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Ahrefs Review: "Large Web Index, Good for Backlink Research"
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April 26, 2014

Ahrefs Review: "Large Web Index, Good for Backlink Research"

Score 7 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Ahrefs Site Explorer

Ahrefs Site Explorer is being used primarily by the SEO department to monitor and track backlinks for client and competitor websites. Ahrefs' web crawler provides a large amount of data including new/lost links, referring domains, and anchor text distribution to identify gaps or red flags for a website's inbound links. This large dataset is especially useful for off-site SEO audits, competitor analysis, and backlink cleanup.
  • Large data set of inbound links across a seemingly infinite set of websites and pages.
  • Intuitive interface and dashboard data that can be exported to a spreadsheet.
  • New/Lost link lists are typically inaccurate, making it hard to identify real trends vs. links that have just been discovered by Ahrefs.
  • Window for analysis of New/Lost links is limited, making it hard to discover historical trends within the online interface.
  • Ahrefs makes it easy to identify gaps for new-business pitches
  • Ahrefs has increased efficiency with competitor analysis.
  • Majestic SEO,Moz
Each of these tools has advantages over the other. Ahrefs link counts are often considerably higher than Moz or Majestic, which could be indicative of a larger web index or inaccuracy in filtering old links. Ultimately, we use all of these tools to be able to take advantage of the different proprietary analysis modules that they each offer.
Ahrefs recently became more expensive. While they offer a large web index of backlinks, some of the modules of analysis available in similar tools make them a better value in many respects. Ahrefs continues to update their interface, but the accuracy of link counts and new/lost data modules calls into question the validity of the provided information.
Ahrefs gives a good snapshot of inbound links, and has an incredibly large web index. This makes for quick identification of trends, but inaccuracy must always be considered within such a large dataset. When comparing other backlink tools, it's important to look into their process of discovering and indexing links to ensure that you get the most accurate picture for decision-making and strategy. In comparision to most other tools, Ahrefs link counts usually seem drastically inflated.

Using Ahrefs Site Explorer

Ahrefs is very easy to use - you can jump right in and understand most of the assets. Overall, the dashboard snapshots give a very good picture of inbound link activity. For deeper analysis of historical trends, the system can become cumbersome, making it hard to do full work without exporting and reformatting the data.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
Not well integrated
  • Backlink volume/rate analysis
  • Anchor text distribution analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • New/lost link identification
  • in-depth link analysis