15 Best Link Building Tools

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Yes, prospecting for link building opportunities and reaching out to webmasters to drive new links back to your website can be done for free – but there are plenty of great tools out there that can make the process much easier and much faster!

Check out any of the following options if you need a kick in the pants to take your link building campaigns to the next level:

Tool #1 – Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO is a website browser that allows you to see which sites are linking to your competitors’ pages, allowing you to both determine how difficult it will be to beat them in the SERPs and identify new opportunities to build links back to your own site.  The program offers a free report for any site you control (which can be especially useful in ensuring link sources are still linking back to your website), though to access the full spectrum of data this site provides, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version.

Tool #2 – Open Site Explorer

The SEOMoz Open Site Explorer offers similar features as MajesticSEO, although you’re able to access slightly more information with this program’s free version.  Enter your competitors’ websites into the tool and pay special attention to their Inbound Links, Linking Domains and Anchor Text – all of which may help inform your own link building strategy.  For even more access, including data on social shares across Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, consider upgrading to the paid version of the tool.

Tool #3 – Raven Tools

Raven Tools’ SEO Tools feature isn’t cheap (plans start at $99/month), but the data this program gives you access to is well worth the expense.  Specifically, take a look at the company’s Link Manager program, which allows you to research potential link partners, automatically grab webmaster contact information and send standard link request messages – all from within the same, easy-to-navigate window.

Tool #4 – Ahrefs

Chuck Price, writing for Search Engine Journal, calls Ahrefs, “the best link building tool you’ve never heard of” – and a quick glance at the programs features and functionality demonstrates why.  The program’s Backlink Analysis features provides an unprecedented amount of information about a site’s inbound links, including each link’s ALR rating (a measure of the estimated number of visitors following each link per month).  This tool allows you to quickly prioritize link prospects and ensure the partners you’re contacting will result in the biggest gains for your site.

Tool #5 – Link Research Tools

Link Research Tool’s Competitive Landscape Analyzer doesn’t just identify potential sites you could contact for links, it goes much, much further.  For example, the tool’s unique programming allows it to determine whether you should focus more on SEO or branding links, how your existing link profile compares to your competitors’ and why you may have lost rank within the SERPs.  With plans starting at $199/month, this intuitive tool isn’t cheap, but can make a big difference for more advanced webmasters who are operating in competitive niches.

Tool #6 – SEOMoz PRO

SEOMoz PRO isn’t just about link building – it’s a complete SEO management program that allows users to take advantage of SEOMoz’s industry leading knowledge regarding on-site optimization practices, link building techniques and social media marketing.  At $99/month, it’s priced competitively with similar programs (including Raven Tools and Ahrefs) and offers more than enough information and tools to keep most webmasters busy for quite a while!

Tool #7 – MozBar

The SEOMoz MozBar program is a free Firefox and Chrome extension that automatically displays loads of valuable link prospecting information within your browser window.  For example, the toolbar highlights “no-follow” versus “follow” links, internal and external links, and the presence of specific keywords, allowing you to see – at a glance – which links and keywords your competitors are targeting.

Tool #8 – Ontolo

Like Raven Tools and Link Research Tools, Ontolo offers a comprehensive suite of link research tools for a monthly fee, starting at $97/month.  However, this innovative program offers a few unique features that set it apart from these competitors, including automated link prospecting and enhanced competitor link profiling that take much of the tedious “guess work” out of link building.  It’s a great option if you’re strapped for time and would rather analyze a presorted list of link prospects than generate your own.

Tool #9 – Market Samurai

Although Market Samurai tends to be more useful as a keyword research tool, it does have a few modules that can be useful for link building activities.  Specifically, the “Find Content” module allows you to track down article directories, blogs and other web resources – all of which represent potential link building opportunities.  And with a one-time fee of $149, this option can be a much cheaper program to add to your link building arsenal that Raven Tools, Link Research Tools and other programs that require a monthly subscription.

Tool #10 – Tout

Tout isn’t a link building program at all – instead, it’s an email management solution that helps you to extract contact information from websites, automatically create new email messages and copy in template message texts, all with the click of a single button.  If you struggle with the process of contacting every potential link partner you turn up with your prospecting efforts, you’ll find programs like Tout to be immensely helpful.

Tool #11 – BuzzStream

BuzzStream offers a comprehensive link management system, including modules that focus on link research, prospect relationship management, and backlink tracking and analysis.  It’s highly regarded by industry leader Search Engine Watch, and is one of the few programs of its type that offers starting plans at a price point under $30/month.  This makes it a great option for beginning webmasters who may not need the more advanced features provided by programs like Ontolo, Raven Tools or Link Research Tools.

Tool #12 – WhoLinkstoMe

WhoLinkstoMe is a reporting service that provides analytics reports detailing all of a given site’s existing backlinks.  The service offers various subscription levels (at various price points, of course), but overall, the program’s reports can be extremely useful in terms of better understanding your site’s existing backlink profile and identifying potential weak areas that should be corrected.

Tool #13 – Wordtracker’s Link Builder

Wordtracker’s Link Builder Tool is a relatively new entry into the link prospecting program market, but it’s already receiving accolades due to Wordtracker’s long-standing reputation for providing quality products.  Where the Tool excels is its ability to identify link prospects quickly and sort them into relevant categories, allowing you to pursue only the links that make the most sense for your business.  And at $69/month, it’s a cheaper solution for this specific activity than the programs offered by Raven Tools, Link Research Tools and other higher-end tools.

Tool #14 – Advanced Link Manager

Advanced Link Manager is another comprehensive SEO solution which combines on-site optimization analysis with link prospecting and relationship management tools.  The program offers several different “levels”, each of which is suited to different types of users, including webmasters, SEO professionals and more.  Of particular interest to some readers will be the company’s policy of giving away free licenses to industry bloggers, so be sure to check out this specific link building program if you think you might qualify.

Tool #15 – Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk isn’t specifically a link building platform (it’s actually a micro-hiring program that can be used to complete a number of different tasks), it is possible to automate the process of link building using this service.  For more details on how to set up this system, check out Ben Wills’ article on Ontolo titled, “How to Review 5,000 Link Prospects & Collect 1,500 Contacts for $525 with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

Are there any other link building tools that you can’t live without?  If so, share your recommendations in the comments section below!

Image: zzpza

Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel has over 12 years of digital marketing experience and has helped hundreds of clients increase web traffic, boost user acquisition, and grow their... Read Full Bio
Sujan Patel
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  • Paul Matheson

    Nice list of link building tools and trackers. I found some of them wouldn’t work for my site because its not large enough for them but as a whole some good info here.

  • Stefano Gorgoni

    my favourite is SEO Spyglass (

    • dan

      I have tried a lot of these and I find SEO Spyglass one of the best. Like many others I use a lot of different programs but I seem to always default back to spyglass.

      • Steve Morris

        SEO spyglass “was” a great tool but now I find you can get better information from other free sources .

  • Clint Maher

    There are a couple of tools mentioned in the top 6 that IMHO have seen better days, although some of the others like majestic, raven and hrefs are really tip top and well worth the money.

  • Kun Dang

    We use linkdex.com, it’s given us data that’s allowed us to find influential links effectively. Notable omission from here.

  • David Angotti

    Hi Sujan,

    Great post and list of SEO tools! While you listed SEOmoz pro as one of the tools, I especially find the Keyword Difficulty tool to be extremely helpful. It provides a quick and dirty view of what keywords are attainable within a given client’s budget/resources.

  • Ashley Balstad

    I am a huge fan of Raven Tools! I could play on that all day! Thanks for the great article 🙂

  • Anisul Islam

    where’s SenukeX? A lot of people are still using it . Any update about it ? Also, what happened to the blog networks ? Many of them has closed their doors !

    • Martin Evans

      The blog networks don’t seem to work after the recent Google updates hence why they have shut their doors

  • Fernando Lachica

    Nice info about link building tools and really helps my blogging endeavors online. Great!

  • Nick Mason

    We are using cognitive seo for link analysis and rank tracking. Probably to new to ne in the list. Anyway…

    • Leo

      Yea, am on Cognitive as well. How does it stack up with Raven tools?

  • bookit promo code

    Just started using market samurai so hopefully I made the right decision.

    • Liam

      How do you like the service. Does it compare well with SEOSpyglass or Linkdex in your mind?

  • Henry Sim

    Great Resource. This list goes to my reference board . I second SEO Spyglass, and would add that to the list as well. Another great resource for those who don’t have budget would be to get ScrapeBox.

  • BDI Media

    SEOMoz is absolutely fab. The information you can get from your competitor linking Strategies saves a lot of time.

  • Charles

    I have been using SEOmoz Pro for almost 2 years now. Using the OpenSiteExplorer has been invaluable for finding links using the open API. You can also use LinkDetective from the OSE in an excel file that organizes the type of links which is extremely helpful. Good luck and happy link-building!

  • Edward

    Thanks for this list. Why do you call these 15 tools “the best”? I can find numerous articles online listing the best 38 online SEO tools (

  • Justin Ingels

    I recommend Link Prospector::

  • Jacob Dayeh-Links Tycoon

    Great article and an excellent list, the best link building tools/sites I have seen. I am going to try some of them for my site. Thanks

  • Gary Shouldis

    Is it worth upgrading to the paid SEO Spyglass?

  • David Friedman

    I LOVE TOOLS!! Thanks for the great article. May I know of and several I was not aware of. I love Raven for more than just the link building. It is a great reporting tool and one of the best ways to report results to clients in a readable and meaningful fashion. However, it does not drill down on the back end like some of these other tools do that actually give us the ability to deliver results. I plan to use the free trials for several and see how they work. Thanks!

    • Liam

      I’d love to hear which of the ones you test out you prefer best and why?

  • Zookii

    How happy is Google about this or similar tools?

  • Peter Traychev

    I would definitely define majestic seo as the best tool when it comes to crawling links. Sometimes I can see links made just hours ago. Even Google Webmaster tools doesn’t show that level of transparency (for other reasons of course:)

  • Leadership

    I like ahrefs very useful tool to gather some quality backlinks information.

  • Ryan Dalli

    Open site explorer from seomoz is pretty decent

  • BDI Media

    Although I use Open Site Explorer – paid version you must understand that the information it feeds you is 30-40 days behind. Still a great tool and wish they could make it more ‘real time’.

  • Mark

    Open Site Explorer is a good tool to use and we use Majestic as additional information – between the two we do work well to analyse competitor link juice and try and move the business forward.

    Great blog

  • Gus van der Walt

    Thank you for the post!

    I am busy using the SEOMoz extension for chrome now and it is helping me with me backlink building campaigns!

    Thanks again!

  • J.T.Advertising Management

    I have found that manually built links are always more powerful and longer lasting than those created with automated software. I have tried several linkbuilding tools in the past and the only ones I would recommend are semrush and seomoz on a competitor intel basis.

    • Amol

      I agree with you ,nothing beats human intelligence though

  • Gary Ellis

    By using Open Site Explorer we have made good headway in the back links of our website and are happy to pay the £70+ per month fee.

    You should check it out

  • Sam Docker

    I’ve been toying with SEOMoz pro for sometime now, I think the free trial is in order!!

  • Mark Bleasdale

    Open Site explorer is good and gives you the controls to see what your domain authority is and you can use it to check your competitor links – thumbs up!

  • Carl

    Personally I prefer Majestic SEO for monitoring the competitions backlinks, SEOMoz pro is good but not quite as good SEO Spyglass is one of the standout packages within the SEO Powersuite 🙂

  • Andy

    Open Site Explorer is a poweful tool. Not real time but gives a good base for competitor activities

  • Rahul

    Hi Sujan,

    Love reading your post, they are really beneficial and keeps us up to date.

  • David Brownley

    I use Open Site Explorer Daily, is a great competitive analysis tool

    • Amol

      Yes it is in free version also it gives a lot more information to us

  • Amol

    For me I have used open site explorer and linkdex mostly ,linkedex is not here in list any reason?

  • Mariusz

    The best for me are Majestic and Ahrefs, extremely helpful, with them I get more ideas on link building 🙂

  • kajolcute

    I’ve been toying with SEOMoz pro for sometime now, I think the free trial is in order!!

  • Andra

    Hey guys, I tried the top three tools and they are very very useful, but unfortunately I could not try the “Link Research Tools” at all. Is there a trial or something? It is very expensive and I am curious if it’ worth it or not. By the way Raven tools ROCK! Very complete set of tools. Cheers!

  • Jake Bento

    Great post. Also a good tool is the adsurf.net website where you can find link building packages that worked for me. Kudos for this post.

  • Build Link Now

    Hi Sujan, thanks for summarizing up this useful list! Great post!

    We just developed a link building management tool: buildlinknow.com.

    Our focuses are not same as the tools listed here though. We aim at providing a tool to:

    1. help campaign manager to manage link building process, staff and stuff (link prospecting, quality assurance, link and content management, work activity log, etc.).

    2. streamline co-workers’ work flow, help improve people’s productivity (we have a browser ext to simplify link management).

    3. enhance collaboration. We don’t limit the number of users you added in your campaign, and we have mechanism to avoid problems (like multiple co-workers working on a same job) that working collaboratively brings.

    It’s now in open Beta test. Welcome everyone to test the web application and send us any feedback.

    After Beta test, we consider to offer a forever free plan for new comer to start with and premium plans starting from $19/month.


  • Paul Thomson

    A couple of programs/services I’ve not heard before… I’ll have a look at a few of them and report back, I’ve used SEOmoz in the past with some good success, lets see if anything can beat it…

    Thanks for the write-up,
    Paul 🙂

  • lgvswaddy

    Love your article! It’s very useful. as for me, getting professional help has given me peace of mind knowing that I’m heading on the right direction and is assured that I’m going to get great results. Try these guys http://www.linkfool.com

    They are so good in what they do that I don’t have any complains so far.

  • Lavern H

    Hi Sujan, these tools are awesome. Thanks for the post! I can certainly tell you know your stuff. Good to know there are nice people like you on the internet looking to help people out.


  • Olusegun Zaccheaus

    Very interesting list, you really did a good job in providing all these backlink builder tools, thanks for sharing.