Till a few months back, I would use Yahoo Site Explorer to check Backlinks to my site but unfortunately, after the merger of the Yahoo and Bing search engines, Yahoo Site Explorer was shut down. It was largely expected that some tool with a similar functionality would be made available in Bing’s webmaster center but that hasn’t happened yet.
This led me to look for a new backlink finder that I could use to check backlinks to my website. After some digging and searching, I was able to find a few great backlink checkers that you can use to check backlinks to your sites.
1. Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO is offers the Majestic Site Explorer which also contains a backlink finder along with tools to help identify the best backlinks, referring pages and domains for any website.
Majestic SEO also provides you with tools that can help you check the pattern of link building that your competitors have followed. This is especially helpful in identifying the most successful backlink building strategies.
However, Majestic SEO does have a major drawback in that it is not free. Depending on how many sites you want to get backlink intelligence on, Majestic SEO offers a variety of plans. Nevertheless, if you can afford the monthly cost, Majestic SEO is an excellent backlink finder.
2. Market Samurai
Market Samurai, which allows keyword research and competition research, also provides us with the number of backlinks a website has. Internally, Market Samurai makes use of the bulk backlink checker from Majestic SEO to check backlinks to your site and provide a summary.
Market Samurai may not be that helpful if you are more interested in getting more detailed information about the backlinks like domains and pages where the backlinks are placed. However, if you are just looking for the number of backlinks a website has, Market Samurai serves the purpose just fine.
3. Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer has become my favorite backlink finder ever since Yahoo Site Explorer shut down. Open Site Explorer allows me to check backlinks on my site and filter them based on the origin and the target of the backlinks.
Along with the pages and domains on which the backlinks are located, Open Site Explorer also provides details on the anchor text used in the backlinks and details about the page authority and the domain authority of the page and the domain on which the backlink was found. This is data especially useful if you are researching your competitor’s website.
The free version of this backlink checker limits the amount and quality of data about backlinks that you can see. If you are doing this research in a professional capacity, you might find it worthwhile to invest in a membership with SEOMoz which is the company that offers Open Site Explorer. However, do note that even the free version of Open Site Explorer is still the best free backlink finder out there that helps me check backlinks to my site.
4. Google Webmaster Central
Google Webmaster Central is another website from where you can check backlinks to your site. The major drawback of this tool is that you can only use it to check backlinks to your own site. It doesn’t provide any mechanism to do any sort of research on someone else’s website’s backlinks.
5. Using Google’s Search Engine
One of the fewer known features of Google’s search engine is that it can be used as a backlink checker to check backlinks to your site. Suppose you want to search for all the backlinks pointing to a site, you can search for the term “link:site url”.
After considering all these options, Open Site Explorer is the backlink checker that helps me check backlinks to my site and to my competitor’s site at the least possible cost.