If I Could Only Use One, Which Would It Be?
The short of it is that Ahrefs has a lot more features, but lacks one or two valuable features that Majestic offers. Additionally, Majestic has a much cleaner interface, making it easier to use for a beginner. However, if I had to pick one over the other, I would go with Ahrefs. That said, which tool is better for the average SEO or content marketer.
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 explorer to see what content is performing well on a specific website
- An audit tool to see if there are any technical problems within the site, such as:
- Broken links
- Broken redirects
- Missing title tags or metadescriptions
- Missing alt tags
- all kinds of random stuff that loves to pop up right when you’re busiest
- A keyword explorer to help identify long tail keywords to create content around
- A bulk backlink checker
- A domain comparison tool
- A crawler to find broken internal links or any other technical problems
What Majestic Does Very Well
Comparatively speaking, both Majestic and Ahrefs are good at finding backlinks. Both tools leave Moz in the dust, usually finding three to four times the number of links that Moz’s Open Site Explorer finds. 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 that Moz’s Domain Authority. There are features that Majestic excels at, however.
CHECK OUT MY ARTICLE THAT TALKS ABOUT HOW TO READ AHREFS AND MAJESTIC METRICS
TOPICAL TRUST FLOW
A 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, it is unlikely 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. 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.
What Ahrefs Does Very Well
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).
Majestic doesn’t have any features to help you come up with a content plan. 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.
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.
While it is as easily manipulated as Majestic’s TF, I find Ahrefs a little more reliable.
If You Can Afford It, Get Both
While there is a lot of overlap in the features of the two tools (features that I don’t get into in this post) there are a number of unique features that can prove very valuable to an SEO. If you can swing it financially, it is well worth it to get both of them.