If you were climbing to the top of Mount Everest, you’d need a quality pair of hiking boots.
Similarly, to climb to the top of SERPs, you need a solid set of backlinks pointing to your website.
Every website, from e-commerce stores to blogs, needs backlinks to survive—especially in the turbulent world of SEO.
But, I’ve got a question for you, my friend: Do you know who’s actually linking to your website?
The site that links to you is just as important as the backlink itself—if not more so.
You need to have backlinks from authoritative, trusted and relevant sites if you want to reach the top of SERPs.
Fortunately, there’s an incredibly simple way to find out everyone who links to your site—and you’ll only need five minutes!
So, get ready to add a bit of extra pizzazz to your virtual hiking boots as we find out exactly who’s linking to you, and what to do from there.
Why Do I Need to Know Who Links to My Site?
So, you’ve got the lowdown on why you need to focus on backlinks when piecing together your SEO strategy.
But you’re still left with one question: Why do I need to know who links to my website?
There are a few reasons why you’ll need to keep an eye on who’s dishing out your juicy backlinks, including:
1. It helps to measure your link building strategy. Got tons of awesome backlinks? Then you’re doing a great job, and you should replicate the same strategy to get even more!
2. It helps to analyze the success of your content. Got a handful of backlinks organically (without outreach)? You’re creating awesome content, carry on!
3. It helps to examine brand mentions. Got a few backlinks from sites who are talking about how fantastic your blog, brand, product or service is? Fantastic! Keep your finger on the pulse, and shout about your coverage.
Who Links to My Site? How to Find All Your Backlinks in 5 Minutes
The best thing about finding the answer to this question is that unlike most SEO activities, unearthing all the backlinks pointing to your website only takes a matter of minutes.
In fact, I’ll bet you can do it in five (or less).
Step 1: Create a Monitor Backlinks Account
The first thing you’ll need to do is head over to Monitor Backlinks. This indispensable tool puts all the information you need right in front of you, without you having to lift a finger.
If you haven’t already bagged yourself an account, click this link to get your hands on a 30-day free trial.
Then just add your domain, and Monitor Backlinks will automatically start pulling your backlink data for you.
You’ll be able to find your entire backlink profile almost immediately, and unlike the majority of other SEO tools, you won’t need to wait for prehistoric data to import.
(I told you it was quick!)
Step 2: Discover Your Backlink Profile
Signed in and raring to go? Awesome!
Now, simply head over to the Backlinks tab, and be greeted with your entire backlink profile:
This set of data contains every link currently pointing to your website, as well as valuable metrics about each one to help you assess its quality, authority and relevance.
These metrics include Moz metrics (Domain Authority, Page Authority, Spam Score, Moz Rank), Majestic Flow metrics, follow/nofollow status and indexation status. And of course, where the link comes from (i.e. who’s doing the linking).
Step 3: Identify Who Links to Your Site
Now, it’s time to answer the all-important question: Who links to my site?
Simply check out the “Link From” column to find your answer. This details the domain that’s given a backlink to your site:
In this column, you’ll see the URL of the linking domain, as well as the title of the page linking to you, and the anchor text used.
And that’s it, you’re done! You’ve found everyone who links to your site.
What to Do Next
In just five minutes, you now know exactly who’s linking to your site.
But what happens next?
Having this information in front of you is extremely valuable to build your entire SEO plan, going forward. These are the important next steps:
1. Analyze Your Backlink Profile
Once you’ve located your backlink profile, it’s wise to have a scan through for anything that could cause issues.
Monitor Backlinks gives you a bunch of helpful filters on the right-hand side of your screen, so you can investigate the backlinks further:
Here’s what to pay attention to:
You don’t want to be hanging around with the bad boys of the internet, right?
Unlike IRL-bad boys that are hard to spot, your backlink profile can sieve out the fishy entries when organized by Spam Score. Just sort the Spam Score column from highest to lowest to find the worst offenders:
An SEO metric created by Moz, Spam Score does as the name suggests—scores how spammy a website is seen to be, rated on a scale from 0-13.
It goes without saying that you’ll want to collect backlinks that aren’t deemed as “spammy.” So, be wary of backlinks from a site with a Spam Score of three or higher.
Use the filters to find all the results with a Spam Score higher than two (this will show all Spam Scores of three and above):
If you find backlinks with high Spam Scores (like in the example below), check the corresponding box in the left-hand column. We’ll deal with these later.
Another metric you’ll want to track is the Domain Authority of the sites you’re collecting backlinks from.
To do this, simply sort your backlink profile by the Domain Authority column:
Scored on a scale of 0-100, this SEO metric predicts how likely a website is to rank in the SERPs.
(For reference, Huffington Post has a Domain Authority of 96, and Facebook’s score is 100.)
You’ll want to aim for backlinks from sites with a Domain Authority score of 40+.
Find any that don’t fit the bill by filtering for backlinks with a DA lower than 40:
And add them to your warning list by selecting their checkbox on the left.
Finally, sort your backlink profile by the Page Authority column:
Also scored on a scale of 0-100, Page Authority is similar to Domain Authority—but predicts the likelihood of a single page ranking in the SERPs, rather than the entire domain.
Aim to fill the majority of your backlink profile entries with links from pages with a Page Authority of 30+.
That way, you’re only collecting those juicy backlinks that are likely to have a positive effect on your ranking efforts.
You can use the filters again to filter for any backlinks with a PA lower than 30:
2. Get Rid of Bad Backlinks
Okay, so you’ve got a bunch of low-quality links currently marked with a check in your backlink profile.
Now, it’s time to disavow the links that don’t fit our strict criteria.
Simply put: Disavowing bad backlinks tells Google not to associate your site with the low-quality one. Not only will this help to prevent Google penalties and poor rankings, but it improves your online reputation.
You want to be hangin’ out with the cool, reputable and trustworthy kids of the internet, right?
To stop these links from dragging you down, you’ll need to head back to your checklisted dodgy entries that you found in your analysis above.
Then, hit the “With selected” drop-down button in the top-left corner, and click “Disavow:”
Whether you select “Domains” or “URLs” depends on the reasoning behind your choice to disavow.
- The Domain Authority or Spam Score is the issue, disavow the Domain.
- The Page Authority is the issue, disavow the URL.
Then, all you have to do is head to the “Disavow” tab to find a list of all the backlinks you’ve selected for disavowal, and export the list to submit to Google’s Disavow Tool.
Congratulations! You’ve found out who links to your site, and analyzed each entry to take your SEO check a step further.
However, there’s one important thing to remember: People are always linking to your site, and some of those additions you’re picking up might not be up to your high standards—especially if you’ve collected them organically.
For that reason, don’t forget to analyze and purge your backlink profile every so often.
It’s a quick task that’s easy to put off, but it’s one with the power to change your entire site’s keyword ranking positions. Believe me!