In my ongoing quest to achieve SEO for this blog I’ve started looking at the number of inbound links I have. The more inbound links you have, especially one way links, the better your ranking on the search engines. That’s the theory anyways. Ideally, you want inbound links from sites/pages with high PR as well.
It seems that every time I find a good tool something happens to it and it stops working, so I’ve decided to list here a few of my favorites, in the hopes that at least some of them will continue working for you.
Keep in mind that you can always do your checks manually in the search engine of your choice. Also keep in mind that Google tells you only a tiny portion of what they know about your site, and what they actually use for ranking it. In other words, doing a link check on Google is a curiosity, nothing more, and shouldn’t be used for SEO purposes. Just do a search on the text inside the brackets, replacing your own domain name.
Alternatively, you can have a look at the Google Webmaster Tools for your site. I like Webmaster tools more for the information it gives me about my rankings for specific keywords in Google, even if I’m not receiving clicks on those keywords, it will show me if I’m #19 for something, I know I can do a little linkbuilding for that keyword and URL and improve the rank.
So here’s the top 3 list of my favorite backlink checkers. If you want to know how many inbound links are pointing towards your site, these tools will tell you. And then some!
Tools For Checking Inbound Links
Shows you detailed information about each of your links, including URL, Anchor Text, PR, # of Outbound Links on the page, and dofollow/nofollow status. Handy, but a lot to look at in a table.
A very cool tool, requires a plugin for Firefox, but gives you similar information to Backlink Watch but in a more visual fashion that is easy to organize and dig into the data.
My favorite tool for sheer speed and simplicity. Just gives you straight Google/Yahoo numbers.
This is a new inbound links checking tool that allows you to paste in a list of domains at once, and it will check them all for you automatically… up to 100 at once. Definitely aimed at the power user, this tool is pretty cool.
Remember, none of these tools will ever give you the true, complete story of the inbound links. The fact is, for some of my sites, I know for a fact that I’ve over time gathered well over 1000 links, but I have a hard time breaking the 600 link mark on Yahoo. Does that mean they don’t exist? No, it just means that for whatever reason they’re not currently listed on there. Does it mean they don’t count towards your pagerank? No. Just means Google isn’t showing them to you. Trust me, these things don’t slip past the Big G. They’re just pretty selective about what they let you see.
Do you have a favorite inbound links tool or linking strategy that you like using?