SEO Spyglass is my favorite tool for checking backlinks. I’ve talked about it a few times on the site so I figured it was time to write a review.
The desktop application can be used to find backlinks leading to your site, or to discover your competitors links. If you’re not sure how that’s helpful, I’ll run through some practical strategies in a moment, but first…
SEO Spyglass does a FANTASTIC job of finding links
Want to see what I mean? Take your website’s URL and run it through Backlink Watch, Open Site Explorer, & SEO Spyglass. No tool will find all of your links, but you’ll find that SEO Spyglass reveals way more links than other tools.
Before I continue, you should know that you get unlimited use with the free trial which you can download here.
SEO Spyglass will find a large percentage of any site’s backlinks and also analyze each of the links for you. The program returns data on every link such as:
- Page Title
- Anchor Text
This data will help you understand exactly how another site is ranking. You can find out what they’re using in their anchor text, what types of links they’re getting, how many links they have, etc.
So you can find backlinks, woot, but how is this useful? Here are a couple ways I use the software to perform better in the search engines.
1) Backlinks Arbitrage
Here’s a common scenario: you’re trying to rank for a keyword and you’re not #1. The good news is that somebody has to be #1, and they are a backlink goldmine for the savvy SEO.
You can run their site through Spyglass to find and analyze their links. The next step is to start copying. Some links like blog comment links can be copied in just seconds. When you get the same links as them you’re essentially canceling their advantage.
2) Competitive Analysis
You’ve got a keyword you think could be a winner, but you need to gauge the competition in the SERPs. The quick and dirty method is to check for any major authority sites, and run over some other basic metrics for the top sites like PageRank, number of pages, Alexa ranking, etc.
When you’re ready to really get into your analysis, you can run each of the top sites through SEO Spyglass. This will give you a much better picture of what it takes to rank and you’ll save countless hours and dollars from avoiding some niches and entering the right ones.
3) Finding Link Opportunities
You can literally run any site in your niche through SEO Spyglass and find tons of new link opportunities. When you know where everyone is getting their links, it becomes easy to build them on your own.
Just so you know, I used the free version for months. I got the full version primarily so I could save reports, and also surpass the 1,100 link limit. Overall, it’s one of my favorite SEO tools of all time.