What it is, how to do it and the tools to use

Looking for a way to improve the search engine ranking of your blog or website and do some Link Analysis?

Have you tried using compelling language, following comprehensive SERP guides, or taking an SEO Specialist Course, but you still don’t appear in online searches?

What if I told you that I might have the solution to your problem? Often, the backlink method is used to encourage users to visit specific websites.

If, despite this tactic, you still have low traffic on your domain, there’s probably something wrong. You can check which types of sites redirect to yours and how by simply using tools (free or paid) available on the internet.

I’m already filling your head with big words and technical jargon you probably haven’t heard of, so let’s take it step by step.

Link Analysis: what is it?

Link Analysis is a data analysis technique used on the web to evaluate relationships or connections between the “nodes” of the network. Various objects, or nodes, such as individuals, organizations, and transactions, can form these connections.

link analysis meaning

Link Analysis is essentially a type of knowledge discovery that can be used to visualize data to enable better analysis. This is especially true in the context of links, whether they are web links or relationship links between people or different entities.

Link analysis is often used in search engine optimization, intelligence, security analysis, and market research.

Link Analysis literally involves analyzing links between objects, whether physical, digital, or relational. This requires diligent data collection.

For example, in the case of a website where all the links and backlinks must be analyzed, a tool must sift through all HTML codes and various scripts on the page.

Then follow all the links it finds in order to determine what types of links are present and whether they are active or dead.

These pieces of information can be very important for search engine optimization, as they allow the analyst to determine whether the search engine can effectively find and index the website.

In the network (especially in SEO), link analysis involves determining the integrity of the connection between each network node by analyzing the data that passes through physical or virtual links.

With the data, link analysis experts can find effective links and potential issues in the sector, enabling them to correct them more quickly or even assist with network optimization.

data analysis

Link analysis has three main purposes:

  • Find matches for known interest patterns among connected objects.
  • Find anomalies by detecting violated known patterns.
  • Find new patterns of interest (e.g., in social networks, marketing, and business intelligence).

What is a backlink?

It is an incoming link from a webpage, essentially a link inserted by an external site that leads to yours.

It is very useful when inserted to speak positively about your work, a bit less (maybe more than a bit) is used to criticize it.

It is seen as a kind of “vote” for your blog that the more backlinks you have, the more popular you are (especially if they are positive).

Generally, the more votes your web pages have, the more likely they are to be well-positioned for relevant search terms. Search engines find new content by visiting pages they already know to discover new links.

Backlinks exist to indicate useful resources. When someone clicks on a link to your site, you get referral traffic, the higher the referral traffic, the more users can view your domain during searches.

Thanks to Link Analysis Tools, it is possible to check who, how, and when people talk about you by including them.

organic search traffic

Of course, an authoritative site has more chances of helping you position yourself better, but attention must be paid to the type of topic it covers.

A blog that talks about Digital Marketing has less chance of being clicked than a blog where cats are discussed. This is why it is really useful to use tools for Link Analysis and check the traffic coming from third parties.

Types of backlinks

There are two basic types of inbound links, and one is more valuable than the other: NoFollow and DoFollow.

  • A NoFollow tag instructs search engines to ignore a link. They don’t transfer value between websites, so they usually don’t contribute to enhancing search ranking or visibility.
  • DoFollow links are the type of backlinks that everyone desires. Note that those coming from reputable sites have the highest value. This type of backlink can help improve search engine positioning.

A second division of backlinks is between internal and external.

  • Internal links connect two sections of the same website: it can be the classic hyperlink between two internal pages or a link that refers to an article, page, or category on the same website.
  • External links are usually used to delve more specifically into the topic being discussed within the content. In this case, the link refers to a source, such as a reference site or an affiliate program. From the perspective of the destination site, as mentioned earlier, if we receive this type of link, we can label it as an inbound link.

types of backlinks

However, there are links considered bad or “toxic.” These links come from suspicious sites or are obtained by violating search engine terms of service.

This can cause Google to penalize or even de-index your site. Remember, it’s not the quantity of backlinks, but rather the quality that makes the difference in ranking.

In this regard, it is worth mentioning Penguin, Google’s algorithm that rewards high-quality links while penalizing low-value ones.

If a website receives many low-value backlinks, it will not benefit; on the contrary, it will be penalized.

Why perform link analysis

Traditionally, the more backlinks a website has, the better it will be positioned in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), and to some extent, this is still true.

However, you must be careful about where and how you acquire inbound links to your site.

Obtaining a backlink from a low-quality and spammy site that Google has devalued will not help your site’s search engine rankings.

This will harm your site’s rankings, and therefore, it is crucial to use link analysis software to ensure that your site’s rankings do not suffer from poor inbound links.

Link analysis software also allows you to spy on your competitors to see where they are acquiring their links.

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Link Analysis: how to do it

To perform proper Link Analysis on internal and incoming backlinks, there are various means, especially online. By using them efficiently, we can understand which websites mention us and how.

Thanks to some tools in the Link Analysis Tools, it is possible to see whether the incoming link is DoFollow or NoFollow (which we discussed earlier).

internal backlinks

A great tactic to enhance our SERP position is to verify the authority of the source and mark irrelevant ones as spam. In short, you can follow these steps:

  1. Remove incorrect backlinks: most link analysis tools automatically perform this step, but it’s good to know how to do it.
    – Remove links when the crawler repeats the search
    – Ensure the “strength” of the incoming link
    – Consider whether to keep or delete hyperlinks
  2. Research contextualizing data: accept only incoming links from sites and blogs that discuss the same topic as yours.
  3. Keep an eye on your competitors: always stay informed and monitor the topics and views of your competitors; it may seem basic, but it’s very useful!

Link Analysis tools

Now that we’ve clarified many things, let’s take a look at the 5 Link Analysis Tools (free and paid) that will come to your rescue.

1. Google Search Console

One of the most used tools to check your backlinks is Google Search Console, a free tool provided by Google to allows us to analyze our links.

It is a Link Analysis tool completely free that allows website owners to check the performance of their domain. Ownership verification is required, so you must be the owner of the link you insert to use this tool.

The link page in this tool has four sections:

  1. Top Linked Pages (External): pages on your site with links from other websites.
  2. Top Linking Sites (External): external sites linked to yours.
  3. Top Linking Text (External): anchor text from other sites linking to yours.
  4. Top Linked Pages (Internal): pages on your site linking to other pages on your website.

With this tool, you can export data in three simple steps (illustrated in the image below) by simply clicking on “Export External Links.”

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to export all data when there’s a very large quantity, but Google Search Console allows us to download only a small percentage to our device.

These may not include the most significant data, but (generally), the most recent ones are shown. Exporting data to your computer could be useful to get a broad overview of the types of sites that sponsor us.

If this operation is performed regularly, it will be possible to better monitor incoming links.

export external links

2. Ahrefs

What we are about to discuss now is what I consider the most comprehensive and accurate Link analysis tool: Ahrefs.

This tool not only allows us to see how many and which links point to our blog, but it also enables us to do much more.

Right after entering the link to our blog, you can see at the top of the screen 4 key points that give us a quick overview of our work through backlinks. These are:

  • Ahrefs Rank (AR)
  • The percentage of Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR) (Useful to understand the popularity of incoming links)
  • Total number of backlinks
  • Number of Referring Domains (doFollow)

ahrefs rank

Continuing with the analysis, we can also view the trend over time of backlinks to our site with the possibility of seeing growth on an: annual, monthly, and weekly basis.

This could be very useful to understand in which period our domain is sponsored and the work done over time that has helped us improve (or not) our “gem.”

Ahrefs allows us to perform link analysis by easily filtering the results according to some essential criteria, including:

  • Type of link (doFollow or nofollow, the more high-quality doFollow backlinks a site has, the more reliable it is in Google’s eyes)
  • Platform
  • Traffic (which allows us to see the number of users it has brought to us)
  • Domain Rating (DR) (domain level)
  • URL Rating (UR)
  • Referral Domains
  • And much more

ahrefs inbound links checker

In a nutshell, Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker is a tool capable of handling virtually all backlink research tasks. The tool is continually evolving, introducing features and data useful for SEO professionals.

The features that place it at the top of the list of best Link Analysis Tools include:

  • The ability to see follow and nofollow links.
  • Backlink anchor text: uses text analysis to understand if it’s a type of positive or negative advertisement.
  • Disavow Spam Links: if suspicious backlink activities are noticed, you can add spam links to a dedicated file directly from the Backlink Checker.
  • Export results to PDF and CSV: Unlike Google Search Console, Ahrefs allows you to download all selected data (via filter).
  • Built-in filters in every report: with which you can filter based on your interests.

This comprehensive tool, of course, is not free. Ahrefs offers a 7-day trial for $7 or monthly subscriptions starting from $99.

3. UberSuggest

The most popular and famous Link Analysis Tool is undoubtedly Ubersuggest by Neil Patel, a tool that is almost entirely free, allowing us to analyze any type of link (ours or others) with a simple click.

Not everyone knows, however, that it is also possible to see the backlinks leading to our platform from here in the “SEO Analyzer” section. Similar to Ahrefs, here too, we have a top section that shows us the main data.

In this case, we have:

  • Domain Score: the score of our domain is calculated based on various factors; the higher the score, the more authoritative according to search engines.
  • Backlinks: the number of inbound links that this domain receives.
  • Referring Domains: the number of unique domains pointing to this site.
  • Monthly Organic Traffic: estimated based on organic keywords.

how to build links

Successively, it shows us graphs to monitor new and lost backlinks during various periods of the current month (based on 30 days) and the list of these, filterable by follow and no-follow.

By accessing through your Google account, you can take a 7-day trial to view premium options.

After the trial period, it will be possible to subscribe to one of the plans offered by Ubersuggest, with a monthly cost starting from $29 per month.

Despite its ongoing fame, this link analysis tool is still in the beta and experimental phase. Neil Patel himself promises customers an increase in features, but at the moment, it’s not as complete as some of its competitors.

4. Majestic SEO

Unlike the previous tools presented, Majestic SEO is based solely and exclusively on backlinks. In practice, it doesn’t rely on keyword research but focuses 100% on incoming and outgoing links to your channel.

It is one of the most esteemed and used tools to monitor your website’s performance, allowing us to assert that the results are always accurate and measurable.

Like the others, you have the option to view graphs and filter the results of our search according to selected criteria.

An excellent feature provided by this Link Analysis tool is grouping the number of links from the same site. By clicking on the number displayed, you can visit the specific pages where you are mentioned.

This way, you can check what kind of advertising (positive or negative) is coming from that domain.

backlinks reviewed

Many features are available only with a subscription (starting from $46.99 per month). So, if you’re not willing to invest in the fixed monthly fee but intend to use it exclusively for free, I strongly advise against it.

The main focus of this Link Analysis Tool is backlinks and everything related. To have detailed graphs and downloadable, accurate reports, a subscription is necessary.

5. RankWatch

I admit that this Link Analysis tool is much less known than the previous ones, but I can assure you that it is indeed very valuable.

I recently discovered RankWatch while searching for a free tool with affordable subscriptions that would provide good results immediately without a lengthy signup and subscription process.

Even in the free version, it shows accurate graphs and lists with related explanations for each item.

I considered it one of my favorites, so much so that I included it on the podium of my top choices, especially for its clear, colorful, and efficient reports.

As many know, it’s easier to convey information to superiors when the reports are visually appealing.

rankwatch sample

By subscribing with a plan starting at $29 per month, you’ll have access to:

  • Daily Ranking updates
  • Geographical origin tracking of visits
  • Backlink monitoring
  • Automated alerts
  • Competitor analysis
  • White Label Reporting
  • 100% White Label Interface
  • Dedicated training hours
  • Export to PDF or CSV
  • And much more

This tool, as mentioned earlier, is one of the less-known Link Analysis Tools but one of the most useful ones available online.


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How to train for link analysis

Would you like to learn more and understand how to use the aforementioned tools and how many others?

In Digital Coach®, there is the SEO Manager Course, where you can learn all the secrets of search engine positioning.

If you’ve tried creating your website but can’t rank despite having prominent and well-structured content, this course is definitely for you.

You’ll discover not only which words to use and how to insert them but also how to use the most useful link analysis tools and all the necessary tools to see your articles on Google’s first search page.

In this course, you can also learn:

  • The initial analysis of the website with the goal of making it SEO-friendly, improving its indexing and positioning on search engines, suitable, appealing, and easily discoverable by users. The analysis document examines the main “on-page” SEO factors and aspects.
  • In-depth analysis of keywords, content, and campaigns on your site.
  • SEO strategy (Search Engine Optimization).

Our course also includes Work Experience, where you can do 4 months of real apprenticeship with one of our coaches selected from the best in the field.

For more information, you can click on the button below to schedule an appointment for a free strategic coaching consultation.

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