In order to rank #1 on major search engines such a Google, Yahoo! and Bing, a link builder needs to know the back link profiles of their competitors and industry allies. Having this kind of knowledge makes link building easier, more efficient and most all more effective.
The tools listed below will not only help you discover your competition's backlink profiles but will also provide ways to obtain relevant back links yourself.
TOOL #1 – Backlink Watch – The Backlink Watch Tool a very simple way to check a website's back link URL's, anchor text and total OBL's (outbound links) on the same page as that link.
TOOL #2 – Analyze Backlinks – Another gold mine for exploring a competitor's back links. This one provides more valuable options that allow you to filter out same domain URL's and to search for factors such as target keyword mentions surrounding the links.
TOOL #3 – Yahoo Site Explorer – Not really a linking tool, but you could quickly check a site's inlink count and it's top 10-1000 back links. Although this tool isn't much more better than the previous 2, it does show the title of the linking pages and allows you to track you own websites if signed in and verified ownership of site.
TOOL #4 – Google Search (link:yoursite.com) – No different than the one above except for the fact that the number of back links according to Google's search engine is ALWAYS considerably lower than Yahoo!'s results. But the links that made it to Google's results are assumingly affecting the search rankings.
TOOL #5 – Alexa Backlink Checker – You can see total domains linking to a website and which domains they are. This Alexa tool also provides other great website data.
TOOL #6 – Bad Neighborhood Text Link Tool – Great way to see what type of links a website accumulates, whether it be yours or a potential link partner.
TOOL #7 – SoloSEO Link Search Tool – Quite possibly the easiest way online to find relevant back links, that are fairly easy to obtain.
Web Confs Backlink Tools – Webconfs has over 20 SEO tools to offer. But these are their best link building tools.
TOOL #8 – Webconfs' Back link Anchor Text Analysis – Compare the top ranking site's text links to yours. Is there a difference?
TOOL #9 – Webconfs' Back link Builder – Enter a keyword. Copy whole list(s), paste into excel. Filter.., or, get to work.
TOOL #10 – Webconfs' Backlink Summary – A quick summary similar to the results delivered by Analyze Backlinks & Backlink Watch.
TOOL #11 – SEO for FireFox Plugin – Besides being able to provide you with on-demand access to data of the top ranking site's instantly, the SEO for Firefox Tool also provides a great feature that highlights nofollow links (in red), so it's easy to identify which inlinks count and which don't.
TOOL #12 – Google Webmaster Tools – Besides getting the best perspective of your website through the eyes of Google, the Google Webmaster Tools also tells you the links they've found, and their anchor text.
TOOL #13 – Link Harvester – This tool is toward the end of the list because it provides the type of data far beyond what the basic linker needs. Nonetheless, it's a oldie, but goodie.
TOOL #14 – Search Combination Tool by We Build Pages – Not really a link building too at all. But adding phrases like “resources”, “links”, “favorite sites”, “suggest url”, etc. could add some fun to it.
TOOL #15 – Recip Links – A tool that spiders a site (or list of sites) and checks to see if they are links to a specified domain.
TOOL #16 – Link Appeal Tool – Is a link from your website really worth it? Find out with this tool how valuable your website is based on several factors. Aim to get links from sites of higher value than yours.