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Thread: My backlink audit tools test

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    Default My backlink audit tools test

    Since it was time to check my backlink profiles and update disavow files, I have tested various SEO tools as far as their backlink finder and evaluation functions are concerned. I want to share my findings with you guys, in case you have similar problems.

    The goal was to get a most comprehensive list of the backlinks for a number of sites, in order to set up disavow files. I have NOT tested any other functions of those tools, such as on-site SEO checks, ranking monitoring etc.!

    For me, the most important factors were:
    • how many links from how many domains does the tool show
    • how easy is it to identify the bad/toxic links
    • how practical is the setup
    • pricing

    Semrush.com - not recommendable

    Trial version upon request
    1 month $199
    • Backlinkfinder connects with GA-Account - you have to create a profile for www and non-www, then add a SemRush user for each property. After that, there is another security feature - you have to input three crawl date values from your GA account per every site you want to be imported from GA - which is a joke. If you are working with multiple sites, let's say 50, it will take you a full day to set all this up so that SemRush can import from GA.
    • finds only a fraction of the links that Majestic does
    • toxicity index function
    • very good user interface
    • no function for manual link import
    • would be a great tool if they used a Majestic API

    Ahrefs.com - not recommendable

    Trial version available
    5 sites, $117 per month - sites can be set up, backlinks report downloadable, delete 5 sites, add 5 new ones, download - rinse and repeat
    • trust score
    • finds more links than Semrush, but still a lot less than Majestic
    • decent user interface
    • no function for manual link import
    • no connecting with GA-Account

    Majestic.com - best in terms of finding links

    Trial version available
    Pro version 1 month $150, allows to prepare 300 reports (you need 2 reports per site, one fresh and one historic link search)
    • can be connected to GA account but takes a little while to verify all your accounts (not a problem if all your sites are in the same GA account)
    • Use the backlink report function - it finds the highest number of backlinks compared to any other tool I have tried
    • Bulk link checker function, enter a list of your sites' URLs and get a quick overview of # of links and # of domains they are on.
    • No importing from other sources (except from GA if connected)
    • Trust flow metrics for every link + various other metrics, but no "toxic score"
    • User interface somewhat complicated, compared to the other tools

    Monitorbacklinks.com - best in terms of useful functions

    Pro version for 10 URLs is $176 plus tax, individual plans upon request
    • Can be connected to Google Analytics, but only to one account - if you have multiple GA accounts, you need to download your GA backlink data manually
    • Easy importing of external backlink data, when importing backlinks found through other sources, be sure use the option to import one URL pere domain only, and activate the "live links only function", otherwise you will use up your maximum of links very quickly.
    • It says that they are using a Majestic API, but this tool finds considerably less backlinks than Majestic (could be because Majestic's historic index contains loads of dead backlink URLs?).
    • shows both trust score and a toxic score plus various other metrics
    • Very good user interface, comprehensive filter functions to single out problematic backlinks

    Conclusion

    In order to get the most comprehensive list of backlinks, the best solution still seems to be Majestic. Add link data from Google Webmaster tools, maybe Ahrefs as well, then use Monitorbacklinks to merge all the above data sources by importing them there, then use their "toxic score" and/or other metrics to filter out the worst domains. Finally, go through all other link data manually and generate your comprehensive disavow file(s).

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    good review, thanks a lot.
    i was actually just looking at cognitiveseo.com/pricing.php the other day. no idea if they are good or bad though. did you happen to check this one too and if so, what are your thoughts on that one?

    i use ahrefs for checking backlinks myself. i like it, to see what is linking to me, and to see what other people are doing with their backlinks
    no clear focus in ahrefs on toxic links though i think, but so far i have never used ahrefs for that.

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    No, I didn't check cognitiveseo.com

    Quote Originally Posted by yeahfree2 View Post
    good review, thanks a lot.
    i was actually just looking at cognitiveseo.com/pricing.php the other day. no idea if they are good or bad though. did you happen to check this one too and if so, what are your thoughts on that one?

    i use ahrefs for checking backlinks myself. i like it, to see what is linking to me, and to see what other people are doing with their backlinks
    no clear focus in ahrefs on toxic links though i think, but so far i have never used ahrefs for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catfish View Post
    [*]Trust flow metrics for every link + various other metrics, but no "toxic score"
    Trust flow is essentially telling you if a link is toxic or not. Low trust essential means a domain has many low trust links pointing to it, which is not a backlink you would want.

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    Why didn't you just stick to the links that Google Search Console / Webmaster Tools reported to you, and then check the "toxity" of those? Or do you think that search console uses other/less data than their SERPs algorythm?
    "The harder I work, the luckier I get."

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    Actually, I made a spreadsheet showing how many backlinks the various tools found. Majestic shows the most backlinks, and compared to the backlinks shown by Google Webmaster Tools, Majestic shows between 2 times and 5 times as many links as Google WMT does (across a good number of sites btw).
    Ahrefs comes third in terms of links found, and SemRush finds only app. 10% of the links that Majestic finds.

    In order to be as thorough as possible, I used 4 tools to find my backlinks, then fed them into Monitorbacklinks because that tool is the easiest to look for bad metrics. Also, it has a simple one-click function to actually load the referring site to take a look and search for overall quality, like quality of content etc.

    Bear in mind I had to do this for app. 60 sites, which makes it a lot of work - so a convenient way of filtering and sorting the backlinks by various metrics was a lot of help. I am talking about a total of 250k backlinks across those sites, so go figure....

    One function that I was missing (at Monitorbacklinks) was to be able to mark a domain as "disavow across all my 60 sites/projects", that would have been extremely convenient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strider1973 View Post
    Why didn't you just stick to the links that Google Search Console / Webmaster Tools reported to you, and then check the "toxity" of those? Or do you think that search console uses other/less data than their SERPs algorythm?
    Strider1973 likes this.

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    thank you for sharing.

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    SemRush is 99$ instead of 199$... Am I wrong?


 

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