7 Backlink Audit Tools for Detecting and Removing Bad Links

Link audit tools are important in discovering new opportunities in the market and in staying organized since you can easily get overwhelmed by the huge volume of data your website presents. It is important to analyze your website’s backlink before carrying out a link-building campaign because you will be able to get rid of links that can hurt your rankings. In this article, I have compiled a list of some of the best link audit tools you can use to create high-quality links.

7 Backlink Audit Tools for Detecting and Removing Bad Links

What is a Link Audit?

A link audit refers to the process of analyzing the links that point at your website. This analysis is done to detect problems or opportunities in your website’s backlink profile. Just like an on-page SEO audit, a link audit analyses your website’s links to know if they can help your website rank for a target search phrase.

Link audits help to determine if a link is helpful or endangering your SEO by looking at the source URL, domain, and anchor text. This is done individually and as part of your website’s backlink profile.

Why Do You Need a Link Audit?

In SEO, you need to complete tasks such as technical audits, keyword research, website migrations, and link audits. The link audit is an important task in this post-Penguin world. You need to pay attention to your website’s inbound links so that your backlink profile can remain natural and top-quality. A profile that contains links emanating from low-quality websites with unnatural links and bad anchor links can harm your rankings in search results. This can also result in a manual penalty which can make your website pages disappear from Google.

You need to know what your backlink profile looks like, especially if you have an old website or if you have hired an in-house SEO team; these usually imply that your website must have built low-quality links in the process. Low-quality links weren’t that dangerous before Penguin 4.0 was released. The release of Penguin has made regular link audits very important.

In addition to detecting and getting rid of low-quality links, link audits also help to find valuable links that you can include in your link-building strategy.

How to Choose a Good Link Audit Tool

If you’re looking for a good link audit tool to carry out a detailed link analysis, the following are the factors that you need to consider:

Page Rank or Reputation

The link audit tool you intend to use must be able to help you know how your website stacks up against your competitors.

Incoming and Outgoing Links

The audit tool must provide a list of the incoming and outgoing links. This will help you know if your recent additions are useful.

Anchor Text and Keywords

The anchor text that links to your website must be contextual for your website and within the linking web page. It must link through relevant keywords so that it can boost your reputation. More so, a good link audit tool must detect low-quality directory links, negative SEO, and spam.

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How to Conduct a Link Audit

Gather the Link Data

The link audit process starts by gathering the link data. You can start from Google Search Console. Manually export the links from Google Search Console by clicking on ‘Links to Your Site’ (located under Search Traffic). Then select ‘More’ and download your latest links.

Google Search Console will export the links as .CSV files. You can separate the link from the date the links were discovered by using the ‘convert text to column’ feature (found in the Data tab).

To get more detailed data, sign up on Majestic. This tool will allow you to export the link data. Type in your website’s domain in the search bar and click on the Backlinks tab. The next step involves selecting the ‘Use Historic Index’ option and selecting ‘All’ for ‘backlinks per domain.’ You can then export your data.

Majestic and Google Search Console are the best link audit tools to start with since you can get your link data from these tools. If you need as much data as possible, then you can pay for Ahrefs.

Analyze and Evaluate the Links

After gathering your links in one place, you can go ahead and analyze them to find the links that are hurting your rankings. While evaluating the quality of your links, you need to consider the following factors:

Anchor text

This is the clickable text of a link. It plays an important role in determining the quality of a link. When you have an anchor text that matches your keywords, this presents the link as spam to Google. Ensure you diversify your anchor text, keywords, and domain. You should also watch out for anchor text that is not related to your web page.

IP address

Although this is not a deciding factor when analyzing a link, it needs to be considered. If you have a huge volume of links from IP addresses that are notorious for sending spam (such as India or Russia), you need to pay more attention to such links if your business is not based in those countries.

Page content

Ensure that the linking page is well designed. Also, it must have a good user experience. Other things that you need to consider include spelling, grammar, and usage. The language of the content on the linking page must be natural. Nonsensical content with random links and ads will affect your reputation in Google’s eyes. Although there is no minimum number of words that the content must be. However, content that contains a few hundred words is not advisable.

Trust Flow and Citation Flow

Trust Flow and Citation Flow are trademarked metrics that are developed by Majestic. They are used to determine how trustworthy a website is depending on the number of links that link to a website, and how trustworthy the links are.

If you got your links from Majestic, arrange the links in ascending order using Trust Flow. Links that have little or no Trust Flow but high Citation Flow may be risky. Hence, if the linking site is suspicious, ensure you get rid of such links from your backlink profile.

In case you don’t want to analyze and evaluate your links manually, you can use Kerboo to check your links. You can either upload your links or allow the tool to crawl the web and find your links. Kerboo will assign a LinkRisk score to each of the links. This score helps you know if the link is helpful for your SEO or if it is risky.

Sort the links using the LinkRisk score and tag those you want to remove from your backlink profile. Export the links you tagged as Disavow as a file that you can upload to Google. You can also set the Google Search Console to automatically assign scores as it finds new links provided you sync Kerboo with your Google Search Console account.

As you are noting links with low quality, you should also note the domain and text that surround your links. Negative SEO occurs and can hurt your SEO. Fortunately, you can easily recognize negative SEO patterns if you pay attention while carrying out a link audit. For instance, if you notice a lot of spam comments that use the same body text and anchor text, it is most likely the result of negative SEO. You will respond to negative SEO the same way you tackle any form of bad links. However, you need to know if you are being targeted or not.

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LinkinAction is a free link audit tool that generates a report that marketers use to analyze link building or domain purchase opportunities. The report this tool generates includes different performance and SEO indicators like traffic estimation, PA, DA, social presence, and page views.

Marie Haynes Disavow Blacklist

This is a paid link audit tool that is used to detect bad links that should be disavowed. The tool will save you lots of time if you audit your website, assess the decline in traffic, or audit your backlink profile regularly.

To use the tool simply enter the URLs to get detailed results. You will be able to click on the links generated and look for your website’s link. The tool is free for a single URL. However, you can have unlimited access to the tool by paying $25 per month or $250 per year.

Disavow Link Analysis

Disavow Link Analysis is a free link audit tool that you can use to ask Google not to consider some links that point to your website. However, you should only disavow links that are manipulating Google’s results.

To disavow the links that you don’t want, download a list of links to your website and then select the websites that you want to disavow. Once you do this, you can then create a new list of links and upload those links to Google.


Majestic gives anyone that registers with an email address a free account. The free account has a limited collection of tools.

It is free to use the site explorer preview; once you type in the URL of choice, you will be presented with a dashboard that has different backlink stats. You need to subscribe to a paid plan so that you can have an in-depth look into the stats. This will give you access to useful backlink quality metrics.

The bulk backlink checker is used for auditing. This tool is available in the Lite plan. The tool analyzes the backlinks of about 400 URLs; thereby enabling you to quickly analyze the quality of your website.

Monitor Backlinks

Monitor Backlinks provides a basic report that contains the latest links you acquired and the activities of your competitors.

Although the Monitor Backlinks’ suite does not have anything that you can call an audit tool, its dashboard helps you know about the link quality. This helps you separate the good links from the bad ones. The tool gives you a detailed idea of the source of links and their quality. You can then go to the Backlinks tab to arrange links based on their spam score, domain authority, and other metrics.

To get a more detailed report, you can go to the Reports tab. At the Reports tab, you can export the report as an Excel file and then view the report in an Excel spreadsheet.


Although the full service of SEMrush does not have a free trial, the tool offers a free limited plan that is comprehensive. You can have access to the tool’s paid plans with at least $99 per month.

SEMrush has a backlink checker. To use this tool, type in the domain of your choice. This will give you a quick report that portrays new backlinks. The report also showcases your overall authority score and helps you analyze the no-follow links against the do-follow links.

In addition, the free plan of the tool has a backlink audit tool that you can connect to your Google Search Console account. The tool provides a ‘toxic score’ that helps you avoid being penalized by Google.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console may not be the first thing that crosses your mind when you want to run a link audit, it comes in handy for those that are on a budget. It is also useful if you don’t want to download another tool. It is free to carry out a backlink audit with Google Search Console. However, it is labor-intensive.

Wrapping Up

Your backlink profile plays a key role in the SEO of your website. Hence, it is important to ensure that your backlink profile adheres to Google’s rules so that you don’t get penalized.

Backlink audits can get overwhelming if you start exporting a huge volume of data from different tools. However, this article has shown that you can carry out a decent link audit and get a valuable report with just a tool and a limited time.

Apart from conducting a link audit for your website, you can also do the same for your competitors. This will help you know the strategies they are using to attract backlinks. The knowledge you gain from this will improve your SEO results.