SEO Spyglass – Backlink Analysis
SEO Spyglass is a backlink analysis tool of considerable note – if you have read, or been told, that backlinks to your website are no longer important, think again. They are!
SEO Spyglass is part of a suite of tools published by Link-Assistant.com. It is available in 2 versions, Professional and Enterprise. The Professional version has pretty much the same facilities as the more expensive Enterprise version except the ability to export data and produce white-label reports which means that Enterprise is the way to go if you are working for clients.
Just in case you don’t know – backlinks are links made to your website by other websites. Sometimes you may have requested them, e.g. by taking a listing in a directory such as Yell.com, other times the owner of the other website may have linked to you because they think that your website content may be of interest to their readers.
That all sounds fine but there is a problem. For a while, quite a long while actually, Google would upgrade a website’s ranking based on the number of backlinks that it had, ignoring the source and quality of those links. The result? – many website owners took advantage of schemes where unscrupulous suppliers would set up low quality “link farms” purely for the purpose of selling backlinks and giving the recipient sites an unnatural boost to their “popularity” which resulted in those sites jumping up the rankings on Google and other search engine listings.
The difference between how things are now, and how they used to be, is that Google now only rewards you for having good backlinks and penalises you for having bad, (spammy) ones.
So how can you tell how many, and what kind of, backlinks you have?
It’s worth taking some time to get on top of your backlink profile so please download and check out our Free Backlinks Healthcheck Guide.
SEO Spyglass was the first backlink analysis and backlink profile tool that I ever purchased. There is a free version but I bought the “Business” edition in a sale that the publishers run from time to time and I’ve never regretted it.
My only niggle is that the jump in price from “Business” class to first class (Enterprise) is a steep one, from £94 up to £229 and all you really gain from that is the ability to export data and to create white-label reports. That, of course, is the problem because if you, like me, want to analyse your data in Excel or produce reports for clients then the upgrade is essential and, although the price is hefty, it’s an investment that you will probably have to make at some point.
What do I like best about SEO Spyglass? There’s lots to choose from, it really is a comprehensive package, but if I had to pick out one high point it would be the Link Penalty Risk metric that they calculate. This tells you which backlinks are likely to upset Google and lets you prepare a Disavow file for submission in order to try and minimise or eliminate the damage that can be done by spammy links.
All in all, SEO Spyglass is a superb tool, second only in my opinion to Majestic but at a fraction of the cost, (Majestic requires an ongoing monthly subscription but it is an excellent product, well worth the fee). If you are doing client work then bite the bullet and get Enterprise – you won’t regret it.