In November 2011 Yahoo Site Explorer ceased to exist.
This free service was quite popular among SEO specialists and web-site owners.
They used it to determine link popularity of their websites as well as to study the link building strategy of
As the Yahoo service was abandoned, the popularity of other backlink analysis services existed at that moment had
These were Open Site Explorer,
Backlink Watch and
On the other hand, a handful of alternative services had emerged, including Ahrefs,
Web SEO Analytics,
Monitor Backlinks and others.
Now there are dozens of paid and free tools for back link research.
Choosing a certain practical instrument from such vast variety based on the price/quality ratio seems a difficult
task to me.
And while one or another SEO blog periodically publishes articles named like
“5 Top Backlink Checker Tools for Your Website” or
“7 Best Free Online Backlink Checker Tools You Should Know About”,
it is always remain unclear, what are those criteria the authors use to determine the best services.
The list below encompasses all tools to search and analyze backlinks known to me.
The list consists of four parts.
The first one includes backlink explorers presented in webmaster tools of such search
engines as Google, Bing and Yandex.
The second part of the list covers online services.
The third part lists API you can use in your own applications.
The fourth part contains the collection of desktop software.
Each part of the list is sorted alphabetically.
Please keep in mind that backlink checking is merely one of functions most paid services offer.
So by purchasing monthly subscription you also receive access to other useful SEO tools.
You won’t find qualitative comparison of backlink tools in my list.
Such comparison is a subject for in-depth research, though I plan to eventually publish it in the blog.
But even those characteristics that are listed below in the brief description of each document
can be used to preliminary estimate capabilities of these services.
Besides, every tool can be ranked: I encourage you to vote for your favorite tools to help determining
the most popular instrument among those listed below.
In the future, I plan to refresh this list by removing abandoned tools and adding new ones.
If you are aware of some backlink tools not included in my list yet, please let me know in