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Outreach Monks

How to Find & Track Backlinks: A Practical Guide to SEO Success

How to Find & Track Backlinks

Finding backlinks can be tough, right? SEOs often struggle with choosing the right tools to find backlinks. With so many options out there, it’s easy to get confused.

Should you use free tools or invest in premium ones? The choice can feel overwhelming and might result in wasting time and effort.

In this article, we’ll tackle these problems together. We’ll break down the best ways to find backlinks and help you decide between free and paid tools.

You’ll discover which tools work best for different needs and how to use them effectively. 

Let’s make finding backlinks simple and easy for you!

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks are links from one website to another. They help search engines decide how valuable and trustworthy your content is. More quality backlinks can lead to higher search rankings.

4 Types of Backlinks

Understanding the different types of backlinks is crucial for effective SEO. Here are four common types of backlinks you should know about:

1) Dofollow Links

Dofollow links pass on “link juice,” boosting your site’s rank. 

<a href=”https://yourwebsite.com”>Your Website</a>

When another site links to yours with a dofollow link, it tells search engines that your content is valuable. This passing of link authority helps improve your site’s ranking in search results. You can identify dofollow links by checking the HTML code and ensuring there is no `rel=”nofollow”` attribute.

2) Nofollow Links

Nofollow links do not pass on link juice: 

<a href=”https://yourwebsite.com” rel=”nofollow”>Your Website</a>

These links tell search engines not to count them as a vote of confidence. While they don’t boost your ranking directly, they can still bring valuable traffic and visibility. You can spot nofollow links by looking for the `rel=”nofollow”` attribute in the HTML code.

3) UGC Links

UGC stands for User-Generated Content, like comments or forum posts. 

<a href=”https://yourwebsite.com” rel=”ugc”>Your Website</a>

These links usually have a nofollow attribute to prevent spam and ensure that only genuine, user-created content links to your site. The `rel=”ugc”` attribute helps search engines identify these links.

4) Sponsored Links

Sponsored links are links that you pay for.

<a href=”https://yourwebsite.com” rel=”sponsored”>Your Website</a>`. 

They are used for advertising or sponsorship purposes and typically do not pass on link juice. The `rel=” sponsored”` attribute signals to search engines that the link is part of a paid promotion. This helps maintain transparency and prevent manipulation of search rankings.

Understanding these types of backlinks and how they pass link juice can help you build a strong and balanced link profile for your site.

Complete Guide to Finding Backlinks: Free and Paid Tools

Learn how to find backlinks for your site using both free and paid tools. This section will help you choose the best options to improve your SEO and boost your website’s ranking.

1. How to Leverage Google Search Console (Free Tool) for Backlink Analysis

Google Search Console is a free tool that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results. Here’s how to use it to check backlinks: 

  1. Sign in to Google Search Console: Go to Google Search Console and sign in with your Google account.
  2. Select Your Property: Choose the website you want to analyze.
  3. Go to Links Report: On the left menu, click on “Links.” Here, you will see a list of sites linking to yours.
  4. Analyze Top Linking Sites: Look at the “Top linking sites” section to see who links to you the most. These sites are important for your backlink strategy.
  5. Check Top Linked Pages: The “Top linked pages” section shows which of your pages have the most backlinks. Use this info to understand which content is attracting links.
  6. Export Data: You can download this data for further analysis. Click on the “Export” button to get a CSV file or Google sheet with all the link details.

Google Search Console Step First. Click on links tab

Using Google Search Console, you can easily find your backlinks and analyze them to improve your site’s SEO.

For another basic tool, you can try the free version of Ahrefs. The free version of Ahrefs offers limited features, allowing you to check up to 100 backlinks. It’s a good starting point for beginners to learn the basics of how to check backlinks and perform backlink analysis. Once you get the hang of it, you can upgrade to the paid version for more features and deeper insights.

Ahrefs free version backlink checker; how to find backlinks to your website

Now that you know about the free tool and how to use it, let’s look at paid tools for more insights.

2) Ahrefs (Paid Version)

Ahref paid version backlink checker: checking backlinks

Ahrefs is a great tool for SEO and backlink analysis. It provides detailed data on backlinks, keyword rankings, and competitor insights. Known for its accuracy and wide range of features, it’s a favorite among many in the industry.

How to Find Backlinks using Ahrefs:

Finding backlinks with Ahrefs is simple and effective. Here’s how to do it in five steps:

  • Log in to Ahrefs and Go to Site Explorer: Visit the Ahrefs website, log in to your account, and navigate to the “Site Explorer” tool.
  • Enter Your URL: Type your website URL into the search bar and hit enter.
  • Navigate to Backlinks Report: On the left-hand menu, click on the “Backlinks” tab to see all the backlinks pointing to your site.
  • Filter and Analyze: Use the filters to narrow down your results by domain rating, URL rating, dofollow/nofollow links, etc. Analyze the detailed information about each backlink, including the referring domain, URL, and anchor text.
  • Export Data: If you need further analysis, click the “Export” button to download the backlink data in a CSV file.

3) SEMrush

SEMrush backlink checker: find backlinks for a site

SEMrush is a useful paid tool for SEO and digital marketing. It offers features for analyzing backlinks, researching keywords, and tracking competitors.

How to Find Backlinks Using SEMrush:

With SEMrush, you can easily discover and evaluate backlinks. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Log in to SEMrush: Go to SEMrush and log in with your account.
  • Navigate to Backlink Analytics: Click on “Backlink Analytics” under the “Link Building” section.
  • Enter Your Domain and Search: Type your domain name in the search bar and hit “Search” to get an overview of your backlinks.
  • Explore and Filter Backlinks: Click the “Backlinks” tab to see all links pointing to your site. Use filters for follow/nofollow links, new/lost links, and anchor text.
  • Analyze and Export Data: Review the quality and diversity of backlinks, then export the data for further analysis. SEMrush also offers backlink audits and link-building suggestions.

4) SE Ranking

SE ranking backlink checker: find my backlinks

SE Ranking is a comprehensive SEO tool that offers keyword tracking, website audits, and competitive analysis. It provides valuable insights to boost your website’s search engine performance.

How to Find Backlinks Using SE Ranking:

Here are the step-by-step instructions to find backlinks using SE Ranking:

  • Sign Up or Log In: Visit SE Ranking, create an account, or log in.
  • Add Your Project: Enter your website’s URL and complete the setup.
  • Access Backlink Checker: On the dashboard, click “Backlink Checker” and enter your domain.
  • Review Backlink Report: View detailed backlink information like number, referring domains, and anchor texts.
  • Filter, Sort, and Export: Sort backlinks by parameters and export the data as needed.

Quick Comparison of Free and Paid Tools

Google Search Console and Ahrefs (Free Version) offer basic backlink analysis for free. For more features, Ahrefs(Paid Version), SEMrush, and SE Ranking provides detailed insights and powerful tools. They have different prices and capabilities. Check the table below for all the details.

Feature Google Search Console (Free) Ahrefs Free Version (Free) Ahrefs (Paid) SEMrush (Paid) SE Ranking (Paid)
Overview Basic backlink analysis Limited backlink data Large database, detailed analysis Wide range of SEO tools Cost-effective, solid features
Key Features Backlink report, top linking sites Limited backlink checker Backlink checker, keyword research, site audit Backlink audit, competitor analysis, keyword tracking Backlink monitoring, SEO audits, keyword research
Database Size Limited Limited Extensive Extensive Moderate
Best For Basic analysis Basic backlink insights Comprehensive backlink data All-in-one SEO tool Affordable essential tools
Price Free Free Starts at $99/month Starts at $119.95/month Starts at $39/month
Example Use Case Finding backlinks to your site Checking backlinks for a few URLs Analyzing competitor backlinks Tracking new and lost backlinks Monitoring backlink profile

 

Limitations

  • Google Search Console: Limited backlink data, basic features.
  • Ahrefs (Free Version): Limited data access, fewer features.
  • Ahrefs (Paid): Expensive, moderate ease of use.
  • SEMrush: Expensive and can be complex for beginners.
  • SE Ranking: Moderate data and analysis, fewer advanced features compared to Ahrefs and SEMrush.

Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose between free and paid tools. Both can help you find backlinks for a site and analyze them to improve its SEO.

Key Metrics in Backlink Analysis

When analyzing backlinks, certain metrics help you understand their quality and impact. Here are five important metrics:

1. Domain Authority (DA)

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). It ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating a greater ability to rank. DA is calculated based on various factors, including the number of linking root domains and the total number of links.

However, it’s important to note that a high DA doesn’t always guarantee a benefit. The relevance and quality of the linking site are also crucial.

Imagine your website has a DA of 30. You get a backlink from a site with a DA of 70. This high-DA site’s link can significantly boost your site’s authority and improve its ranking potential on search engines. But if the linking site isn’t relevant to your niche, the benefit might be limited.

2. Domain Rating (DR)

Domain Rating (DR) is an Ahrefs metric that measures the overall strength of a website’s backlink profile, ranging from 1 to 100. A higher DR suggests a stronger backlink profile, reflecting the quality and quantity of external links to the site.

Unlike Domain Authority (DA) by Moz, which predicts ranking potential on search engine results, DR specifically assesses backlink profile strength. While a higher DR can enhance a site’s authority, it’s not a guarantee of better search rankings. The relevance and quality of linking sites remain crucial factors.

3. Referring Domains

Referring domains are super important in SEO. They count how many unique websites link to your site. The more referring domains you have, the better your authority and trust. Search engines see links from different sites as a sign that your content is valuable and widely recognized.

If 50 different websites link to your blog, it’s better than having 100 links from just one website.

4. Focus on Quality Backlinks

Quality backlinks come from trusted and relevant websites. They show search engines that your site is a reliable source of information, improving your SEO. A few high-quality backlinks can have a bigger impact than many low-quality ones.

Having 20 high-quality backlinks from reputable sites is more beneficial than 100 low-quality links from unknown sites.

5. Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text in a link. It tells both people and search engines what the linked page is about. Good anchor text is clear and relevant, which helps search engines rank the linked page better. Additionally, well-chosen anchor text, including variations of keywords, makes it easier for users to understand what to expect when they click the link, enhancing their browsing experience.

If you have a blog post about fitness tips, use “beginner workout routines” as anchor text for a link to a detailed guide on workout plans for beginners. For even better results, you can use variations like “beginner exercise plans” or “workout tips for newbies” as anchor text in other parts of your content. This helps search engines understand the topic of the linked page and guides users to the right content.

Anchor Text Distribution: finding backlinks

5. Link Relevancy

Link relevancy means getting backlinks from websites related to your content. This improves your SEO because search engines view these links as more credible and valuable.  A backlink from techcrunch.com to your tech startup’s website is more relevant and valuable than a link from a food blog.

These key metrics help you evaluate the quality and impact of your backlinks, improving your SEO strategy.

The Role of Backlinks in SEO

The Role of Backlinks in SEO: check backlinks

Backlinks are important for SEO because they show search engines that your website is trustworthy and credible. Here’s how they help:

  • Increase DR: Increase DR: When other websites link to your site, it’s like they are vouching for your content. When other websites link to your site, they vouch for your content, boosting your domain’s rating and signaling to Google that your site is trustworthy.
  • Signal Credibility to Google: Backlinks give a signal to Google that your website is credible and valuable. This is because backlinks are considered votes of confidence from other sites.
  • Improve Link Profile: Backlinks help improve your site’s link profile. A strong link profile with many quality backlinks tells Google that your site is authoritative.
  • Increase Referring Domains: Having backlinks from multiple websites increases the number of referring domains. More referring domains suggest a broader recognition of your site’s value.
  • Enhance Keyword Performance in SERPs: When the authority of your domain and link profile improves, Google recognizes your site as an authority. This can help your keywords perform better in search engine results pages (SERPs).

While backlinks don’t directly increase traffic, they improve your site’s authority and credibility. This leads to better search rankings, which means your content is more likely to be seen by users. In short, the more quality backlinks you have, the higher your site can rank, enhancing its visibility and reputation online.

Understanding the key metrics in backlink analysis and the role of backlinks sets the stage. Now, let’s explore how to build quality links.

How Can You Build Quality Links?

Building quality backlinks is crucial for improving your site’s SEO. From the key metrics we discussed, you know what makes a backlink valuable. But how do you get these quality links? Here are four simple strategies you can use:

1. Guest Posting

Guest posting involves writing and publishing an article on someone else’s website within the same niche. This strategy helps you build backlinks and reach a wider audience.

Suppose you have a travel blog. You write a guest post for a popular travel website about “Top 10 Beach Destinations.” In the article, you include a link back to your blog’s post on “Best Beaches to Visit This Summer.” This link doesn’t necessarily drive traffic, but it signals to Google the relevancy and natural placement of your content, thereby increasing your authority.

2. Niche Edits

Niche edits involve adding your link to an existing article on a relevant website. This method is effective because the article is already indexed and has established authority.

For example, you have a fitness blog. You will find an article on a popular health site about “Top 10 Workout Routines for Beginners.” You ask the site owner to add a link to your blog post on “Beginner-Friendly Workout Tips.” They agree, and your link is added. This boosts your SEO and drives traffic from a related, high-authority site.

3. Create High-Quality Content

Creating high-quality content means producing valuable and engaging articles, blog posts, or videos that your audience loves. This content should be well-researched, original, and truly helpful. When you create valuable content, people naturally want to link to it. It’s so good that they share it on their own.

For example, imagine you have a travel blog. You write an exciting guide on “Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations in Europe.” You include beautiful photos, handy tips, top ten restaurants, hidden places to visit, and your own travel stories. Readers find it so helpful that they start linking to it from their own sites. This boosts your SEO and brings more visitors to your site.

4. Broken Link Building

Broken link building involves finding broken links on relevant websites and offering your content as a replacement. This method works well because it helps the website owner fix broken links while giving you a valuable backlink.

Here’s an example- Suppose you have a travel blog. You find an article on a popular travel site with a broken link about “Top Destinations in Europe.” Inform the site owner about the broken link and suggest your blog post on “Must-Visit European Destinations” as a replacement. They agree, and your link is added. This doesn’t necessarily drive traffic, but it signals to Google that your content is relevant and natural. This boosts your authority.

Building quality backlinks takes time and patience. At Outreach Monks, we specialize in creating and managing these strategies to boost your site’s SEO. Let us handle the hard work for you so you can see faster, more effective results. We’re here to help you achieve your goals effortlessly!

How Did Outreach Monks Help To Build Quality Backlinks For Nolabels? (Success Story)

No labels Homepage:, how to find backlinks to a website

NOLABELS is a fashion brand offering stylish designer clothing and accessories for women. When we started link-building for them, they were new to the online market, competing against brands with strong link profiles. Here are the challenges we faced and the strategies we used to overcome them.

Challenges

  • Competitive Niche: The fashion industry is highly competitive.
  • No Keywords Ranking: NOLABELS wasn’t appearing in search engine results.
  • No Backlinks: The site had no backlinks, which is crucial for SEO.
  • Fresh Start: Everything had to be built from scratch, from content to SEO.
  • Few Linking Sites: Lack of linking sites hindered domain authority and rankings.

Strategy and Implementation

  • Guest Posting: We secured guest posting opportunities with Indian bloggers, creating valuable backlinks and boosting visibility in India.
  • Niche Edits: We added NOLABELS’ links to existing articles on relevant websites, boosting SEO and driving targeted traffic. For example, we added a link to a popular fashion site’s article on sustainable fashion trends.
  • Public Relations (PR) Posts: We secured links from reputable PR sites like Tribune India, Times of India, and Mid-Day, enhancing brand visibility and credibility.
  • High-Quality Content: We produced engaging content for guest blogs, benefiting both us and the bloggers with better content and backlinks.

By implementing these strategies, we effectively addressed NOLABELS’ challenges and significantly improved their online presence.

These efforts helped NOLABELS build a strong foundation and stand out in the competitive fashion market.

Results

Our strategic efforts yielded remarkable results for NOLABELS:

1) Backlinks

Secured 1.9k high-quality backlinks, significantly enhancing NOLABELS’ online presence.

2) Domain Rating (DR)

Improved from 0 to 57, boosting the website’s authority and credibility.

3) Organic Traffic

Increased from 0 to 99.1k monthly visits in just 10 months.

4) Organic Keywords

The organic keyword count increased from 0 to 79.6K, with 455 keywords currently ranking within the top 3 pages on the SERPs.

By implementing these strategies, we successfully transformed NOLABELS’ online visibility and SEO performance.

Common Link-Building Mistakes to Avoid

Building quality backlinks is crucial for your site’s SEO, but there are many mistakes that can undermine your efforts. Here are the six most important mistakes to avoid:

  1. Over-reliance on Low-Quality Links: Relying too much on links from low-authority websites can hurt your SEO. Aim for high-quality, reputable sites for better results.
  2. Ignoring Nofollow Links Completely: Nofollow links don’t pass ranking power, but they can still drive traffic and diversify your link profile. Don’t ignore them completely. A nofollow link from Reddit or Wikipedia can still bring significant traffic to your site.
  3. Failing to Diversify Anchor Text: Using the same anchor text repeatedly can look unnatural to search engines. Mix up your anchor text for a more natural link profile. Instead of always using “best SEO tools,” vary it with “top SEO resources,” “SEO tool reviews,” etc.
  4. Buying Links from Unauthoritative Service Providers: Avoid purchasing links from services like Fiverr, link farms, or PBN backlinks. These can be low-quality and harmful to your SEO. Links bought from a Fiverr gig might be from spammy sites, which can lead to penalties from search engines. Instead, let Outreach Monks help you get high-quality links that boost your site’s authority and rankings.
  5. Building Links in the Wrong Context: Creating backlinks that don’t fit naturally within the content can be seen as manipulative. Ensure your links add value and fit contextually. Adding a backlink about “fashion tips” in an article about “tech gadgets” looks out of place and can be penalized.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can build a stronger and more effective backlink profile, enhancing your site’s SEO and online presence.

Conclusion

Building quality backlinks is essential for boosting your site’s SEO and achieving online success. By understanding key metrics, avoiding common mistakes, and implementing effective strategies, you can significantly improve your website’s visibility and authority. Whether through guest posting, niche edits, creating high-quality content, or public relations posts, each approach plays a vital role in a comprehensive backlink strategy. At Outreach Monks, we’re here to help you navigate these processes and achieve your goals faster. Let us handle the hard work while you enjoy the benefits of increased traffic and higher search engine rankings.

FAQs on Backlinks

How does guest posting help in building backlinks?

Guest posting allows you to contribute content to other websites in exchange for a backlink to your site, helping you reach new audiences and improve SEO.

Can internal linking help with backlinks?

While internal links don’t count as backlinks, they help distribute link equity within your site, improving SEO and making it easier for search engines to index your content.

How do I monitor my backlink profile?

Use tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to regularly check your backlink profile, identify new links, and spot any potentially harmful backlinks.

Ekta Chauhan

Ekta Chauhan

Ekta is a seasoned link builder at Outreach Monks. She uses her digital marketing expertise to deliver great results. Specializing in the SaaS niche, she excels at crafting and executing effective link-building strategies. Ekta also shares her insights by writing engaging and informative articles regularly. On the personal side, despite her calm and quiet nature, don't be fooled—Ekta's creativity means she’s probably plotting to take over the world. When she's not working, she enjoys exploring new hobbies, from painting to trying out new recipes in her kitchen.

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