Updated for 2014
Building one way links from quality websites relevant to your industry is the most effective way to improve rankings for search engine optimization. You may be thinking “that’s great, but where do I find these powerful one way link opportunities?” The first step to starting your link building campaign is with industry leading tools that can provide you with those quality link opportunities.
One trend in 2012 and in 2013 is what appears to be the consolidation of link building tools into a “one tool does it all” feature set. The SEO industry is undergoing a lot of change which is being reflected in the toolset offered by these companies. Below is a list of 11 link building tools to help you get started.
Top Link Building Tools
- Open Site Explorer (OSE) – To use open site explorer you will need an SEOmoz account. OSE uses factors like PA – page authority and DA – domain authority to help measure inbound links to a particular website. This is helpful in seeing who is linking to you and who is linking to your competitors. OSE will pull up to 10,000 of the top links to each site. I recommend downloading a CSV file and filtering out all the duplicates, press release sites and article sites. OSE is the new kid on the block but has quickly taken the lead in my opinion.
- Majestic SEO – Majestic is great resource for not only pulling back data but for charting and comparing your overall link profile with competitors in your industry. Take some time to test out features like bulk URL link data and neighborhood checker to see who is in the same IP range. Are you in the “trailer park” of the internet or the “Beverly Hills” of the web? Majestic could be a little more user friendly in my opinion but has a great deal of link data you can access for free. Upgrading your Majestic SEO account will give you access to additional data if you want to take a deep dive into competitors.
- Raven – Raven is best suited for overall SEO campaign management but has some great tools specifically for link building such as the link manager. In my limited testing of Raven, I found it very helpful in managing contacts and directory submissions. Raven also has a handy toolbar for Firefox to quickly identify link opportunities. Raven also provides link monitoring which is very helpful in tracking changes made on other sites automatically.
Yahoo Site Explorer (YSE)(now Bing webmaster tools) – Yahoo Site Explorer has been replaced by Bing webmaster tools.
- SEO Book Toolbar for FireFox – This is a must have for anyone conducting a link building campaign.
Link Grader– HubSpot has an excellent link research tool (this tool appears to have been included as part of the SEO suite). This tool organizes the link data by most recent linking domains which is very helpful in finding new link clean up opportunities. HubSpot can also identify issues on each content page created with a new page grader tool.
- Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) – Using this free tool will help you find broken links to your site (404 errors) which you can easily fix by reaching out to each website, asking them to update their link. GWT also provides you with the total number of links to each page which can be helpful in finding links to specific areas of your site.
- Alltop – Alltop is not a tool necessarily but a resource for finding quality blogs and niche websites. Click on each topic to find good websites in your niche. From there you can branch out from those sites to see who is linking to them.
- SEO Open Toolbar for Firefox – Simple toolbar for Firefox with quick links to important link data.
- Web Analytic Referring Sites – Tools like Google Analytics can help you find sites currently referring traffic. You can then reach out to these sites to improve the page URL or anchor text they use to link to you.
- Ahrefs – Ahrefs is a rather new tool in the SEO world. It provides even deeper analysis to your links.
I hope you find this list of SEO link building tools useful. Please comment below if you find other useful tools you think would make this list.