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Whether you love link building or loath it, there’s no denying that finding a new link pointing to your own or your client’s domain is an exhilarating feeling.

At connective3, our digital PR team consistently runs multiple link campaigns for our clients on a weekly basis. However, 95% of the journalists we email, tweet, or call don’t actually let us know if they’ve covered the story.

Now, this isn’t necessarily a problem, but it certainly does raise challenges when tracking your backlinks.

Firstly, you want a report on that link to show off the great work you’ve managed to achieve for your client. But secondly, the journalist may very well have covered the story with no link, and on occasions (if relevant and appropriate), you may want to approach them to see if they will link to your site to help point people in your direction.

So, what is the best way of discovering how to find backlinks? Well, one excellent method is to employ the use of various backlink checker tools. Not only will these make it easier to find missed backlinks, but they help you to identify future backlink opportunities.

So, we’ve broken down connective 3’s digital PR team’s five favourite backlink checker tools, to ensure that you’re seeing as much of the picture as possible with your campaign results.

1. Buzzsumo

When searching for the best tool for checking backlinks, you can’t go wrong by choosing Buzzsumo.

For those not in the know, Buzzsumo is a cloud-based platform specifically designed to help you discover the best potential engagement and outreach possibilities across social and search.

Buzzsumo is one of the best backlink tools out there. It’s easy-to-use systems allow users to input their specified keywords in order, to discover the top-performing content surrounding them. Essentially, this lets you see how well a campaign is doing when it comes to links.

But even better than that, Buzzsumo also has a link index feature that allows you to look for new links pointing to a domain from the past 24 hours, the past week, the last 6-months, the last year, and even the last 2 years, meaning you can truly see how a campaign’s links have evolved and developed over time.

Buzzsumo even lets you set up alerts to receive emails every time a site mentions your client, so be sure you check Buzzsumo every day to see any new links pointing to your domain that you may have missed.


2. Ahrefs

One of the most popular SEO tools currently available for use, ahrefs is one of the more in-depth backlink checker tools.

The complexity of ahrefs may be intimidating to look at upon first glance, but you’ll quickly come to appreciate it as one of the best tools for checking backlinks once you’ve wrapped your head around its intuitive UI.

Ahrefs can show you everything from organic visibility to top-performing content, and even provides the tools to conduct your own gap analysis. And similar to Buzzsumo, ahrefs has an impressive link index allowing you to see new links pointing to your chosen site or page.

Ahrefs logo

3. Google Search Operators

It might be considered basic, but when it comes to the best backlink tools, simple is sometimes better.

By using manual searches in Google based on your keywords, you’ll quickly be able to bring up any potential new links and coverage.

It’s actually possible to set up your Google search settings to only display results from the past 24 hours. You can then use the Google Search Operators to narrow your search to find specific mentions about your campaigns and clients.

Using Search Operators will allow you to be more specific with your searches. We recommend using the following two methods:

  • Putting quotation marks around your search phrase – searching for keywords used within your campaign’s or your client’s name with speech marks around them will only bring back sites that have used those exact phrases that you searched for. For example, “connective3” and “Digital PR”.
  • Use -site: before your search phrase – when looking for coverage, often your client’s site will be presented to you. In order to exclude this from your search, you can use the operator -site: (example to narrow down your search options.

4. Using Google Analytics referral traffic

Some of Google’s other features can also be used as excellent backlink checker tools; Google analytics, in particular, is a great way to find new backlinks.

Often, when a link is built, you will receive what’s known as referral traffic from it. By using Google Analytics, you can look at the overall traffic coming to your campaign page. You can even add a secondary dimension titled ‘Full referrer’, to see all the links that have driven traffic for your campaign.

5. Making use of ahrefs’ batch analysis

Last, but not least, when it comes to the best tool for checking backlinks, the batch analysis function from ahrefs is an absolute must.

This cool little feature allows you to input up to 200 URLs and see how many referring links each of them has gained. If you add the links you have built into this, you can see if journalists have read your coverage and linked to these pages instead of your specific campaign.

Again, if appropriate and relevant you can approach the journalist to update the link, giving greater backlink coverage overall.


There are plenty more backlink checker tools out there that you can make use of, but in the eyes of the connective3 digital PR team, these five are the ones you should use. And for even more things related to digital PR, head over to the c3 blog.

We also do far more than digital PR here at connective3. We tackle SEO, organic content, content marketing, paid social, and much, much more. Get in touch with our team today to see how we can upgrade your business’s future.