If I say “toothpick,” what comes to mind?
I’m willing to bet it has something to do with either cleaning from between your teeth or skewering some type of food.
And that makes sense.
After all, that’s what toothpicks are used for, right?
But do a little searching and you’ll find that there are hundreds of different uses for a toothpick (like all of these).
Who would’ve thought a tiny, skinny piece of pointed wood could have so many uses?
Kinda reminds me of something else I know…
Our 100% free backlink quality checker!
Most people think of using our backlink quality checker only for looking at their page’s top backlinks, but it has so much more to offer than that.
And today, I’m gonna give you 13 different tips for using our backlink quality checker that’ll demonstrate just how useful and valuable this SEO tool can be.
How to Use Monitor Backlinks’ Free Backlink Quality Checker
The Free Backlink Checker is available to anyone with or without a Monitor Backlinks account.
If you’re already a Monitor Backlinks user, you can quickly access the backlink quality checker by logging into your account and clicking on Link Checker from the main menu:
Once you’re there, you then 1) type in the URL of the page you want to analyze and 2) click the “Check Now” button:
After you do that, Monitor Backlinks will automatically generate a list of that URL’s top 300 backlinks:
Now, you might be wondering which URL you should check.
The short answer is it’s up to you.
You might want to check how your homepage is doing, in which case you’d type in your site’s domain URL.
Or you might want to check a specific page or even a competitor’s page, or a combination of both.
Define your need and strategize accordingly.
For example, if you have a page that’s currently ranking in Position 10 on Google for your target keyword and your goal is to get it to the top 3, then analyze your own URL followed by the URLs of the top 3 pages currently ranking for that keyword.
Now that that’s covered, let’s turn our attention to the meat of this article and look at the top tips for getting the most out of Monitor Backlinks’ backlink quality checker.
13 Tips for Using Monitor Backlinks’ Free Backlink Quality Checker
#1. Register for a Free Monitor Backlinks Account
While you can use the Free Backlink Checker without signing up for the full Monitor Backlinks tool, I highly recommend that you register for a free Monitor Backlinks trial account so you can check out all the features on offer.
Non-subscribers can use the backlink quality checker to see the top 300 backlinks of any page or domain once per week.
But if you sign up for the free trial mentioned above, you’ll be able to use the backlink checker tool on demand with credits. You can also save and view your past searches for easy reference.
Plus, Monitor Backlinks subscribers get access to all the features of the full tool where you can add domains and competitors for ongoing backlink tracking and view heaps more quality metrics—so you can save the backlink checker for those quick spot checks.
The good news is registering is child’s play:
Just head to the link above, follow the step-by-step instructions and you’re in. You won’t even need to provide a credit card.
Now, let’s talk about the tips you’ll want to use with every analysis you do.
#2. Check the URL’s Total Backlinks
The label on the tin says it all:
This number represents the total number of backlinks currently pointing to the page.
Generally speaking, a page’s total number of backlinks is a direct indicator of the page’s authoritativeness.
The more backlinks it has, the more authoritative it is.
I say “generally speaking” because, as we all know, there are a lot of black hat (aka: unnatural) ways to manipulate a site’s total backlinks.
So you can never base a page’s quality solely on its number of backlinks.
That’s why the next tip is so important…
#3. Check Total Unique Domains Linking to URL
This number represents the total number of unique domains pointing to the URL.
I stress “unique” because that’s what matters in the SEO game.
See, multiple backlinks from the same domain start to lose value after the first one. So it’s better to have 10 backlinks from 10 quality domains versus 10 backlinks from one quality domain.
(Fun Fact: Monitor Backlinks is smart. It’ll only show you one backlink per domain, decreasing clutter and showing you only the most important backlinks for your site’s link profile.)
Virtually all SEOs worth their salt agree that a page’s number of unique domains is a better and more accurate indicator of a page’s quality than total backlinks.
#4. Check Total Class C IPs Linking to URL
This number represents the total number of Class C IPs linking to the URL. Class C is the designation given to the majority of IPs used on the web.
Knowing all the different IP classes is not essential for SEO success.
What is important is how many unique ones are linking to your URL.
Sites that are related (like in a PBN) will all have the same Class C IP, and when they link to each other, Google can tell. So if a page has more unique Class C IPs linking to it, they are typically of a higher quality.
Plus, some SEOs way smarter than myself have found that having more unique Class C IPs linking to your pages can have a positive impact on their ranking.
So there are many reasons why more is better!
#5. Verify Anchor Text Optimization
As you probably know, anchor text is the text used when linking to a page.
This red text is a hyperlink to https://monitorbacklinks.com.
You may also already know that anchor text is kind of a big deal to Google when determining the quality of a link.
Ergo, you always want to verify that the link’s anchor text is optimized for Google approval.
Quality anchor text possesses three characteristics:
- It flows naturally with the content.
- It does not use the exact target keyword of the page it’s linking to.
- It uses either branded keywords or natural text.
I can’t stress this enough…
Viable anchor text should not be over-optimized or unnatural.
#6. Check Trust Flow and Citation Flow of Linking Domains
Next up, we have Trust Flow and Citation Flow.
Both scores come from Majestic, a marketing-focused search engine, and together they give you an indicator of a site’s overall quality.
Trust Flow predicts how trustworthy a site is based on the popularity and reputation of the sites linking to it.
And Citation Flow predicts the influence of a site based on the quantity and quality of the backlinks linking to it.
In general, the higher a site’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow scores, the higher quality the backlink will be.
Both these metrics are scored from 1-100, and when you’re analyzing backlink quality, a good benchmark to aim for is 30 and above.
But there’s one other important point to note:
It’s best to use these two scores together when deciding on the quality of a link.
#7. Check the Status of Your URL’s Most Powerful Backlinks
The status of the backlink is what determines its ability to pass ranking power on to your site.
There are two main statuses to focus on: followed (F) and nofollowed (NF).
A followed status means the link will pass ranking power to your site.
A nofollowed status means the link won’t pass ranking power to your site.
The natural inclination is to hope for all of your links to be followed—but that’s not always the best case.
See, there are certain circumstances where it’s beneficial for the link to be nofollowed. A couple of examples include:
These types of links, if followed, can actually hurt your rankings.
The important takeaway here is…
The value of a backlink’s status directly correlates to its origin.
If it’s an editorially placed link, then followed is the status you want.
But if it’s a paid link or part of a link exchange, it should be nofollowed.
#8. Visit the Referring Page to Determine a Site’s Naturalness
If you ask me, and countless other SEOs agree, there’s no better gauge of a site’s quality than visiting the site yourself and reviewing it.
That’s easy to do with our free backlink quality checker.
Just click the link under the “URL From” column and thoroughly review the site that’s linking to you.
Nine times out of 10, you’ll know if a site is spammy as soon as you land on it.
But just in case you come across one you’re unsure about, look for these spam indicators:
- Poor quality content
- Misspellings, improper use of grammar, poor formatting
- Exact match anchor text
- Spun content
- Loaded with advertisements
- Tons of external links
A good rule of thumb to follow:
If you wouldn’t feel comfortable sending your audience to this site, it’s most likely not a backlink you want in your link profile.
#10. Use Google to Find Top Competitor Pages
Up to this point, we’ve only looked at tips that involve checking the quality of your own page’s URLs. But our backlink checker can also be used for gathering useful information regarding your competitors’ URLs, too.
Competitor link analysis is invaluable for:
- Gaining new insights into your competitors’ link building practices,
- Comparing your link profile to your top competitors’, and
- Getting inspiration for new link building opportunities.
First, to analyze your top competitors’ pages, you need to know how to find them.
It doesn’t make sense to blindly pick pages to check. You need to be purposeful in what you review.
To know for sure who your top competitors are for any given keyword, simply search your target keyword in Google and choose the top competitors from there.
Take their URL and then plug it into our backlink quality checker:
Now you’re ready to start reviewing their top 300 backlinks.
#11. Check Total Backlinks to Determine the Competitiveness of the Page
This number tells you the total backlinks pointing to your competitor’s URL.
How is this useful for ranking your site?
Because it gives you a baseline for what you need to accomplish to rank your own page.
At the end of the day, the page that ranks highest on Google for a given keyword is the one that’s most relevant, adds the most value and is the most popular.
Backlinks are ultimately a vote of confidence for a particular page.
A page with more quality (seriously, can’t stress this enough) “votes” will outrank one with fewer (most of the time).
#12. Check Unique Domains to Further Determine Competitiveness of the Page
The same principle applies to unique domains as to the total backlinks tip above.
Compare your URL’s total number of unique domains to your competitor’s.
Do you have more than your competitor? Great! Keep doing what you’re doing.
Do you have fewer than your competitor? Then you’ll want to direct more quality backlinks to your URL.
#13. Use Referring URLs to Brainstorm New Link Building Opportunities
Admittedly, this is my favorite use of checking competitors’ URLs with the backlink quality checker.
Each new backlink pointing to a competitor’s URL is a potential source for your own quality backlink.
So when you come across a source that’s new to you, visit the site (using the link under the “URL From” column) and investigate how the competitor received the backlink.
Was it an editorial link placed within the content?
Or was it a guest post written by the owner of the competitor site?
Maybe it was a simple forum post with a link pointing back to the site?
Basically, reverse-engineer how the competitor received the backlink. Then, duplicate the process or improve upon it to turn it into an asset for your own site.
Backlink Quality Checker Wrap-up
There you have it…
13 tips that’ll help ensure you get the most out of our free backlink quality checker so you can take your SEO and link building to new heights.
Visit the Free Backlink Checker tool now to get started with your weekly checks, or sign up for a free trial of Monitor Backlinks for on-demand backlink checks and access to the full suite of SEO tools including automated link tracking and management, keyword rank tracking and more!