Ahref vs Moz vs Majestic - Which is the best backlink comparison tool?

Backlink Analysis: Ahrefs vs MOZ vs Majestic – Which Is The Best Tool?

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One of the most powerful inquiry tools available to website owners today is backlink analysis. The reason why it’s such an important tool is because proper backlink analysis can help determine where traffic comes from when dealing with a competitor’s site. There are many routes we can take in our search for these tidbits of data, and in recent years three of these companies have stood head and shoulders above the competition: Ahrefs, MOZ and Majestic. These three giants of the backlink world can help us immensely to locate traffic hotspots and tap into them in order to leverage them to our own ends. However, none of these tools are cheap. Both Ahrefs and Moz will set you back almost $100 a month each for their “lite” versions, while Majestic is less expensive at $60 – all three offer different features and benefits, so this isn’t a like for like comparison. However, for the purposes of this blog, we are only interested in their ability to perform the kind of backlink analysis that will help us dominate the search engine rankings.

So which of these three, which performed the best in this respect? Our methodology was based on setting up a head-to-had competition to inspect how these tools compare to one another in locating backlinks.

Database size
12 Trillion

1,2 Trillion

1 Trillion
Starting Price
$ 99/mo

$ 49/mo

$ 99/mo
Number Results per an Exported Report
100K

5K

10K
At first blush it seems Ahrefs wins on both database size and number of exportable results. But will this play out in our test?

The Methodology of the Test

While in the wild we may not always be trying to figure out the backlinks belonging to our own site, for testing purposes it is very useful to use a site which we have the control data for. Google Search Console will give us an idea of the amount of links to our site which we will use as a benchmark to determine the overall incoming links, and from there we can determine which one of the backlink services give a better picture of the backlink profile of our own site. The site in question which we’re inspecting has a grand total of 498,947 links all told. This will be the benchmark for determining how well the backlink reports we get from our competitors are.

Competitor 1 – Ahrefs

Ahrefs backlink checker

Ahrefs is a well-known backlink analyzer that has been around for quite a while. They take advantage of unique and eye-catching visualizations and have some of the most user-friendly interfaces of any of the backlink checking sites. Taking a glimpse at the raw data, we can see that Ahrefs managed to catch a grand total of 41,895 total links, which adds up to 8.41% of the overall links associated with our test site. While their data analysis tools are very impressive, the data they do catch is small compared to the actual number of incoming links that exist.

Competitor 2 Majestic SEO

While nowhere near as flashy as Ahrefs, Majestic provides all the necessary data but none of the distractions. The streamlined site is actually quite professional in its look, and the tools that Majestic provides to analyze the data are pretty powerful in their own right. In the test we set up, majestic SEO managed to secure 30,412 links, which works out to 6.10% of the total backlink data involved in the site in question. Majestic’s numbers are not that great, and even worse when compared with Ahrefs.

Majestic Open Site Explorer

Competitor 3 – MOZ Open Site Explorer

A longtime contender, MOZ is a name many people associate with SEO. It’s no surprise that they are one of the more recognizable backlink checkers available to users on the market today. The thing that sets MOZ apart from the other two competitors is the sheer number of tools that the money you pay buys you. Additionally, MOZ offers a community of highly trained people alongside tools such as competitive backlink analysis that a company can use to further improve their traffic. In the example site, MOZ managed to pick up 31,999 links, working out to 6.41% of the site’s backlink profile. This is marginally more than Majestic, but still far short of Ahrefs.

Moz open site explorer

The Results

Clearly, by sheer number of links, Ahrefs wins the test by a landslide. When you look at the raw data, however, something is immediately apparent – none of these sites managed to get more than 10% of the test site’s backlink data all told. This is concerning since it means that, were this a competitor’s site, more than 90% of the data on the sites linking to them would still be undiscovered. While all of the backlink checkers we’ve used ended up with around the same volume of results, Ahrefs did manage to pick up a full 9000 more links than second place MOZ, but the sheer number of links discovered is only half the story.

Backlink Checker # Found % Found
Search Console Sample 98,831 19.81%
Ahrefs 41,985 8.41%
Majestic SEO 30,412 6.10%
SEOMoz 31,999 6.41%

The Conclusions

While Ahrefs placed first in their class for backlinks picked up, it should be noted that the price for maintaining an Ahrefs account is quite high for the handful of tools that they offer to the user. MOZ, while still not picking up as many links as Ahrefs, offers a similarly impressive output format while at the same time giving users access to tools that Ahrefs just can’t compete with, and for only a few dollars more on the subscription fees. Majestic, while making a gamely effort of it, simply can’t keep up with the other two. The best value for money for a user is most definitely MOZ, with Ahrefs offering better raw data, but not enough tools to use this raw data to our best advantage.

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