In this article I am going to show you two quick ways to check your backlink profile, so you can see the links that are coming in to your website.
1. Check with Google Search Console
The first way to check your backlink profile is by using Google Search Console. If you don’t have this already, install it as soon as possible.
Google Search Console makes it easier for Google to crawl your site, and it will give you a lot of useful data for doing SEO.
Open the Google Search Console and scroll down to the menu and select ‘Links’. It will give you a breakdown of all the top external links directing to your website.
By clicking on ‘More’, you will get a breakdown of all the backlinks. It breaks it down by site, the number of linking pages from each website, and the number of pages that website is linking to you from.
You can change the rows per page to 500 if you have got a bigger list. You can also export the data into a spreadsheet.
Something to remember is that Google Search Console is not instant when it comes to your backlink profile.
If you have built backlinks recently, chances are that they may not yet show up in the console. It doesn’t mean that the link is bad or not working properly. It simply means that Google has not yet crawled those new links.
If you have not yet set up a specific website in Google Search Console, click ‘add property’, and add the website name.
This will generate a code to be added to your website. You can then install this google generated code to the DNS service on your website.
Google Search Console limitations
One of the main limitations of Google Search Console is the fact that you don’t really get detailed data in terms of your backlinks.
For example, it doesn’t tell you the quality of these backlinks. You also don’t get any sort of objective data in terms of organic traffic, or how authoritative the website is.
2. Check with Ahrefs.com
To find out more detail about your backlinks you can go to a website like ahrefs.com. A seven-day trial only costs $7! Once you sign in, you can get loads of data about your background profile.
Ahrefs is a much more comprehensive tool for checking the quality and authority of the backlinks that you already have.
To see the backlink profile for a specific website using Ahrefs, simply type in the website that you want to check, select ‘backlinks’, and you will get a breakdown of all the backlinks to your site.
If you want to narrow it down to one link per domain, and you just want to check out dofollow links, then you can get a breakdown of all the backlinks to this site. It is way more comprehensive in terms of your backlink profile, than Google Search Console.
Ahrefs gives you a breakdown of the following:
- The Domain Rating (DR)
- The Overall Authority of the site
- The Referring Domains going to the site
- Pages that website is linked to
- The organic traffic of each backlink
- Ranking of backlinks
- The backlink anchor text
- What text that they used to link to your site
When using Ahrefs you can see when the link was first seen and when it was last checked. Sometimes links will be deleted, but you can still see when the backlink was last validated.
Within your backlink profile, you can also check your new, lost, and broken links.
While some backlinks are not going to show up straight away in Ahrefs or Google Search Console, these are the most active crawlers in terms of checking your backlink profile.
If you want a reasonably up to date version of your backlink profile, Ahrefs and Google Search Console are the best ways to do it.
As I mentioned earlier, you can also export the data if you want to put it into a spreadsheet. By looking at ‘Lost’ links you are able to see links that were deleted, or moved around on a website.
Maybe the link disappeared because it was replaced by a competitors, so you can only see the error code. But, you can still see the page that the link was related to, and which page of yours that it was related to.
Basically, you get all this sort of useful data in terms of which backlinks you have lost so far.
Recovering a broken link
Finally, you can go to your broken backlinks to see if a website has linked to you, but they have linked to the wrong page.
Maybe they’ve linked to a 301 redirect, or a 404 not found. To recover a broken link you can actually contact these websites and say:
“I’ve noticed you’re linked to us and that’s really great, but actually you’ve linked to the wrong page”, or “you’ve linked to a page that doesn’t exist anymore. Maybe you want to replace it with a new one. Here is a link”.
By doing this your backlinks will no longer be broken, and you can get them directly to the pages you want to rank.
Analysing your competitor’s backlink profiles
Another useful feature of ahrefs.com is that you can scrape your competitor’s backlink profile to see where they are getting their backlinks from. You can then approach these websites to ask for backlinks from them for your own website.
Let’s say your competitor’s website is www.petfinder.com. You can pull up their profile on Ahrefs and scroll through their list of backlinks to see what links are relevant to you.
If the links are relevant to your niche, it’s reasonable to think that the webmaster will probably link to you too, so you can approach them for a backlink.
Once your competitor’s profile is loaded, you can filter the results to check one link per domain, if you only want to look at dofollow links. You might only want links from websites that get traffic, so you can actually choose to view websites with 50 traffic.
Now you have a list of prospects that you can contact for a link, that you know your competitor already has a link from. These are all prospects that could potentially link to you too!