SEO SpyGlass: an Advanced Backlink Research Tool

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Backlink research is one of the most important steps in many SEO-related processes: from SEO competitive research to possible penalty diagnostics. This week I am reviewing a great tool that may be very helpful when it comes to backlink research and organizing your link building efforts: SEO SpyGlass

I have already mentioned the tool when overviewing desktop link checking tools and it got a few very positive comments about the number of backlinks returned. The tool really seems to generate a more comprehensive report than any other similar ones I am aware of.

Backlink Data Collecting

To my view, that’s the most useful feature of the tool: I like the number of the backlinks returned and the way the data is presented.

To research backlinks of any given page, you will need to create a new project, provide the site URL and hit “Next”. After the list of backlinks is generated, you will need to choose search engines and additional parameters to generate for each back-linking page found. Thus, in the end, you get a huge table containing the exhaustive list of the page backlinks plus more useful data for each of them:

  • The linking page URL and title;
  • If the page still contains the backlink: Yes, No or No (nofollow): a great feature as there are plenty of pages you’ll find in Yahoo SiteExplorer that no longer contain the link; so the overall number of backlinking page may be misleading;
  • The backlink anchor text;
  • The linked-to page;
  • The linking page Google PR;
  • The number of external links on the linking page;
  • The estimated link value (“an approximate calculation of the value each backlink brings, based on the original PageRank formula.”);
  • Linking domain PR;
  • Domain PR;
  • Linking domain Dmoz and Yahoo directory presence
  • Linking domain Alexa rank;
  • Linking domain age.

Of course, you can sort by any of the columns to re-order the list of backlinks.

SEO-Spy Glass table

Backlink Data Analysis

The tool also offers to analyze the generated backlink data. Just select (on Windows: hold Shift and click the arrow key) the rows you want to analyze and click “Analyze” button and you will be presented with the following:

  • Keyword distribution (keyword density in the page title versus keyword density in the external anchor text);
  • Anchor text distribution;
  • Anchor URL distribution;
  • Linking page PR distribution;
  • Linking domain PR distribution; etc

SEO SpyGlass report

More features:

  • Export backlink data as a txt, HTML or XML file;
  • Change SEO report templates;
  • Scheduler to set regular checks and reports.

Also important: The new release of SEO SpyGlass is  capable of gathering up to 25,000 links per domain – looks like more than any other backlink checking tool I am aware of.


$99.75 (with free edition available after subscribing)

Our Verdict:

A solid desktop backlink research utility. Try it for free before deciding if it fits your needs.

Win Free SEO Spyglass Access

Search Engine Journal is giving away 4 free SEO Spyglass accounts!

If you want to enter the competition, you just need to do two things:
1. Follow SEJ on Twitter (@sejournal)
2. Tweet the message below:
Entering the free SEO Spyglass Contest : To participate, follow @sejournal and re-tweet

The deadline for the entries is midnight Thursday, October 15th. On Friday I will search on Twitter for everyone that tweeted the message above, and then we will do a random draw to pick the 4 winners.

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project,
Ann Smarty
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  • Pandiyan G

    Hey An,
    Now u have become an search Engine , u gave me the info exactly which I want that too at the right time. Thanks a lot. Doing a great job:)

  • Fred

    Nice review, Ann. I use SEO Spyglass and find it one of the easiest tools for collecting tons of backlink information. Basically a beefed up version of Yahoo Site Explorer, but being able to sort by domain PR, page PR, nofollow, etc. as well as export those results is very valuable.

    I would like to amend that the so-called up-front price doesn’t acknowledge that the program requires an ongoing cost to maintain. Something like $19.95/mo. I was very disappointed to buy the software and then find out that I still needed to pay for it every month to keep it running.

    That said, I still find it the best value of SEO backlink checking tools.

    • James

      Fred I’ve tried using SEO Spyglass but I can’t find within the interface how to make sure the backlinks it’s showing do not have nofollow.

      Is there a way to do this within seo spyglass?

  • Lance

    I’ve used the demo for a while and find it quick and easy to use. I recommend this to to anyone who asks what they should use for link collection and evaluation.

  • Rick

    Just tested it and SpyGlass did get a hell lot of backlinks for me. I added some regional search engines and the tool got even more. I have around 26,000 backlinks in my project and I still haven’t used even a third of the search engines it supports! Looks like there’s gonna be a lot of link building for me this week.

    Thanks for the review Ann

  • G M

    When I ran SEO Spyglass Google didn’t seem to like it at all – they made me fill out a captcha every time I tried to search from the same IP address on which I was using Spyglass.

    Is this going to hurt my rankings and is there something I can do to keep Google from thinking I’m an automated malware program when I run Spyglass?

  • Fred

    G M,

    No, it won’t hurt your rankings, BUT don’t use SEO Spyglass to query Google data either. You should only be pinging Yahoo (better data, and better set up for what you’re doing).

    Google is seeing your as a bot, and they’re right, but the linking data in Google isn’t great anyways. However, they’re only seeing this as related to your computer’s IP, they have no idea what websites you are related to and even if they did, what you’re doing is not an offense that would result in a negative search result penalty.


    • G M

      Thanks for the help Fred. I pinged Yahoo only and I still got the captcha from Google!

      Is this normal or what???

  • Fred

    G M,

    Well, the Google captcha might take a little time to reset. You could try /release /renew ‘ing your IP to see if you get a new one. If not, just give it some time. I often trigger a Google captcha by using the SEOQuake plugin – it’s annoying, but does go away.

    Happy link building!

  • Aman Talwar

    Just came accross this post and a lot has changed in a couple of years. The price of the software has quadripled and yes they are providing more value in it but I guess that’s just how it rolls.

    Would love to see an updated post on this software if you would.