Comparing Best Free Backlink Checker Software Packages

IF you’re wondering which backlink checking software to use and who has the most data and at what price, here’s a breakdown of the most popular backlink companies:

*Data updated on 06/12/2013 (and again for Ahrefs based on their email from 12/12/2013)

Following the post I’ve received updates from Ahrefs, Christoph Cemper from LRT and Dixon Jones from MajesticSEO on their data and what their USPs are:

Christoph Cemper comments (founder of Link Research Tools):

My main point to comment is that LRT certainly not a “backlink checker” and I have plans to explain that in a lot more detail, but any case study we launched in the last year should make clear that LRT is a lot more functional and powerful as e.g. ahrefs, majestic, moz – to name only three of our sources… we have 20 more,
so the “YES” at own source could be a thing to fix if you want to keep that format.

More importantly with 2014 coming up, I think it’s important to emphasize and communicate
that it’s about the quality of the link data (we verify live as opposed to show static stuff)
and their valuation (think link detox, competitive link detox, CEMPER Power*Trust) etc.etc.

I think it would be a great idea to add such aspects to the page for everyone still believing
that a list of links is everything he needs for SEO.

RE URLs in Index – because we show between 110 and 160% more than any single solution with Superhero and Enterprise,
so that’s worth mentioning… does that mean we have 1100 billion urls in an index? no.
The simple comparison of very stale indexes with something that verifies and crawls live does not work.

That being said, I would love to see your comparison go more into a qualitative direction
actually looking at data per domain (as several german SEOs did some years ago).

Dixon Jones commented (from MajesticSEO):
Thanks for the comparisons. Some tools here aggregate our data with others and we very much support companies that use our own APIs in line with our licensing to add a value layer to our data in this way. The differentiation between the two TYPES of provider in your list is one of EITHER being primarily a data provider OR primarily a tools/solutions provider. Majestic SEO sites firmly in the data camp, having by far the largest single link intelligence data set available. Many advanced SEOs like to use Majestic’s data directly – sometimes in addition to the other tools – largely because of the granular details they can get with Majestic SEO. In addition, Majestic SEO is also now a powerful search engine in its own right and this will help SEOs to understand WHY one website ranks above anther in search algorithms.

Majestic SEO has always been an innovator, not a replicator of functionality and continues to develop new features at an aggressive rate. There are many areas where Majestic SEO would argue that its selling points are unique. Here are three:

Powerful keyword search functionality: listing the backlinks to all the websites and URLs on the Internet is a mighty challenge, but evaluating them at scale accurately is even more so. Being able to then invert this enormous amount of data so that you can generate and understand search results at a keyword level based on the link graph is the next generation in link intelligence and currently Majestic SEO sites alone in this achievement.

Whitehat Data Sources: Majestic SEO does not carry out rank checking or use data derived from Google Rank checking for its algorithms in any way. All our crawling is from first principals with due regard for Robots.txt and Google’s terms of use. Simply tracking Google SERPs contravenes Google’s terms of service, so if you want a data source that ultimately does not rely in any way on Google’s implicit or explicit consent, Majestic SEO strives to fit this model.

Price: Our free offering gives you all of the back link data for websites within your control, but if you move to a paid solution, we have the lowest cost of entry of any of the tools in this survey.

I hope your readers will give Majestic a try.


Ahrefs is the world’s largest index of live backlinks and the ultimate website analysis toolset for SEOs and integrated marketing professionals to perform granular researches on backlinks, on-page SEO, brand mentions, and competitor analysis in order to come up with actionable insights for link building, content marketing, and online reputation management strategies

And what makes us different from other softwares:

  • we are constantly improving our products and services. Ahrefs can have several updates each day from small one like improving some tooltip to better indexing. Improving never stops at Ahrefs.
  • we are doing own researches on Big Data and Web Graph. To provide users with the best data we create our own database and crawler, and no open source DB can process such amount of big data with that high speed . We are on the cutting edge of Big Data research and development.
  • we focus on providing best data and offer API service so you/developer or anyone can build your own applications based on the best datasource of links info available in the market.


1. Right now the size of the index stands at 104 billion domains. This breaks down to 157 million root domains and 697 billion links.

The engineers at Moz have been working hard to increase the size of the index. While it’s not the biggest (Google’s own index is several times larger) we are nonetheless very proud of its quality.

2. Metrics – Open Site Explorer is known for delivering industry-defining metrics like DomainAuthority and MozRank. It typically takes a couple of weeks to process these metrics for billions of links, which is one reason it takes so much effort and computing power to process each index.

PageAuthority, which reflects a mixture of link metrics at the URL level, is consistently one of the highest correlated metrics to higher rankings that we know of, which makes it far more useful than metrics like Google’s PageRank, which is rarely updated and usually not useful for predicting a page’s ranking potential.

3. Other features that we like in Open Site Explorer include Just Discovered Links. This feature is updated every hour and includes 30 days of new links to your site that we’ve discovered through various feeds.

There are a ton of other features I won’t go into here – it’s best to explore on your own.

That said, we encourage you to try out all of these services. We really like what Majestic and Ahrefs are working on, and these teams keep us on our toes. Overall, the competition makes the entire industry a better place.

Update: 05/02/2014

Just stumbled across these two from a tweet by Aaron Wall:
Both looking like interesting options – I’ll aim to update this post in the future once I had a closer look.

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