If asked, Matt Cutts would probably tell you that the best link building tools are found on your website. I agree, link bait and attractive features and content are a great way to get links to your site over time.
That being said, you need to start seeing results today and don’t have anyone on your team with the time or experience to create great content or downloads on the website. You also need to start getting links where your competitors have them, where they don’t, and from where they matter the most.
I use link building tools to help me identify where to get the best links, never to automate link building. Automated tools sometimes leave a footprint or a pattern of behavior that search engines can detect. You’re better off assigning someone on your team to spending no less than one hour per day acquiring quality backlinks from relevant and popular websites that will increase your ranking faster than content alone.
Below you’ll find a list of link building tools I use and/or recommend.
WordTracker Link Builder
This is the hottest new link building tool on the market. They currently offer a 7-day trial of Link Builder, so you can test-drive it before you buy it. What attracted me to the tool was the search features, such as the way they show you how to find important .edu backlink opportunities and to find out exactly where you competitors are getting links. See screenshots below.
Here is a screenshot of WordTracker’s Link Builder finding .edu opportunities:
SEOMoz Link Building Tools
Rand Fishkin and his group at SEOMoz.org have been building their link building programs for years and have an excellent list of tools to help you get more links to your website. One of my favorites is the Link Acquisition Assistant, which creates queries you can use to discover some great linking opportunities. They also offer a Juicy Link Finder and a Competitive Link Finder, with data sorted by what SEOMoz.org feels would be the most beneficial:
The results (click image to enlarge):
Other Tools for Building Links
I’ll be adding to this as I play around with other tools. Got one you’d like to share? Please let us know below.