Backlinks are a double-edged sword.
No matter how many great ones you build, your competitors can also implement their own successful backlink strategies and leave you in the dust.
But you can get ahead—and stay ahead—by knowing what your competitors are doing.
The competitor backlink analysis tools I’ll cover in this post can help you keep an eye on the links your competitors are building (including deep link analysis), giving you the keys to their strategies for growth.
Once you’re able to look under the hood of your competitors’ operations, you can adjust your own link building strategy to blaze past them in the SERPs!
What Makes a Good Competitor Backlink Analysis Tool?
Before we get into the list, let’s take a look at a few factors that every effective competitor backlink analysis tool should have.
1. Simple and easy to use.
This is a very different concept to a simplistic tool, which gives you only the bare minimum with its data and features. A simple tool will give you all the most important data and information in a way that’s convenient, intuitive and lets you take control of your backlink strategy.
2. Organized and streamlined.
This is probably the first thing you notice about a tool or web app when you open it. You don’t want to be relying on a tool that’s cluttered, complicated and difficult to figure out—you want things accessible, close together and logically organized.
Automation makes the user experience so much easier and faster because all the work is done in the background for you, and then you get to benefit from the data. You shouldn’t have to keep regularly checking for your competitors’ backlinks—they should be automatically updated for you on a frequent basis.
4. Quality data.
Obviously, a tool is only as good as its data. If you’re using a tool that has old or inaccurate data, you’d be better off using no tool at all and saving yourself the money. The following tools are some of my favorites because they have high-quality data sources that you can trust.
With these criteria in mind, let’s take a look at my top six favorite competitor backlinks analysis tools. These all have a focus on simplicity and organization to make sure that you can get the most out of using them.
6 Competitor Backlink Analysis Tools to Stay Miles Ahead of the Competition
Monitor Backlinks has a ton of different uses, but, as the name implies, it’s especially great for monitoring both your and your competitors’ backlinks.
All you have to do is add your competitors’ domains to start tracking their backlinks. You’ll start getting email updates whenever those competitors earn new backlinks (or lose any of their existing ones).
The competitor dashboard is very well-organized and streamlined. At a glance, you can see your tracked competitors, their current number of backlinks and unique referring domains, and their Majestic Trust and Citation Flow.
When you click on any of the listed competitors, you’re taken to a much more in-depth backlinks list where you’re able to see information like which page each link comes from, the full URL, anchor text and date it was retrieved by Monitor Backlinks.
Each backlink also contains the details about its status (follow vs. nofollow), Trust Flow and Citation Flow, and number of external links on the linking page.
These details allow you to quickly profile your competitors’ backlinks and compare your strategy’s effectiveness to theirs.
Along with the raw data, there are also many other useful features that make Monitor Backlinks an excellent option, including the “Common Backlink” tag which automatically tells you when you have the same backlink as your competitor.
You can also export the data as a CSV file to get a closer look at your competitors’ backlinks. The exported document gives you a few extra data points about each competitor link, including the linking domain and the type of link it is (text, image, etc.).
Monitor Backlinks is an excellent option that’s very focused on backlink management and analysis, and does it very well. The combination of features and simplicity make it both powerful and easy to master.
There’s a free trial available here if you’re interested in taking it for a spin!
Linkody really shines in its simplicity paired with an astonishing level of detail, put together in a really nice package that finds a balance between the two.
At first glance, Linkody gives you all the major data points you want to know about your competitors’ backlinks. This includes the country of origin, anchor text, landing page, URL, trust status, Moz Domain Authority, number of shares and more.
My favorite thing about the tool, however, is that the data is much more detailed than it looks at first.
Linkody cleverly puts even more detailed information in each of these categories, which you can access by simply hovering your mouse over a certain data point.
For example, when I hover over a backlink’s “Moz DA” score, I can also see the scores for MozRank and Page Authority as well as Domain Authority.
This is a great feature because it packs in a lot of useful data without over-cluttering the page with metrics, which makes Linkody both simple and effective as a competitor backlink analysis tool.
In addition to the data table, Linkody also offers great navigation features that make it easy and quick to find the exact data that’s relevant to your own campaign.
It’s easy to sort data by follow/nofollow status, shared domains or search field so that you get the most important data for you. And you can export all the data you want into a CSV file for easy use and sharing if needed.
Mangools produces an entire suite of tools that are known for their ease of use, accuracy and productivity.
Their LinkMiner tool is no diferent. It provides access to an absolutely huge database of backlinks and pairs that with a great interface, easy-to-use controls and detailed information that makes it easy to find just what you need.
Just by entering your competitors’ URLs, you can pull up a very detailed look at their best backlinks with some of the most important information about them attached and easy to access.
Like most of the other competitor backlink analysis tools we’ve looked at in this post, LinkMiner shows you each link’s top level domain, URL, anchor text, trust ratings and Alexa Rank.
However, unique to LinkMiner are a couple of extra link metrics including number of Facebook shares and a Link Strength score. This score takes into account Trust and Citation Flow, Domain Authority, follow/nofollow status and other factors to estimate the overall power of the link.
Also, by clicking on any of the backlinks in the list, you can pull up an instant view of the linking page on the right.
This is a really handy feature to help you quickly analyze linking sites for quality and relevance, without having to leave the LinkMiner tool.
From there, you can click on “Open” in the top-right corner to be taken directly to the linking page in a new tab, or “URL Profile” to see more information about the referring domain and its backlinks, content and rankings (also in a new tab).
This allows you to add another level of analysis to your competitors’ backlinks, with detailed information about the domain such as Domain Authority, Page Authority, Citation Flow, Trust Flow, Alexa Rank, number of Facebook shares, its historical backlink profile, audience profile, top content, top competitors and more.
All this extra information about your competitors’ linking sites gives LinkMiner an edge, and it can help you understand exactly how valuable each backlink is to your market.
This is all only important, of course, because it helps you adjust your movements to steal your competitors’ most valuable backlinks and stay ahead of them. LinkMiner’s simple interface with its detailed information can make that a reality for you.
Alexa, which is run by Amazon, is an extremely well-known SEO and backlink tool that’s used by both large and small companies due to its great data and simple interface.
They also have a great competitor backlink analysis tool that’s easy to navigate, provides high-quality data and offers some great benefits that other tools don’t.
What I would say is the most unique feature of Alexa is its own Alexa Rank metric. While other tools can show you the Alexa Rank of a competitor’s linking site, only Alexa can break down the Alexa Rank both nationally and worldwide.
For example, you can see the Alexa Rank of every website within the USA, and also within the whole world. This allows you to reveal which countries you or your competitors dominate in.
The well-designed dashboard lists the tools on the left-hand side and the backlink analysis on the main portion of the screen. At a glance, you can see the linking site, its Alexa Rank and which of your added competitors has a backlink from that particular site.
Being able to compare your competitors side by side like this gives you a great bird’s-eye view of how they (and you) compare on the most valuable backlinks.
It’s easy to tell which backlinks are the most valuable with the Alexa Rank, which summarizes each backlink’s traffic and popularity.
By hovering over each data box or clicking on one, you can then see more detailed information like how many backlinks each competitor has, their Alexa Ranks and their main traffic driving pages.
Again, this smart organization method of hovering to reveal more data is well executed and makes the tool less cluttered and easier to use.
Finally, as with other tools, Alexa lets you export the backlink data you need and use it offline, or transfer it to other tools on the site to work with keywords and other SEO tools.
SEMrush has so many great features for all aspects of SEO, but today we’re just going to look at how effective it is as a competitor backlink analysis tool.
First of all, SEMrush has a lot of data and tons of different graphics and charts to help you visualize that data.
From the main competitor dashboard, you can easily see historical backlink charts, root domain information, trust status and backlink types for each added competitor (as well as your own domain).
Each domain is color-coded, so you can compare them next to each other.
Even with all that information on display, it never feels cluttered or difficult to manage. The tool is easy to use while still providing great data and in-depth detail.
From the backlinks dashboard, you can navigate to entire pages’ worth of data about your competitors’ backlink strategies including the anchors, referring domains, referring IPs and indexed pages.
I found that SEMrush’s main dashboard had most of the data I needed on a regular basis, and I really only had to access these periphery pages when I needed something very specific. Metrics like the number of backlinks, authority score, referring IPs and others could be easily found without accessing secondary pages.
SEMrush also allows you to see anchor texts, compare the reliability and authority of inbound links, and look at important geographical data for links. This sometimes-overlooked feature can help you target your backlink strategy to specific cities and locations, which is ideal for local SEO.
The amount of data available to the average user on SEMrush is outstanding, and the clean and simple presentation make it an intuitive, streamlined and very useful tool.
If you’ve been doing SEO for any time at all, you would’ve heard of Majestic.
It’s one of the most well-known tools in the business because it gives excellent data, is so well-organized, and remains one of the “tried and true” applications that have been around for the long haul.
While you can’t specifically monitor competitor backlinks with this tool, you can search on-demand whenever you like. Just type in your competitor’s domain to get an in-depth analysis.
The four main blocks of data across the top of the results page show the number of external backlinks, referring domains, referring IPs and referring subnets—a good way to get a big-picture view of the competitor’s number of links and backlink trend over time.
Below these four blocks is a more detailed link profile with information concerning crawled URLs, indexed URLs and top-level domains.
Then, keep scrolling further to find a backlink history graph and an even more detailed backlink breakdown, with charts and graphs to show you the specifics of link types, follow/nofollow statuses and anchor texts.
Majestic is also a great tool to analyze your competitors alongside your own domain with its Compare Domain feature. This lets you stack your domain against your competitor’s domain to compare all these features side by side, and see the fresh and historic data for both.
Finally, there are several exporting and reporting options that give you versatility when transferring this information off the Majestic site for further analysis.
Majestic is a great tool for checking your competitors’ backlinks and it’s used and trusted by many in the industry, but its organization is not quite as good as some of the others on this list, so it’s not my preferred tool.
But of course, everyone has their own preferences, so I’d still highly recommend that you try this tool out (along with the rest on this list) to see how it fits your business and style of link building.
Competitor Backlink Analysis Tools Wrap-up
Ultimately, all six of these tools can give you the data and information you need to blaze past your competitors in the SERPs, so it comes down to what you need in your business and backlink strategy.
I’ve chosen these six tools because of their ease of use and excellent organizational structure, and I trust each of them to get the job done well.
They all offer free trials, too—so you can’t go wrong with taking them all for a spin.
Good luck and happy backlinking!
Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer and co-founder of WriteWorldwide and BigCroc Studio. He helps SaaS businesses with content strategy and SEO. You can learn more about Yassir at YassirSahnoun.com.