Tool Review: Monitor Backlinks
Whenever someone expresses a measure of scepticism about the future of SEO, all it takes is one look at the thriving market for SEO tools and software to prove otherwise. From complete SEO suites to niche software like rank trackers and link analysers, SEO software is a booming business as demand for high quality SEO services continues to grow.
One of the more recent additions to the panoply of SEO tools is Monitor Backlinks. As the name suggests, this tool allows you to monitor your site’s link profile. Having used the tool for a few weeks for the purpose of this review, I realise that calling Monitor Backlinks a simple link monitoring tool does it a grave disservice, as it does so much more.
The Core Feature: Link Notifications
At its heart Monitor Backlinks allows you to keep an eye on your site’s backlink profile. Enter a domain name and Monitor Backlinks will notify you of any new links it finds that point to your domain. You will get a daily email with the new links that have been discovered, as well as notifications when a previously discovered link changes status.
The tool also allows you to add links to a Disavow file, enabling you to keep your site’s link profile clean in nearly real-time. In this day and age of negative SEO, this is a very handy feature set that allows you to keep a close eye on your site’s link profile and ensure you’re not soliciting the wrath of the Google gods to come down on your website as the result of spammy links.
Full Backlink Analysis
Monitor Backlinks also provides a robust set of analytics of a site’s full link profile. It will list all links it has found, complete with a number of useful attributes such as whether it’s nofollowed, if the linking page is included in Google’s index, the page’s & domain’s PageRank and Moz metrics, social shares, and more. It also shows you the anchor text distribution of these links.
In addition to the links Monitor Backlinks discovers on its own using Ahrefs data and referrals reported in Google Analytics, it also allows you to import additional links from other sources such as Majestic SEO and Google Webmaster Tools.
This is a great feature because, while Ahrefs data is pretty good, it’s not quite as thorough as MajesticSEO, and we all know how Google tends to show a rather ‘unique’ set of links in Webmaster Tools. The ability to import links from these and other sources, combined with Monitor Backlinks’ great UX and ability to create a disavow file very easily, makes this link analysis suite a rather lovely piece of kit.
There are a few other handy features offered by Monitor Backlinks, of which my favourite was ability to monitor new links on your competitors’ websites. As with your own domain, Monitor Backlinks will send you daily email summaries of the new links to your competitor websites it has found.
This superbly useful feature gives you daily insight in to what your key competitors are doing to acquire new links, enabling you to copy their tactics or, if you’re feeling particularly devious, even actively undermine their linkbuilding efforts.
The feature set doesn’t end there. There is also a keyword rank tracker included in Monitor Backlinks, which also sends you regular updates about shifting rankings, and provides nice screen-grabbable charts as well:
These keyword rankings also have a competitive comparison element, where you see how to stack up against your closest rivals.
I can definitely see these graphs making it in to client reports.
There are a few more bits and bobs included in the full set of tools, and I suspect the people behind Monitor Backlinks are working hard to add even more features to it.
Considering the rich feature set, great user interface, and low price point – starting at $19.90/month, with a free 30-day trial on offer – I can definitely see Monitor Backlinks as good value for money. My only concern is that the features that make Monitor Backlinks such a potent platform will eventually find their way in to other SEO tools like LinkRisk.
In the meantime however, Monitor Backlinks adds a certain touch of class to the SEO tool pantheon, and I for one are very likely to keep using it for the foreseeable future.