Ahrefs vs. Majestic SEO – A Review After 3 Years Using Both
Frank Olivo is the founder of Sagapixel. Frank is our resident authority on SEO and PPC advertising and is a frequent contributor to a number of blogs.
If I Had to Choose Between Ahrefs and Majestic, Which Would I Pick?
I have not found a tool that handles as many SEO tasks as well as Ahrefs, but it is more expensive than Majestic. If all that you need is a tool to check backlinks, you can save some money by using Majestic.
That said, SEO is much more than linkbuilding. Unless your role is simply to perform outreach for linkbuilding, you will benefit much more from a tool like Ahrefs than Majestic. It will allow you to handle virtually any task that an SEO would ever need to complete.
Personally, I have chosen Ahrefs as my tool for SEO and have cancelled my Majestic subscription.
What Does a Typical SEO or Content Marketer Need?
There are a few features that any SEO or content marketer needs in an SEO tool. Though it may be far from a comprehensive list, below are a few of the big ones:
A backlink tester that finds links and rates their quality accurately
A rank explorer to track the number and ranking of keywords of a specific site
A tool to measure the relevance of a website to the SEO’s website (links from a home improvement site to a web design site will not help as much as links from a site about CSS)
A content and keyword explorer to help identify new topics for a site’s blog
An audit tool to see if there are any technical problems within the site, such as:
Missing title tags or metadescriptions
Missing alt tags
All kinds of random stuff that loves to pop up right when you’re busiest
A bulk backlink checker
A domain comparison tool
A crawler to find broken internal links or any other technical problems
Out of this list, Ahrefs ticks off more boxes than Majestic.
What Majestic Does Very Well
Both Majestic and Ahrefs are excellent at finding backlinks. I’ve written posts with examples of how both of their indexes leave SEMrush in the dust, sometimes finding 50% more links than SEMrush. As a result, both are more reliable to measure the quality of links, making Ahrefs Domain Rank (DR) and Majestic’s Trust Flow (TF) much more reliable than SEMrush’s authority metrics. There are SEO tasks that Majestic excels at, however.
CHECK OUT MY ARTICLE THAT TALKS ABOUT HOW TO READ AHREFS AND MAJESTIC METRICS
SPOTTING SPAMMY DOMAINS
My experience has been that sites that engage in comment spamming and other spammy methods are less successful at manipulating Majestic than they are with Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz. Its TF/CF ratio is a valuable tool for identifying sites that have tons of low quality backlinks; according to the company, the ratio between the two should be no greater than 2:1 or 1:2.
Just as an example, this is a spammy site that loves comment spam:
It’s the 1:6 TF/CF is a red flag. Upon closer inspection, one can see immediately that it has spammed millions of comments like this:
On the other hand, Ahrefs rates this URL quite highly:
TOPICAL TRUST FLOW
A unique feature that Majestic offers is “topical trust flow.”
Basically, it does a rudimentary job of classifying the categories of the websites that are linking to another site. This is good because it gives a good idea of the relevancy of the links coming to a site.
For instance, if you are looking at site A that has a 5 links from sites focusing on 5 unrelated topics, some SEOs believe it may not help it to outperform another site that has 5 links from sites focused on relevant topics, even if the TF or CF is lower.
This is extremely valuable to grey hat and black hat SEOs that are vetting domains for a PBN, or someone doing backlink outreach; in either case, you want links from sites focused on topics related to your own.
First, any referral traffic that you are likely to receive will be more relevant if it comes from a relevant website. Second, Google knows that there’s no good reason for an online casino to link to a local painter. Even if that online casino may appear to have high numbers in your SEO tool, it’s unlikely to help Joe the Painter.
If you use shared hosting, you are on a server with a lot of other websites. LOTS of them.
Unfortunately, you are bound to have some bad neighbors on your server. If you are REALLY unlucky, you might be on a server loaded with porn, viagra sales, and steroids. Considering that you’re sharing an IP address with these sites, that’s not the best thing for your site, but you are likely to not even know. A unique feature that Majestic has is its neighborhood checker, which lets you take a look at the other sites that share an IP address with you and look for any red flags that may negatively impact your search performance. No other SEO tool offers this feature.
What Ahrefs Excels At
Ahrefs has features that focus on rank and traffic, something that Majestic is only beginning to roll out. It tracks keywords that a site is ranking for, along with estimated traffic and search volume. This is valuable in doing competitive analysis and determining how a site is generating organic traffic (ignore the paid search estimates, they are all WAY off).
Ahrefs is great for content planning, while Majestic doesn’t have any features to help with this crucial task.
Ahrefs has tools to identify content topics that a competitor has covered that you do not cover on your site. It also gives keyword difficulty (as is, the competitiveness to rank) and search volume estimates.
A feature that I particularly like a lot is the ability to filter content result by number of backlinks and domain rating. This is very helpful to identify topics that will be easier to rank for than topics that are already being covered by some of the Goliaths that you’re unlikely to outrank.
Its keyword planner is particularly useful and its filtering is particularly helpful in finding low competition long tail keywords that are likely to drive traffic.
You’ll be surprised at the topics that Ahrefs covers that are low competition:
We’ve identified a number of low competition keywords that reflect user intent in line with a divorce lawyer’s services. Now we can produce thorough, engaging content that is likely to rank and drive relevant traffic.
This is a feature that Majestic does not offer.
While it is nowhere nearly as powerful as Buzzsumo, Ahrefs does have some features that can help you identify Twitter influencers to reach out to and share content. I really like that the tool actually lists the number of followers of a person that tweeted an article.
As far as finding backlinks, Ahrefs, Majestic, and Moz’s new Link Explorer are all within an acceptable margin of error of one another. I haven’t seen a single study that has shown any one of them as clearly superior to the others.
All in All, is Ahrefs or Majestic Better for You?
If all that you need is a good, inexpensive link explorer, Majestic is likely the right fit for you.
Its Trust Flow/Citation Flow seems to be better than Ahrefs at picking up sites that engage in comment spam, forum links, and profile links. I also like its Topical Trust Flow feature, which is really helpful to spot relevant blogs for outreach.
If you need an all-in-one SEO tools, Ahrefs is the best on the market
SEO is a lot more than linkbuilding.
If you are creating content, monitoring search rank, and performing technical SEO audits in addition to doing link building, you should be using Ahrefs.
I have not found another tool on the market that performs more tasks as well as Ahrefs.
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