16 Free Link Building Tools & Tips for Strategic Linking


Here is a list of great link building tools & tips to help you discover and obtain relevant backlinks.

#1 Backlink Watch – One of my favorite link building tools. It’s a very simple way to check a website’s backlink URL’s, anchor text and total OBL’s (outbound links) on the same page as that link.

  • Quick Tip – If a website is ranking for a particular keyword, you can punch that site into backlink watch, and skim the outputs for all anchor text links saying that particular keyword to get a good idea of what type of sites and which sites are giving them links saying their/your desired terms.

#2 Analyze Backlinks – Another gold mine for exploring a competitor’s backlinks. This one provides more valuable options that allow you to filter out same domain URL’s and to search for factors such as target keyword mentions surrounding the links.

  • Quick Tip – Same as the tip for Backlink Watch, but add the factor of looking for that keyword on the page as well. Because surrounding content of links can sometimes be just a valuable as the link itself.

#3 Bad Neighborhood Text Link Tool – Great way to see what type of links a website accumulates, whether it be yours or a potential link partner.

  • Quick Tip – If a potential partner wants to exchange links with you, check and see if all their backlinks are legit. Because, yes, guilty by association is a search engine ranking factor.

#4 SoloSEO Link Search Tool – Quite possibly the easiest way online to find relevant backlinks that are fairly easy to obtain.

  • Quick Tips – My favorites are “list * keyword * sites”, “recommended links” keyword”, “favorite links” keyword”, “favorite sites” keyword”, intitle:post keyword, keyword guest writer, keyword guest blog post writer, keyword submit content, keyword submit article, keyword submit post, keyword add article, keyword “suggest * url”, keyword “suggest * site”

#5 Link Appeal Tool –  Is a link from your website really worth it? Find out with this tool how valuable your website is based on several factors.

  • Quick Tip – Aim to get links from sites with higher value than yours.

#6 Yahoo Site Explorer – Not really a link building tool, but you could quickly check a site’s backlink count and it’s top 10-1000 backlinks. Although this tool isn’t much more better than the previous 2, it does show the title of the linking pages and allows you to track you own websites if signed in and verified ownership of site.

type link:yoursite.com

  • Quick Tip – Export top 1,000 results to CSV/TSV. Open it in a spreadsheet and filter based on keywords in Titles and URL’s.

#7 Google Search (link:yoursite.com) – No different than the one above except for the fact that the number of backlinks according to Google’s search engine is ALWAYS considerably lower than Yahoo!’s results. But the links that made it to Google’s results are assumingly affecting the search rankings.

Web Confs Backlink Tools – Webconfs has over 20 SEO tools to offer. But these are my favorite of their link building tools.

#8 Backlink Anchor Text Analysis – Compare the top ranking site’s text links to yours. Is there a difference?
#9 Backlink Builder – Enter a keyword. Copy whole list(s), paste into excel. Filter.. 😉 or get to work.
#10 Backlink Summary – A quick summary similar to the results delivered by Analyze Backlinks & Backlink Watch.

#11 SEO for FireFox Plugin – Besides being able to provide you with on-demand access to data of the top ranking site’s instantly, the SEO for Firefox tool also provides a great feature that highlights nofollow links (in red), so it’s easy to identify which  links count and which don’t.

  • Quick Tip – Keep it on at all times. You may see the net differently when all nofollow links are highlighted red.

#12 Google Webmaster Tools – Besides getting the best perspective of your website through the eyes of Google, the Google Webmaster Tools also tells you the links they’ve found, and their anchor text.

  • Quick Tips – Make sure all your top linked pages are live and optimized.

#13 Alexa Backlink Checker – You can see total domains linking to a website and which domains they are.

  • Quick Tip – Alexa offers tremendous data far beyond which domains link to you.

#14 Link Harvester – I put this one toward the end of the list because it provides the type of data far beyond what the basic link builder needs. Nonetheless, it’s a oldie, but goodie.

  • Quick Tip – Record all the edu & gov links and make an effort to actually get a link from them.

#15 Search Combination Tool – Not a link building too at all. But with the  tips provided below, you can make it another SoloSEO Link Search Tool (above).

  • Quick Tip – Instead of just your keywords, use your keywords in combination with words like resources, “favorite sites”, link partners, directory, etc.

#16 Recip Links – A tool that spiders a site (or list of sites) and checks to see if there are links to a specified domain.

  • Quick Tip – Export all your external links (like we did in WordPress SEO to Be a Top SEO #3), copy and paste them into the recip tool and see which sites don’t link back to you.

So there you have it, 16 link building tools and tips for better linking. If you can recommend another free link building tool and a quick tip, please contact me or comment it below.

author: James Harrison

James is a passionate SEO & digital marketing expert with over 10 years of experience helping companies of all sizes dominate the search engines and obtain measurable traffic (and sales) from their target customers.



If you have a few minutes, I can show you several ways my winning digital marketing strategies generate massive ROI.