How to Check How Many Backlinks Your Site Has

backlinksI know what you’re thinking: I know how to check how many backlinks my site has – I just use Yahoo Site Explorer. Okay, well, maybe only some of you are thinking that. Others may not know about it and may in fact be grateful to learn about that site. No matter who you are though, I promise that you’ll find some additional information here.

Why You’d Want to Check Your Backlinks

Let’s start with the obvious: aside from the fact that you may be curious how many backlinks your site actually happens to have, there are practical reasons to know your backlink numbers.

If you have tens of thousands of backlinks for example and you still aren’t seeing much traffic or sales, it’s useful to know why that is. It’s also useful to know which sites are organically linking to your own so that you can see where you’re actually ranking as opposed to gathering link artificially (i.e. engaging in link building).

The Basic Way

Okay, so the basic way to check the number of backlinks is of course to use Yahoo Site Explorer. It’s a website maintained by Yahoo which allows you to check on the number of links which point to your website and which are indexed by Yahoo.

Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any reliable way to check the number of backlinks that Google has indexed – they do make some of that information available (and you can find it with my second method), but it’s not as comprehensive as Yahoo’s information.

You can also use SEOMoz to look up backlinks, however again, this is based on their own servers crawling the web rather than Google’s information. Not to mention that the SEOMoz service costs money to use.

Using Traffic Travis

There is a big problem with using Yahoo Site Explorer to find out which sites link back to your own website. The problem is that Site Explorer doesn’t show you the page rank for all of your backlinks or whether they are do follow.

Now you could go and look up the information on Google as well, but it tends to be a big pain the in neck. Fortunately, there is a free option which lets you get all the information together.

That option is Traffic Travis. It’s a hybrid free and paid program (actually, version 3 is available for free or in a paid version. Version 4 just came out and I don’t know if a free version exists, nor do I know how long version 3 will remain free so it’s a good idea to grab a copy now). Here’s how to use it to find the information:

  1. Download Traffic Travis from the website. You can get the free version.
  2. Click “Position/Ranking” under Search Engine Tools.
  3. Click “Add Project.”
  4. Give your project a name. It doesn’t matter what it is.
  5. Enter your domain name in “Project Domain.”
  6. Click “Keywords” and enter a keyword. It doesn’t matter which one.
  7. Click “Save.”
  8. Click “Backlinks to site” on the Traffic Travis panel.
  9. Click “Fetch Backlinks.”
  10. Select both Google and Yahoo as sites to search. Click “OK.”
  11. Look at your list of backlinks. Now you can see the entire list of backlinks that link to your site, together with page ranks and whether they are do follow or no follow links.

The great thing about using Traffic Travis is that it’s also a way to find other websites you can get backlinks from by analyzing the competition the same way (just change the URL you enter). Basically, for me, it’s a better way to look up your list of backlinks rather than just using Yahoo Site Explorer.

43 thoughts on “How to Check How Many Backlinks Your Site Has

  1. Hey, it is free after all. You can’t expect the guy to give away the farm without earning something for his trouble. If you need more than that, you can buy the paid version…

  2. Totally. And the fact that he gives away so much functionality even in the basic version is just amazing.

  3. Well Traffic Travis basically pulls from Yahoo Site Explorer. As for the links above comments, if you mean on the blog, it’s common for people to leave a link to their website.

  4. Thank you. Could you please specify which information or are you a computer spamming the Internet?

  5. I’m so glad we could be of help. Now exactly what info did you find so useful? I believe I put a number of strategies here…

  6. hey there, great post! I just downloaded traffic travis and followed your instructions. Is it normal that I have paid for backlinks and even created some myself and I can’t see them in traffic travis? (I have the free version)

    1. Yes, absolutely normal. The fact is that not all backlinks get indexed, even when you pay for them. You can improve your indexing though by pinging the links.

  7. I love your blog and way you point to some important IM tools. I know so many free and paid back links checkers and most of them are so far away from being accurate.

    Thank you so much for your post. Very informative

    1. Glad you liked it. Could you tell me what specifically you found useful though since it helps me to know what to write about in the future.

    1. I’m glad you liked it so much, but could you please share with us what it was that you liked? That would help me to figure out what to write in the future.

    1. I’ll be putting up a few new tools soon in a blog post I just finished writing so you can check and see if they offer to let you filter by the site:.edu filter. Not sure if they do or don’t.

    1. Well quantity does help as well. However PR does make a big difference. BTW, be sure to check back since I’m putting up a blog post soon with info on finding out about your links from new sources (since Site Explorer is gone).

    1. Glad you liked it. Could you tell me what specifically you found useful so I can include more of the same in the future?

    2. I’m glad you found it so useful, but could you please tell us what it was that you liked so much about it?

  8. I love your blog and way you point to some important IM tools. I know so many free and paid back links checkers and most of them are so far away from being accurate.

    1. Glad we could help. You should see the more up to date version of our listing though.

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