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Free Backlink Checkers Compared?

Looking at the backlink profile of a website enable one to know why, where and may tell you a good deal about their activities, and how they rank.

That is why backlink checkers (for instance, Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker) exist; they also provide invaluable advice for electronic marketers.

Most would not be able to perform their jobs without them.

Due to this, many professional entrepreneurs are pleased to pay for access to these programs (despite the fact they are comparatively expensive).

But, many novices struggle to warrant the prices since they do not yet know the worth of these instruments, or are only on a strict budget. This contributes to enormous demand for totally free backlink checkers.

Keywords for free backlink checker

Screenshot obtained from Keywords Explorer.

However, here is the issue: in order for backlink checkers to exist, the whole net (i.e. countless webpages) needs to be crawled, frequently re-crawled and kept in a massive database. Challenges and the costs are HUGE.

Sidenote. Here at Ahrefs we now run a fleet of about 1200 servers (20K CPU cores) to accumulate and save data data in the necessary scale. We are continuously enlarging this, also.

The main point:-LRB-**********) there is simply no method of backlink data to become liberated, which explains the reason why all free backlink checkers simply provide restricted access to their own information.

However how restricted are we speaking, just?

Here is a rough summary  of restrictions for the 4 primary backlink checkers we contrasted:-LRB-**)

Sidenote. Total dictionary (with notes) available here.  

Let us have a broader look in these tools, together with a couple of others.

Dissecting the free backlink checkers

We split the backlink checkers to these four categories:-LRB-**)

  • Substantial indicators:-LRB-**********) Well-known industry leaders together with  biggest proprietary backlink indicators;-LRB-****************)
  • larger indicators: Just like the big men, they collect their particular meta info, however on a much bigger scale.
  • API-powered tools: Applications which extract information from some of the businesses within both groups above;-LRB-****************)
  • Additional: Any other tools which collect their information from other (possibly questionable) resources.

Let us start by taking a look at the tools together with the biggest backlink indicators.

1.) Massive Indexes (i.e. Ahrefs and Majestic)

Ahrefs and Majestic are equally undisputed industry leaders in regards to backlink index dimensions.

Neither of those programs are free but equally provide access to some free restricted version of the backlink checker.

Let us have a detailed look at the characteristics and limitations of those tools.

Sidenote.  Even though we do enjoy our very own product(s), then we are going to attempt to be as impartial as possible here. Our goal is not to select a winner but instead to highlight/compare constraints and the qualities .   We invite you to attempt each the tools to see which works best for you.  


Ahrefs backlink checker (i.e. Website Explorer) is available via a complimentary 14-afternoon  Ahrefs trial.

Through your trial, we provide complete access to our link database of over just (***************************************************************************************************************) trillion referred to connections. If you opt to cancel the trial, then we’ll automatically transfer you to our “Newbie” program which provides you free restricted access to Website Explorer.

In this informative article, I’ll be focussing entirely on the information you are able to get using our complimentary “Newbie” program.

First, let us take a look at the Summary  in Ahrefs’ Website Explorer:-LRB-**)

Here is a breakdown of all of the information we reveal:-LRB-**)

  • Ahrefs’ metrics [1] (Ahrefs Rank/DR/UR);-LRB-****************)
  • Complete External Backlinks [2] and Ref.Domains [3];-LRB-****************)
  • Topical Backlinks [4] & Referring Domains [5] charts (for most time, 1 year, or last 30 times);-LRB-****************)
  • New & Lost Ref.Domains [6] & Backlinks [7] charts;-LRB-****************)
  • Ref.Domains TLDs [8] & CTLDs [9] supply;-LRB-****************)
  • Ref. IPs/Subnets [10];-LRB-****************)
  • Backlink forms breakdown [11] (e.g. dofollow/text/image/etc);-LRB-****************)
  • Anchor text breakdown (like, anchors cloud [12], anchor phrases [13], and also anchor phrases [14]).

In summary, we inform you a whole lot, even on a free account.   We allow you see this info for up to 5 URLs (out of maximum. 2 domain names) daily on our complimentary “Newbie” program.

Moving into the Backlinks and Referring Domains  accounts, we reveal the best 10 links/domains (purchased by UR). We allow usage of filters inside these reports.

External Backlinks grouped by Similar Links ahrefs com on Ahrefs

Additionally, we provide restricted free access (i.e. we reveal 20 hyperlinks) into the Damaged Backlinks  accounts; this can be crazily strong if you are seeking to set out on a broken link construction  effort.

Broken Backlinks ahrefs com on Ahrefs

Same goes for the Finest from Links  accounts (i.e. we reveal that the best 20 webpages on a domain having the most links).

Sidenote.  “Finest by Links” is a super-powerful report for exploring linkbait content. In addition, it can be utilized to research prospective “skyscraper” topics.

A couple more reports which it is possible to use on a totally free program:-LRB-**)

  • New/Lost Backlinks (and discussing domain names):-LRB-**********) reveals new/lost traffic to your target URL or domain name over the past 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 times;-LRB-****************)
  • Anchors: provides a list of anchor text terms/phrases linking to your intended URL/domain;-LRB-****************)

Ahrefs’ Website Explorer allows up to 1K rows of information to be exported each month on our complimentary “Newbie” program.


Majestic’s free backlink checker can be retrieved through Website Explorer  using a no cost Majestic account.

Sidenote. Two connection indicators: Brand New and Historical are maintained by Majestic. They go into detail concerning the differences between both of these indicators.   The Historical indicator is a database of all backlinks that a website has had, the majority of which are no longer now. Making it larger than their Brand New index.

Let us take a peek at their Overview  accounts:-LRB-**)

Here is a breakdown of this information it reveals:-LRB-**)

  • Trust Flow (TF) & Citation Flow (CF) metrics [1] (also TF/CF chart  [2]);-LRB-****************)
  • Complete External Backlinks [3] and Ref.Domains [4];-LRB-****************)
  • Topical Backlinks [5] & Referring Domains [6]  charts (for the past 90 times);-LRB-****************)
  • Backlink forms breakdown [7] (e.g. dofollow/text/image/etc);-LRB-****************)
  • Anchor text breakdown [8] (such as anchor text distribution graph);-LRB-****************)
  • Ref. IPs [9] /Subnets [10];-LRB-****************)
  • Governmental & Educational Backlinks [11].

This is really a fairly wealthy report, which can be pretty much on par to that which we’ve at Ahrefs. Each instrument has artwork and a couple of data points, so it is difficult to choose a winner.

But, Majestic limits all access to additional reports for all those that have free accounts.

Majestic Backlinks Upgrade To Continue Majestic

Sidenote. When I first started working with this article, Majestic seemed to be supplying (very) restricted access to their additional reports. It appears that this has changed and they need a subscription to get any information.

The caveat to this rule includes Verified Domains.

Essentially, if you confirm ownership of your website(s) using Majestic, they provide you complete access to Website Explorer, even in their totally free plan. As a consequence, your backlink profile can be viewed by that you without constraints, for as many as five of your sites.

We are not aware of any additional backlink checker that allows you do so.

two. Smaller Indexes (i.e. Moz and SEMrush)

Ahrefs and Majestic are not your only two choices. There are a few other free backlink checkers that keep their particular link indicators: Moz (OSE) and SEMrush.

But, their backlink indicators are not as big as Ahrefs or Majestic.

Sidenote. We did not execute any studies to identify the indicator sizes. We advise you see that provides you information and to try inputting a couple of websites.

Let us take a peek at what these tools provide on their free programs.

Moz (OSE)

Moz now (June 2017) contains 1.3 trillion known connections in their own index. By comparison, Ahrefs’ link indicator is much more than 10x larger, together with 12 trillion referred to connections.

But, Moz’s metrics, specifically Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA), are becoming industry standard metrics among SEOs.

In actuality, DA is so popular that  many people even confuse it as being a formal Google metric.

Sidenote. Ahrefs DR/UR are metrics to the DA/PA of Moz. This is not to mention that Ahrefs’ DR/UR are far better than other metrics, like the ones from Moz. As far as we are aware, nobody has ever researched the of all third party backlink metrics, therefore it comes down to a personal preference.

Contrary to Ahrefs and Majestic, Moz (OSE) does not actually have a Overview/Summary port; they pretty much display external traffic straight away.

Pasted Image 17 07 2017 15 56

Here is a breakdown of these information points OSE  reveals:-LRB-**)

  • Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA) & Spam score [1];-LRB-****************)
  • Complete External Backlinks and Ref.Domains [2];-LRB-****************)

But in spite of a free account, OSE provides access to a far larger amount of information compared to most other free backlink checkers.

For instance, even though it only reveals metrics (i.e. DA/PA/Spam score) to the top five backlinks (note: it reveals 20 to get free Moz community associates), it is going to show you that the linking page to get many backlinks in the indicator.

Open Site Explorer Link Research Backlink Checker Moz

Moz also gives free entry to this Linking Domains  accounts and semi-free accessibility (i.e. they show 5 pages/terms( or 20 for registered customers) to either the Leading Pages (showing you the maximum linked-to pages around the website) also Anchor Text  accounts.

Open Site Explorer Link Research Backlink Checker Moz 1

With regards to daily limitations, here is what Moz needed to mention:-LRB-**)

URLs and domain names are effectively the exact same  in this situation – we only refer to ‘hunts’, whether or not they’re for domain names or particular URLs.   The ‘Request CSV’ alternative isn’t accessible to Free Community accounts. Samantha ChapmanSamantha Chapman, Client Service Engineer Moz

There appears to be some confusion regarding the last part as, in OSE itself, they say that you can “export up to 10,000 connections with a max of 25 hyperlinks per domain”.

Screen Shot 2017 07 28 at 11 41 28

But, while playing around with OSE, I discovered that although the “Request CSV” did seem to function for registered users (i.e. those using a no cost Moz Community accounts), the . 1K rows were maxed out in by csv export. This could be a bug.


SEMrush supplies a package of rival research tools, among which will be a backlink checker.

Sidenote. Based on a current announcement from SEMrush, how big the backlink index now stands at 3 trillion backlinks, which will be approximately 1/4 the magnitude of Ahrefs’ index.

Let us take a look at the Summary  accounts in SEMrush.

Pasted Image 17 07 2017 16 29

Here is a breakdown of those information points:-LRB-**)

  • Complete External Backlinks [1], Ref.Domains [2] & Ref. IPs [3];-LRB-****************)
  • New & Lost Ref.Domains & Backlinks [4]  charts (for either 3 months, 1 year old, or most time);-LRB-****************)
  • Backlink forms [5] (e.g. text/image/etc) & Dofollow/Nofollow breakdown [6];-LRB-****************)
  • TLDs [7] & CTLDs [8]  supply;-LRB-****************)
  • Anchor text breakdown [9] (such as high earners and top anchor conditions).

Visually their Overview report appears fine and tidy, and it’s virtually on par with that which Ahrefs & Majestic offer you (even though it’s constructed off a considerably smaller backlink indicator).

Moving on into the Backlinks and Referring Domains  accounts, you are ready to see 10 pops with a free accounts, with the remaining data concealed.

Backlinks Analytics SEMrush English

Sidenote. The filters are fully-functioning, also (similar to at Ahrefs); you are able to filter out dofollow/nofollow hyperlinks, special link types (i.e. text/image/etc), new/lost backlinks, together with a couple additional “innovative” filtering choices. A couple cool choices here include the capability to filter out sitewide links, special anchor texts, and links from particular nations (i.e. domain extensions).  

With regards to limitations, here is what SEMrush needed to state:-LRB-**)

On the free account you’ll be able to receive 10 accounts daily and watch 10 leads to a report. Every time a domain name or URL changes in ‘Backlinks’, you create a report. SEMrush SupportSEMrush Support

Comparable to Ahrefs, SEMrush does permit data to be exported, though you can just export 10 pops on a free accounts (Ahrefs permits up to 1000 pops).

Total, SEMrush is really generous with the number of information they permit access to in their free accounts; nearly on level with Ahrefs & Moz.

3. API powered

If you Google the term  “free backlink checker”, then you will be greeted with many choices to the above tools.

free backlink checker Google Search

However when you start looking into how they obtain their information, you realise that nearly all of these are driven by API’s out of a single (or more) of those tools mentioned previously.

For instance, here is a sample connection report from Monitor Backlinks:-LRB-**)

ahrefs com has 2 3M backlinks from 15 6K domains View Backlinks

ACRank is a Majestic metric, so it is clear right away that they’re pulling their information from Majestic.

Monitor Backlinks additionally brings in Trust Flow and Citation Flow metrics, together with Moz metrics (i.e. DA/PA/Spam score), when seeing traffic to your own website(s).


(But you do need to enroll for a free trial to get this done.)

Likewise, the backlink checker in  employs the Moz API to acquire backlink data/metrics.

Free Backlink Checker SEOmoz Backlink Tool Links Checker

Screenshot is obtained from

The free backlink checker from Linkody additionally brings in Moz info (i.e. MozRank, DA, PA, Spam score).

2613731 backlinks to ahrefs com backlink checker

(Yet, only DA is visible for unregistered and free trial consumers.)

Basically, just about all of those “free” programs are either powered by Majestic or Moz. It is generally pretty easy to figure which you only by taking a look at the metrics that they reveal (i.e. DA/PA or TF/CF).

Sidenote. Presently, Ahrefs powers none of those programs since, unlike Moz and Majestic, we do not pay our information. It is simply allowed by us . You can join your own Ahrefs account through OpenApp to a third party programs such as Kerboo and URL Profiler, which provide a nice layer of performance. I recorded a variety of those tools.

4.) Others

I know exactly what you are thinking…

“If instruments are not obtained information from their own indicators or third party APIs, where are they get their info from?”

Believe it or not, I stumbled upon a few tools that seem to be scratching Google for meta data data.

One such instrument is your  backlink checker from Little SEO Tools.

Backlink Checker

If you compare this into some search at Google, that the results are somewhat similar. This reveals a listing of URLs with no metrics that are related.

If you’re to perform this with Google itself, you would not even be limited to 100 outcomes because you’re with this instrument.

Sidenote. These outcomes do not align perfectly with a website:-LRB-****)  scratch (they are just quite similar). It can only be the case that this particular tool, and many others, are merging information from several resources (e.g. Moz API). In any event, this tool still does not provide any extra insight within a Google website: hunt, in my view.  

The only other way to check traffic is utilizing Google Webmaster Tools, however that could merely be an alternative for sites you have. Competitions couldn’t be researched by you .

Closing Thoughts

In all honesty, even though  there are a number of “free backlink checker” tools across the internet, the vast majority of them are not worth your attention.

the majority of these tools only pull data in the APIs of those “big men”, without providing any extra layers of information or advice.

The most important thing is that this:-LRB-**)

If you need reliable and detailed data from a “free backlink checker”, then you want to utilize Ahrefs or Majestic. In the event you’re not sensitive to how big this backlink index, SEMrush and Moz are a second option.

And in case  you are even remotely serious about SEO, you will need to get yourself a complete and unrestricted use of one of those tools. There is not any way to acquire that amount of data.

Listed below are our overall recommendations to your selection of a free backlink checker tool to begin off:-LRB-**)

  • should you want no cost data, select Ahrefs as we’ve got a sizable backlink index with a great deal of great charts and reports;-LRB-****************)
  • In case you do not care about understanding each and every connection there’s, both Moz and SEMrush will provide you enough information to use;-LRB-****************)
  • should you need absolutely free information for your own website, select Majestic, as confirmed sites get all information. (note: do not forget to also utilize Google Search Console to your own site)
  • In case you need reliable search engine optimization metrics, select Ahrefs/Majestic/Moz. SEO community well adopts all three. (Moz has become easily the most popular.)

Notice from Tim Soulo:-LRB-**********)

Certainly, this report isn’t based on any sort of scientific study, but instead reflects our abstract ideas about the free performance of the above free backlink checkers.

Originally, we did so contrast for our internal functions. We wanted to figure out if our “free access” limits were on par with what others possess.

Thus in all honesty, we are likely going to tighten up the performance of the free backlink checker a little, so that we would not stand out a lot in the rest.


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