Majestic vs. Moz’s Link Explorer – Which Is Better for Linkbuilding?

Majestic SEO vs. Moz’s New Link Explorer – Battle of the Backlink Analysis Tools

Majestic SEO and Moz Link Explorer find about the same number of links now

Until it rolled out its new “Link Explorer” in April of 2018, Moz was virtually useless as a backlink analysis tool.  Its index was a fraction of the size of that of Majestic, but that has since been remedied. The new “Link Explorer” has a massive index—Moz founder Rand Fishkin claims that the index is 20x larger than its predecessor, Open Site Explorer.  I’ve had a week to compare it to my other tools and I’m impressed with the size of the index.  Typically, Moz’s new tool is finding as many or more links than any other backlink tool I’ve worked with.

Backlink Analysis Shootout!

I’ve compared the two tools with a few of my clients’ sites to see how many links they found.  Here are some screenshots:

Site A

Majestic:

majestic metrics Dentist

Moz:

screenshot of moz link data for dentist website

Moz actually found 4 more linking domains than Majestic.  I never thought I’d see the day.

Site B

Majestic:

screenshot of majestic metrics for contractor

Moz:

screenshot of moz metrics for contractor

Moz won in this case as well, finding 36 linking domains to Majestic’s 34.

Site C

Majestic:

majestic screenshot of legal niche website metrics

Moz:

new moz link explorer screenshot of legal niche website metrics

Moz found more linking domains in this case too.

CAN YOU FINALLY RELY ON MOZ LINK EXPLORER FOR BACKLINK RESEARCH?

Absolutely.  If you’re trying to find where a competitor is acquiring links, this tool will help you just as well as Majestic’s.  The one feature that Majestic offers that Moz lacks is the topical trust flow, which lets you know what each linking website’s niche is.  I’ve heard conflicting accounts of whether the topic of a linking website matters or not, but I would prefer to play it safe and only reach out to blogs that are in my niche.  With Majestic, it’s a little faster to tell whether a link is coming from a relevant site, but this is a minor feature.

Majestic is a lot less forgiving when it comes to spam

One of our client’s competitors has a backlink profile that is almost entire spam comments.  The site has roughly 2 million links like this one, which we found on a blog about Mercedes Benz:

spam comments

This site should set off every alarm when its URL is placed into an SEO tool.  Let’s see what we see with Majestic:

Majestic rating of site with spam backlinks

This site has a very low trust flow and a 1 to 6 TF to CF ratio, which indicates a spammy backlink profile.  Without even looking at the backlinks pointing to this site, I can say pretty confidently that this site has a lot of spammy links. (click here to learn about Majestic TF and CF)

What does Moz find for the same site?

Moz screenshot of spammy site

According to Moz, this is a fairly authoritative website, with a DA of 52.  The “spam score” is only a 2 of 17, despite the 2,000,000+ spam blog comments pointing to the site.  In this case, Moz really falls short.

 

Ultimately, Majestic provides more of the information that you need to perform backlink research, but it is still just a tool.

As I’ve written in past posts, these tools are all like the blind men feeling the elephant.  Moz Link Explorer, Ahrefs, Majestic, Spyfu, SEM Rush, and all of the other tools are measuring just a part of what is going on with a site.  None of these tools have the click data that we are sure influence rank, none of them factor the historical data of the website, and none are able to measure things like page speed or user experience.  These tools are valuable when looking for opportunities to build links, to create content, or to try to break down a competitor’s online strategy.  They are also hit or miss when it comes to identifying websites that are engaging in spam, with Majestic being the most reliable in that regard.  Ultimately, they all occasionally fall short when it comes to trying to determine why is a specific site ranking as well as it does, so it’s nice to have a number of tools available when doing backlink research.

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