The backlink checker and backlink reporter are popular, like minded SEO tools separated only by nuance. However, those distinctions make a tremendous difference in both the effect and efficiency of your efforts.
A backlink checker is a basic SEO tool. Most are simply primitive dashboards and essentially clones of one another. To use them, you provide a website URL and then it uses that information as the seed for the backlink-checking service built into most search engines.
The result, in most cases, is a list of websites and a pair of numbers how to add backlinks to your website. The numbers are reference counts. The page count indicates the number of pages that reference the URL. The second number is an inlink count, which indicates the total number of times the pages in the index reference that URL.
Rather than use a crude backlink checking tool, you can also access this information directly through the search engines using the link operator in the query: link:URL. The issue with both of these techniques is that the information is unreliable.
You can see this fickleness in action by submitting the seed URL with and without protocol and server information. For instance, yourwebsite.com returns different results when you include or exclude www. or http:// in the request.
As the SEO needs and link control of the modern website expanded, this simple and unreliable approach was no longer enough. Enter the backlink reporter. At its core, the reporter is still very much the checker as described above but it also contains a number of measures that allow it to overcome the deficiencies.
Most backlink checkers are standalone applications. Most backlink reporters, on the other hand, are services. That’s because advanced backlink processing is often CPU and storage intensive. By placing the demand on the server, the reporter is able to perform sophisticated backlink processing without limitation from the local environment.
But off-site doesn’t mean hands-off. In fact, one of the backlink reporter’s most powerful features is the ability for you to add links manually. This allows those links to be part of the loop well before the big search engines, like Bing, Google and Yahoo, have even identified them.
All the additional processing and storage power that comes with a backlink reporter allows for some nifty capabilities, such as monitoring and tracking your inbound links. Link tracking tools are truly invaluable when you realize the monetary value of your link building campaign; sponsored links, sponsored reviews become realistically “Guaranteed” for backlinks or content hosting since a backlink reporter allow you to verify that those items persist for the life of the agreement.
The traditional backlink checker couldn’t do that. The link in question would simply fall out of the list and when and if you ever thought of the agreement again you’d have to verify it manually. Other information that a reporter provides but a checker cannot includes NoFollow notification, PageRank, date and timestamps, billing info, and even contact information. These features along with the ability to check and transfer links from the checker to the reporters data base makes it a more robust resource.