backlink checker of your choice provides customer support to be there for you anytime you face a certain difficulty.

That’s why I’ve collected hands-down the best backlink checkers in the industry at the moment and analyzed their weak and strong sides for you to make the best choice.

1.SEO SpyGlass

SEO SpyGlass is a backlink checker that eases the job a million times with everything that comes to links. The tool lets you see all the links pointing to your site, analyze them against over 50 different factors, and maintain a strong backlink profile by checking quality of every link.

What’s more, SEO SpyGlass has recently updated its index and now crawls 7.1 billion web pages a day, which is faster than any other crawler (Ahrefs, Majestic, or anyone else). As of now, the index can boast of 1.6 trillion freshest backlinks – and this is only in 3 months.

With SEO SpyGlass’ own Penalty Risk metric, you can easily spot toxic links and generate a ready-to-submit disavow file right in your project so that nothing can stop you from winning first positions. The tool also generously supplies you with the emails of website owners who point toxic links to your site for you to get in touch with them and ask for links’ removal. Another useful parameter called InLink Rank lets you clearly see the amount of link juice every backlink transmits to your site.

Not so long ago, SEO SpyGlass added the Bulk Analysis feature that allows you to analyze up to 200 domains at once by simply copying and pasting them into the software.

Besides being a powerful backlink checker, SEO SpyGlass is also good at finding new backlink opportunities. You can also compare your backlink profile to 10 competitors’ domains according to the most important parameters as well as see where your links intersect. SEO SpyGlass can even calculate an SEO value of every competitor’s link for you to pick the worthiest link sources.

On the dark side, due to the fact that SEO SpyGlass is a desktop software, there are less opportunities for collaboration comparing to other online tools. In addition to that, the new index has been launched quite recently, so the tool provides no historical data, specializing in live backlinks only.


  • The most up-to-date and fast growing database
  • Unlimited number of backlinks to analyze
  • Unlimited number of projects
  • 11 sites for backlink profile comparison
  • Google Search Console and Google Analytics integration
  • Bulk link analysis
  • An opportunity to find contacts of site owners
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Highly customizable reports
  • Customer support


  • The first-ever backlink check may take some time
  • No historical data
  • Desktop software


The price of the software consists of a one-time licence fee ($124 or $299 depending on the plan) and a minor maintenance fee (starting from $4 per month). All in all, a licence and maintenance will cost you 12 times less than the SEO SpyGlass’ online analogs.

Of course, you can always go for a free trial, but you’ll be limited feature-wise. Please consult with SEO SpyGlass’ pricing to compare feature sets that come with various editions and decide which version suits your needs best.

2. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is the second piece of software for link analysis that also has the largest external backlink index out there, consisting of 1.9 trillion links. The whole database size consists of 12 trillion links and is subdivided into Live, Recent, and Historical indexes. Basically, the links that are no longer alive will be kept in the Recent Index for 90 days. In case they reappear within this period, they go back to the Live one. In case they don’t, backlinks will be moved to the Historical Index, which is very handy if you need to see how your or your competitors’ backlink profiles have changed over time.

The software’s Top Referring Content feature shows you what content that has a link to the URL you are exploring has the most links, shares, or estimated traffic. It’s an extremely helpful metric if you want to legally “steal” your competitors’ backlinks.

Speaking of backlink analysis, Ahrefs has some proprietary metrics like Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR), which help a lot with analyzing backlink strength. There’s also so-called Ahrefs Rank that comes in very handy if you want to see how strong a website’s backlink profile is in comparison to other websites. On top of that, with the help of Ahrefs, you can analyze more than 200 domains at once.

All in all, Ahrefs is a powerful backlink checker that is capable of pretty much any task connected with backlinks. Of course, the pricing is much higher comparing to SEO SpyGlass. But on the other hand, its index and impressive collection of backlink reports probably make the software worth the cost. What’s more, Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO solution, which makes it perfect if you’re on a hunt for a powerful toolkit to satisfy all SEO needs of yours.


  • The largest backlink database
  • Bulk domain analysis (more than 200 domains)
  • Comprehensive backlink analysis
  • All-in-one SEO toolkit
  • Access to historical backlink data
  • Customer support
  • Fully customizable reports
  • Backlink profile comparison


  • Fewer metrics to analyze backlinks with compared to SEO SpyGlass
  • A limited number of users
  • No Google Search Console and Google Analytics integration


There’s an opportunity to start with a $7 trial for seven days to explore the tool in depth and decide if it’s worth investing in. The free trial will give you full access to all the features. Plans and pricing range from $99 per month for small businesses to $999 for larger businesses. So if you run an SEO agency, you’ll have to pay 11,988$ a year. Check out Ahrefs’ pricing policy for more details.

3. Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO is another big name in the industry and the third software on our list that has definitely proved to be a reliable backlink analysis tool.

What distinguishes Majestic from other backlink checkers (except for Ahrefs) on the list is that it maintains two backlink databases, these are Fresh Index (1,2 trillion links) and Historic Index (8 trillion links). If you’re willing to see only newly acquired links, use the Fresh Index that shows links crawled in the last 90 days. But if you need to access all lifetime links, utilize the Historic Index instead.

Except for Majestic’s index, the tool has a lot of killer features to offer. Firstly, Majestic lets you see all the links pointing to a site at a glance, analyze them against the most important SEO indicators (domain strength, Domain Alexa rank, Anchor URL, Anchor text, etc.), and see time-specific charts for external links as well as referring domains.

Secondly, the software allows you to analyze 10,000 domains by just uploading .csv or .txt files, which makes Majestic a perfect tool for those who need to work with large amounts of data.

The third great thing about Majestic is its link analysis metrics. Citation Flow is a metric, which predicts how influential a URL can be based on the number of sites linking to it. There’s also an opportunity to analyze URLs’ trustworthiness with the help of the Trust Flow parameter, which is calculated according to backlink’s nearness to a trusted domain. In addition to these two, there’s also a so-called Topical Trust Flow indicator based on the relevancy of links pointing to a certain website, which is perfect for qualifying potential link opportunities as well as identifying toxic links.

Majestic also offers domain comparison feature. You can compare 5 domains, which may be enough for smaller businesses, but too few for large companies and SEO agencies.

The only downsides that I found in the software are a bit less user-friendly interface in comparison with other tools, and the fact that it only supports one language – English.


  • One of the largest indexes in the world
  • All-in-one SEO software
  • Bulk domain analysis (10,000 domains)
  • Access to historical backlink data
  • Backlink profile comparison
  • Capability of working with large amounts of data
  • Thorough link analysis
  • Customizable reports
  • Customer support


  • Less user-friendly
  • Only one interface language
  • No Google Analytics integration


Majestic’s pricing is based on the number of analysis units, so it may vary. For instance, you may pay $49.99 monthly for one user and 1 million analysis units and $2,999 for 3,000 million analysis units and 5 users. It means that a year of using the tool will cost you up to $35,988. Here’s more detailed information on Majestic’s plans and pricing.

4. SEMrush

SEMrush is yet another awesome backlink checker for you to consider. The software’s backlink checker tool is reported to contain more than 160 billion links, which is slightly inferior to other backlink checkers on the list, but SEMrush still has a lot to offer.

The tool supplies you with pretty much everything you need for comprehensive backlink analysis – types of links, link juice distribution, referring domains, IP distributions by country as well as top-level domains’ (TLD) distributions.

The software’s own Trust score metric based on 45 toxic markers lets you immediately spot harmful links. Just like SEO SpyGlass (unlike Ahrefs and Majestic), SEMrush also supplies you with website owners’ emails so that you can send a link removal request.

SEMrush is also a good link building tool. It offers Google Search Console integration for you to access even more links.

SEMrush will crawl your website every two weeks and provide you with the number of new links as well as update you on their statuses. What’s more you’ll get informed about any changes in your backlink profile via email. And I’m also not exaggerating when I say that SEMrush offers one of the handiest side-by-side domain comparison.


  • All-in-one SEO toolbar
  • Google Search Console integration
  • An opportunity to find contacts of site owners
  • Comprehensive competitive research
  • User-friendly interface
  • Customer support


  • Smaller backlink index
  • $140 per month for every additional user
  • No Google Analytics integration
  • Reports may take a while to generate


The pricing of SEMrush is comparable to Ahrefs’. It starts at $99.99 per month for freelancers, startups, and in-house marketers. Those who would like to have extended limits, sharing options, white label reports, and API access will have to pay $399.95 monthly, which is $4,799 a year. Plus, if you want the software to be used by more than 1 user, you’ll be charged $140 monthly (for Guru and Business plans) for every additional user. There’s also an Enterprise plan with no fixed price for some extra large companies that are in need of a custom solution to fit their marketing objectives.

5. Moz

Last but by no means least on our list is Moz, of course :). Just like all above-mentioned backlink analysis tools, Moz is powered by its own live link index, which has been updated in 2018, and is now times faster, bigger, and fresher.

The software has its own so-called Spam Score metric, which estimates backlink quality based on the number of sites that have similar features, and that were penalized by Google. There’s also an opportunity to see how your links stack up against the competition by utilizing Link Profiles’ Comparison feature. On top of that, Moz has recently launched a new Link Intersection feature (also available in SEO SpyGlass) for you to see link intersections, get new link building ideas, and identify weak spots in your backlink profile.

One of the coolest features is the opportunity to track link building efforts. All you need to do is create a list of target URLs, and the tool will tell you if you’ve got the desired links.

Unlike other backlink checkers on the list, Moz doesn’t provide you with information about referring subnets and IPs’ diversity. What’s more, some users don’t like that the software doesn’t break down links by types.


  • All-in-one SEO solution
  • The tool can be used by up to 60 people
  • Extensive link analysis
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Link building results’ tracking
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Simple and data-heavy interface
  • Backlink profiles’ comparison
  • Customer support


  • The crawler lags behind in terms of depth and crawl frequency
  • No opportunity to break down links by types
  • No opportunity to see referring IPs and subnets


Moz generously offers a 30-day free trial for you to explore the tool in depth. The prices vary from $950 billed yearly for complete beginners to $9,590 for large SEO agencies. You can also save up to 20% if you pay yearly. Please consult with Moz pricing for a more detailed description of their plans.

This is how we gradually came to the end of our brief but pretty informative (I hope) overview of 5 best backlink checkers at the moment. Make sure the one that you finally go for fits the size of your website, doesn’t exceed your budget, and meets your marketing objectives because there’s hardly anything more important for marketers and SEOs than a powerful backlink checker on their side.