This is a sponsored post. I was given an account with Monitor Backlinks to review for SEJ readers.
What I really like about SEO tools, particularly Monitor Backlinks, is not just the detailed information you get about the SEO health of your own site, but also the resources and sources you gain from monitoring your competition. Scoping out the competition is a really easy way to build up your links without having to dig in the trenches.
This program utilizes that idea and has built a rather remarkable platform around identifying “bad” links, as well as building up “good” links to your site. The detailed info they provide is easy to read and navigate, making it simple to make informed choices regarding your backlinks.
Because of the changes in Google’s quality scores with Panda, backlinks have become a Catch 22. Your site needs those links to rank, yet quality is vital. What Monitor Backlinks does is dig out the links that may hurt you, then allows you to download a list and upload them into Google’s disavow tool after you have exhausted manual means of removing the links.
Additionally, MonitorBacklinks.com keeps you updated on quality backlinks your competition is finding so you can seek out those opportunities as well.
So let’s set up a site and see what info we can find from it. This will take you about two minutes to do the initial setup:
- Add your domain connecting it to Google Analytics (allows daily monitoring)
- Add your competition (they have a recommended button)
- Add your keywords (they automatically detect some of most used keywords)
With only three steps, it is very straight forward and simple to get started with Monitor Backlinks.
Monitor Backlinks is also a keyword tracking tool. It not only tracks position, it allows you to see which links actually have effect on your traffic and positioning. Let’s break down the overview dashboard.
Instead of rows and rows of links, Monitor Backlinks focuses on the domains the links come from. So you’ll see how many domains you have links pointing from, instead of mass amounts of site-wide links.
In the image above, you can see that even though there are 1200 backlinks, they only came from 275 unique domains.
Are Your Efforts Actually Paying Off?
Data graphs, like the one below, allows you to judge whether or not you are seeing an increase in website traffic because of new or existing links.
The colors identify different data points of your site:
- The purple are Links Google has followed (they flow PageRank).
- The grey are no-follow, robots.txt blocked, 302 redirect links.
- The orange line is the average keyword position updated each week.
- The blue number in the bottom left corner is the increase or decrease in overall traffic to the site.
Like I mentioned before, this program also monitors keyword positioning. You will have the chance to enter your keywords upon setting up your domain along with your competition.
When you click in the view and manage tab, the program shows where your keyword ranks against your competition and which page the keyword points to.
The pink highlighted squares let you know you are outranked for those particular keywords by your competition. You will also see if you have movement in positioning for those keywords.
The next section is New Added Links, which you can see at a glance. It’s almost as if MonitorBacklinks.com is an online doctor for all linking items! When you go into viewing these reports, you get a “bill of health” for each one. (Just keep in mind, you will only see links from one domain, instead of lists and lists of links, so the report is much cleaner.)
If you want to see all the links from one page to your domain, simply click on the number in front of the anchor word:
This screen also lets you know the status of the link. For instance:
- OK – these links are good to go
- BNF – Backlink Not Found
- MNI – Meta NoIndex
- NF – Nofollow
- MNF – Meta Nofollow
- RB – Robots.txt blocked
- 302 – 302 Redirects
- SD – Server Down
Another very important status is the Google Indexation status:
- D+P – Domain and Page not Indexed
- PNI – Page not indexed
If you run across backlinks you feel may penalize you, you can click on the cog-wheel and disavow the whole domain or just the link.
I wanted to highlight the fact that when you hover your mouse over anything in MonitorBacklinks.com, an explanation bubble pops up. This is extremely helpful because it answers any questions about the massive amount of information the tool provides.
Adding a Disavow Rule
An excellent feature to utilize in Monitor Backlinks are the Disavow Rules. This allows you to create an automatic response to incoming links. For instance, if you don’t want links from comments that use certain phrases, you can add a rule to automatically disavow it. This will be put into a list you can upload to Google’s disavow tool.
This protection from low quality links allows you to save time sifting through potentially negative backlinks. Monitor Backlinks does it for you.
Disavowed links or domains will be clearly marked so you do not waste time reviewing them (even if you add new links from the same disavowed domains in the future).
Monitor Backlinks can send you an email when new backlinks you may be interested are found. Or, you can just check the updated competitors links in your account. The competitor link reports are updated every 10 days.
You can also see any changes in your backlinks. This is really helpful to monitor any linking partner agreements you might have.
Also, you can easily see on the green rows domains where you already have links from, so you do not waste time pushing for them again.
Throughout the program, you’ll find links to their blog with helpful articles. The creators of this program are obviously passionate about backlinks and have created a program that will ensure the health of a website’s incoming links.
However, this can be a lot of information to monitor day after day. Thankfully, Monitor Backlinks sends you a report if anything changes, needs your attention, or when they find excellent links you should check out.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the in-depth information and the real value this platform offers. From the alerts via email, so I didn’t have to check in each day, to the detailed health report of each link that allows site owners to figure out if they should keep a link, this is definitely a good resource for link building and overall site health.
For me, the best feature is the graph in the overview dashboard. You can actually measure an increase in site traffic based on keyword positioning, and the efforts to increase quality backlinks to a site. Imagine the impact on clients when you hand them a graph where they can see the positive results your efforts are bringing them!
In conclusion, this is a really remarkable program that tackles the complex issue of potentially negative backlinks and finding quality ones you need. I highly recommend giving it a try to help you keep your link profile healthy.
Image Credit: All screenshots taken January 2015