The 1 Million Domain Test – Ahrefs vs Majestic SEO [Huge Update]

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HUGE UPDATE! I ran 1 million domains through Ahrefs, SEMRush, Moz, Majestic & SEO Spyglass to find out who really is the best backlink checker.

Back in 2013, I conducted an experiment to see which is the best link checker.

Long story short, Ahrefs won…

Ahrefs vs Majestic 3 domain test results

This really upset the Majestic team at the time and sparked a lot of controversy, but they did make some valid points-

  1. The test was done with 3 of my personal sites I would not disclose
  2. That makes the entire test biased in Majestic’s opinion
  3. The data set was very small with just 3 sites analysed and compared
  4. The results could not be independently verified

And they were right!

So then re-conducted the experiment on an altogether BIGGER scale (1 million domains vs. the original 3). Ahrefs won again.

best backlink checker 2013 chart

Now it’s many years later.

So I thought it would make sense to re-run the numbers this year for all 1 million domains AND compare the functionality of the tools.


I’m also going to reveal how Majestic essential cheat on backlink counts (you won’t believe this one!)

Ahrefs vs. Majestic SEO – Huge New Update

Before we get to the experiment, let me talk about my data source.

For those that don’t know, the Majestic team publish what is called the Majestic Million.

The Majestic Million is a list of the top 1 million website in the world, based on the number of referring IP’s found for that domain in their Fresh index.

The Majestic Million

So with this, Majestic SEO are outright telling us these are the sites they know the most about in terms of backlinks.

You can download a copy for yourself free of charge and it will tell you the total number of linking subnets (RefSubNets) and the total number of linking IPs (RefIPs) for each domain in the top million.

To compare Majestic SEO with Ahrefs, I’m going to look up the total number of linking subnets and IP’s for all of the domains in the Majestic Million.

To give you an example with this blog-

  • Majestic SEO – This report shows 3,533 IP’s & 2,475 subnets
  • Ahrefs – This report shows 3,214 IP’s & 2,438 subnets

ahrefs vs majestic - number of backlinks to my blog

So in that specific instance, Majestic wins the test.


Now imagine doing the same – but for 1 million sites.

That is the test I have done based on what Majestic say are the top 1 million sites in the world in terms of links.

This is what the CSV data looks like in its raw form-

majestic million csv data

And you can download a copy of the data that is used in this test.

The Results

Before I get to the results, I need to mention that both Majestic and Ahrefs maintain multiple indexes.

Majestic have two indexes: Fresh and Historic indexes.

Ahrefs have three: Live, Recent, and Historical.

You can learn more about these indexes here.

But for the sake of this article, I’ll be comparing the following indexes:

  1. Majestic’s Fresh index vs. Ahrefs’ Recent index
  2. Majestic’s Historic index vs. Ahrefs’ Historical index

Majestic Fresh Versus Ahrefs Recent Index

Let’s start with a comparison of the Fresh vs. Recent index.

With such a huge amount of data, I decided to split the results into 10 groups of 100,000 URLs (by Majestic GlobalRank) and then compare those groups.

This is what the group numbers look like (refer to by_groups.csv in the data pack)–

GlobalRank Ahrefs Wins (IP) Majestic Wins (IP) Ahrefs Wins (Subnet) Majestic Wins (Subnet)
1-100,000 85,228 14,762 86,095 13,896
100,001-200,000 69,953 30,029 72,114 27,860
200,001-300,000 74,074 25,902 77,035 22,928
300,001-400,000 78,264 21,709 82,075 17,904
400,001-500,000 74,708 25,264 79,389 20,582
500,001-600,000 66,252 33,710 71,124 28,846
600,001-700,000 75,530 24,427 81,426 18,512
700,001-800,000 76,733 23,221 81,346 18,583
800,001-900,000 79,243 20,705 85,624 14,279
900,001-1,000,000 79,261 20,687 85,696 14,187

Just looks like a bunch of meaningless numbers right?

What about now-

Wins By IP Address (Majestic Fresh vs. Ahrefs Recent)

Wins By IP Address - Majestic Fresh vs Ahrefs Recent

Wins By Subnets (Majestic Fresh vs. Ahrefs Recent)


Pretty brutal to look at if you are a current Majestic SEO customer right?

Now might be the right time to switch to Ahrefs – click here to claim a 7-day trial account.

But before you do let’s look at the totals-

Total Wins – Majestic Fresh vs Ahrefs Recent

Total Wins: Majestic Fresh vs Ahrefs Recent

It’s worth noting that Ahrefs has actually pulled even further ahead of Majestic (by ~7% for IP wins, and ~11% for subnet wins) since 2013. Which is when I first ran this experiment.

So those are the results of the Majestic Fresh vs. Ahrefs Recent index comparison, but what about Majestic’s Historic vs. Ahrefs’ Historical?

Majestic Historic Versus Ahrefs Historical Index

This test is particulary interesting because-


It presents an altogether different story.

GlobalRank Ahrefs Wins (IP) Majestic Wins (IP) Ahrefs Wins (Subnet) Majestic Wins (Subnet)
1-100,000 15,424 84,555 14,789 85,187
100,001-200,000 20,320 79,606 19,873 80,047
200,001-300,000 18,081 81,855 17,613 82,309
300,001-400,000 13,645 86,317 13,177 86,770
400,001-500,000 11,990 87,976 11,675 88,275
500,001-600,000 9,186 90,778 8,973 90,976
600,001-700,000 11,219 88,674 11,003 88,870
700,001-800,000 11,167 88,627 9,120 90,819
800,001-900,000 10,515 89,433 9,857 90,036
900,001-1,000,000 10,796 89,139 10,346 89,580

I think the results become super clear when displayed in graph format:

Wins By IP Address (Majestic Historical vs. Ahrefs Historical)

Wins By IP Address - Majestic Historical vs Ahrefs Historical

Wins By Subnets (Majestic Historical vs. Ahrefs Historical)

Wins By Subnet - Majestic Historical vs Ahrefs Historical

Based on this data, Majestic absolutely crush Ahrefs when it comes to the historical index test.

This is even more apparent if we look at the totals-


So, Majestic clearly wins the historic index comparison.

But what does this really mean?

Well, historic indexes serve as records of the backlinks that have existed in their respective tools index at some point in the past, but aren’t live today.

When you take this into account, it comes as no surprise that Majestic won this test.

They’ve been saving (probably) links to their Historic index since they launched in 2009.

Ahrefs, on the other hand, has only been saving dead links to their Historical index since 2015, so Majestic has a 6 year head start here!

Bottomline: Majestic has a larger index of dead links than Ahrefs.

That’s all I’m going to say about that one.

I’ll let you decide which index is more important to you.

Want me to rank your site?

A Few Potential Flaws with this Experiment

My methodology for this experiment is far from perfect.

So I thought I’d briefly explain what I see as some potential flaws with this data.

Flaw #1 – “Wins” != Absolute Numbers

The graphs above show the number of “wins” rather than absolute numbers.

Because of this, the difference between the bars on the graphs is not really indicative of index size.

I’ll try to illustrate what I mean with an example:

Let’s say we have two sites:

  • Site A: 100 Ref.IPs (reported in Majestic); 101 Ref.IPs (reported in Ahrefs)
  • Site B: 100 Ref.IPs (reported in Majestic); 200000 Ref.IPs (reported in Ahrefs)

(Yes, it’s an extreme example, but bare with me!)

Ahrefs “wins” for both of these sites, but it’s clear that there’s a much larger difference between reported numbers from each tool for Site B.

With Site A, Ahrefs only wins because they report one extra Ref.IP.

This means that the “number of wins” doesn’t give any insight into how much bigger one database is than the other.

So what does “number of wins” tell us?

It tells us that Ahrefs finds more links for any given website than Majestic, and that it’s rare for Majestic to show links than Ahrefs (links = IPs/Subnets).

FYI, if you’re wondering why I chose to compare IPs/Subnets over links, check out this article co-authored by Dixon Jones from Majestic.

Flaw #2 – Each Tool Picks Up Different Links

It’s important to remember that we’re dealing with two totally different indexes here.

Which means that some links that Majestic reports may not exist in Ahrefs’ Index, and vice-versa.

Once again, let me offer an example.

This time we only need one hypothetical site, for which we’ll assume that both Ahrefs and Majestic report the same number of links: 3.

Here are the three hypothetical links reported by each tool:

Ahrefs Majestic

Do you see my point?

Just because we have the same number of reported links from each tool doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the same links.

You can see in our hypothetical example that only two of the links are common to both indexes.

This brings me on to an important point:

If you desperately need a full picture of your link profile, you’ll have to pay for both tools and cross-reference data.


And this is a BIG BUT!

Even if you do that you need to understand that Majestic’s backlink stats are almost always inflated.


Because of the absolutely absurd way Majestic count and report backlinks.

I am going to talk about that more in the next section, but seriously – make sure you are sitting down for this one because I am going to show you how Majestic essentially cheats on backlink counts.

Ahrefs VS Majestic: Comparing Features & Functionality

Now we’ve talked about backlink data and whatnot, I want to make an important point:

Majestic and Ahrefs are VERY different tools.

Majestic is essentially one tool: a backlink checker.

But Ahrefs is a suite of tools. Alongside Site Explorer (for checking backlink data), they also have:

Another big differentiator is the addition of “Competitive intelligence” in Ahrefs, which is basically search traffic data.

Ahrefs organic search traffic over time

In other words, you can see how much traffic any domain or website receives from Google, and the keywords it ranks for.

See my full Ahrefs review and my Ahrefsbot blog post.

How Majestic Cheat On Backlink Counts

But let’s get back to backlink data for a moment…

It’s important to realise that index size means nothing unless you’re able to extract actionable data and insights from it.

Both Majestic and Ahrefs do have an API for doing this at scale (this is what I used for this study), but most of us don’t pay for access to that.

So, let’s quickly compare the on-site backlink research features that exist in Ahrefs and Majestic.

Let’s start by plugging this same URL (the beginners guide to SEO from Moz) into both tools to see what kind of insights we can get from them.

ahrefs moz beginners guide to seo 1

majestic moz beginners guide to seo

NOTE. I’m using the “exact URL” setting, because I only want to analyze backlinks pointing directly at that URL.

A few comparable metrics right off the bat:

  • Backlinks: 628,437 (Majestic) vs. 111,000 (Ahrefs)
  • Referring domains: 1,840 (Majestic) vs. 11,300 (Ahrefs)

So Majestic reports more backlinks in total, but Ahrefs reports (a lot) more referring domains.

That’s a win for Majestic, right?

Not so fast.

(This is something I really feel the need to highlight!)

Majestic’s backlink stats are almost always inflated because of the absolutely absurd way they report backlinks.

Let me illustrate by going to the Referring Domains tab in Majestic.

majestic referring domains backlinks crazy

Majestic is reporting 370K+ backlinks from just one referring domain.

That accounts for nearly 60% of all reported backlinks!

Let’s see how many backlinks Ahrefs reports from this domain-

4 backlinks ahrefs

Just 4!

So why does Majestic report 373,004 backlinks from that domain while Ahrefs only reports 4?

This happens because Majestic fail to strip URL parameters from URLs, which results in the same backlink being duplicated hundreds, sometimes even thousands of times.

majestic backlink madness

This also happens when you export the data from Majestic.

Take a look at this backlink export from my blog and you’ll see that is linking to me nearly 700,000 times-

majestic link report

But when we export the data and look at the links, you’ll see they are mostly duplicate links with different UTM parameters on the end-

duplicate links

For example Majestic counts the below as 4 separate backlinks-


But the reality is they are just one backlink – but Majestic is reporting them as 4.

In my opinion, this is total madness.

Especially when the vast majority of the 700,000 links coming from are duplicates.

Ahref’s on the other hand, only counts 17 links-

ahrefs backlink count


Because Ahrefs understands that those additional URL parameters do not make them all unique links so filter them out accordingly.

Here’s Another Mad Thing!

If you go from the Summary page in Majestic to their Ref.Domains and Backlinks reports, you’ll notice that the total numbers of and backlinks that you just saw on that “Summary” page now completely disappear.

That’s because these reports are limited to 30k rows of data – 600 pages, 50 results per page.

This makes every report in Majestic somewhat useless because you can only see a sample of the data!

Sure you can view the first 30,000 rows – but after that, they cut you off.

majestic data limits

That is a huge limitation and I feel like it really goes against the grain of Majestic’s core mission.

What’s the point of building a huge database of links if you are going to limit access to it?

first 30000 rows

It’s the same when you try to export this data too – it defaults to a max of 30K rows.

However you can export more than 30k rows if you request an “advanced report” by clicking the tiny link highlighted in the screenshot below:

advanced report majestic

But even when you click this, you’re taken to quite a puzzling page where you seemingly have to tick a bunch of boxes in order to do what you want to do.

So bottomline-

  • You can export more than 30K rows from Majestic – it’s just not a fun experience
  • All of Majestics reports are useless if you are working on a site that has more than 30,000 backlinks
  • And thats assuming the backlink numbers arent inflated, it could have 4 links but Majestic counts 370K+

In comparison, Ahrefs shows full data in both their Ref.Domains and Backlinks reports.

And exporting FULL DATA is super easy – just hit the “export” button.

Much nicer!

However, one downside of this is that reports sometimes load slower in Ahrefs than Majestic, especially when analysing big sites.

This is because Ahrefs has to work to pull all data, whereas Majestic just has to show a cached sample of 30K pages/

To be honest:

Any further comparison here makes no sense because Majestic’s on-site tools only works with a sample of data whereas Ahrefs lets you work with FULL data.

However, I do want to compare and highlight a few things in these reports.

But first, I want to talk a bit about indexes.

Majestic Indexes vs Ahrefs Indexes – What Do They Mean?

So you may have noticed that Majestic has two different indexes for you to choose from, while Ahrefs has three.

  • Majestic: Fresh, Historic
  • Ahrefs: Live, Recent, and Historical

You may have noticed in the screenshots above that Majestic defaults to their Fresh index, whereas Ahrefs defaults to their Live index.

Let me try to explain the deal with all of these indexes.

Ahrefs Indexes Explained

So Ahrefs Live index is updated every 15 minutes, and I know they put a lot of effort into re-crawling all links in their Live index pretty regularly.

But as Ahrefs recrawls links, they naturally come across some that are no longer there.

Like, sometimes the page will still be live, but the link will be gone. Or maybe the actual linking page can no longer be found.

In this case, Ahrefs removes the link from their Live index, but it remains in their Recent index, where this backlink stays for 90 more days. Quite often the pages disappear because of server downtime, so when Ahrefs next re-crawls the page, they may see that the link is still there.

If this happens, it gets moved back to the Live index.

If Ahrefs don’t see the link going live again within 90 days of it being moved to the Recent Index, it gets moved to the Historical index. This is basically a graveyard for all backlinks that they’ve once seen as live, but the subsequent recrawls confirmed their death.

ahrefs indexes explained

To summarise (for Ahrefs):

  • Live = All links that were live during the most recent re-crawl
  • Recent = Live + links that were “lost” within the past 90 days
  • Historical = Live + Recent + all links that were ever seen to be “live”

Majestic Indexes Explained

Unlike Ahrefs, they don’t maintain a Live index. They only have their Fresh index, which is kind of the same as Ahrefs’ Recent index as it contains all links that were seen live in the last 90 days, regardless of their status at the present moment.

They also have their Historic Index, which is comparable to Ahrefs Historical index. However, it is vastly bigger than Ahrefs’ Historic index because they started saving deleted links years before Ahrefs did.

majestic indexes explained

To summarise (for Majestic):

  • Fresh = All links that were seen as live during the past 90 days
  • Historic = Fresh + all links that were ever seen to be live

Having used both tools on and off for a good few years, I know that Ahrefs only started adding links to their Historic index around mid-2015, whereas I’d say Majestic has been doing that for at least 5 years.

That’s exactly why Majestic’s is bigger right now.

Either way, these tools historic indexes are essentially graveyard of links, so most of the links in both Majestic and Ahrefs Historic indexes are no longer live.

But anyway, now we’ve tackled the technicalities, I can move on to some features.

Before I do that, I want to stress something:

I much prefer Ahrefs over Majestic.

So most of the stuff I discuss below will be reasons why that is the case.

But let’s start with a brief comparison of the summary/overview reports in Ahrefs and Majestic.

Summary / Overview Report Comparison

To start, I’ll highlight a couple of super useful graphs that I absolutely love on the Overview tab in Ahrefs Site Explorer: Referring Domains and Organic Traffic.

These show how the number of referring domains and amount of organic traffic has changed to a site (or URL) over time.

Here’s the referring domains graph:

referring domains

Here’s the organic search traffic one:

organic traffic graph

Unfortunately, Majestic have no such graph for backlink data, and they don’t have any data on search traffic at all.

They do show you two graphs that they call “URL backlink history” and “Referring domains” – but these are entirely different.

majestic graph 1

majestic graph 2

In Majestic’s own words, these charts show “the number of Referring Domains [or backlinks] reviewed every day.”

So this graph mostly refers to how fast Majestic crawls the web, rather than showing how fast your target acquired backlinks.

As a result, these graphs don’t tell you anything about how a target’s backlink profile has changed over time, so I don’t really understand why they’re useful.

If anyone does happen to have a good use case, feel free to let me know in the comments!

And it’s also an image, it’s not an interactive graph. So I can’t hover my mouse over a specific date and get the precise number, like I can in Ahrefs.

As for the other numbers that you can see in Ahrefs “Overview” report and in Majestic “Summary” report, they’re more or less comparable.

Pretty standard stuff, no striking differences there.

I’d say the only major difference is the fact that each tool shows their proprietary metrics.

In Majestic’s case, these are TF/CF.

And in Ahrefs these are UR/DR.

Comparing them is a different story, so I’m not even going to attempt that but I do use both sets of metrics to evaluate expired domains/aged doamins.

Let’s move on to the referring domains reports.

Comparing Referring Domain Reports

Majestic has quite a few data points in their report, so they had to introduce a few different views.

Here’s the one they default to: Links.

majestic ref domains data

For me, the most useful data points here are:

  • Trust Flow / Citation Flow
  • Backlinks
  • Referring domains

I think it’s really cool how they include the number of and backlinks to each ref.domain – that’s something Ahrefs doesn’t do.

I also like their Geo report.

majestic geo report

This shows things like the domain language(s), TLD, IP, IP location (cool!), TF/CF.

In fact, a lot of these reports are quite cool – I recommend playing around with them.

But what about filtering and sorting options?

Unfortunately, these don’t really exist (I guess their different reports kind of count of filters?) but they do have “Order by” and “Then” sorting options, which are quite confusing.

majestic sorting filters

I think the biggest letdown here is that many of these reports end up being kind of pointless, simply due to the fact that Majestic only lets you work with sample data.

Sure, you have 30K rows to play with, which admittedly is plenty for most sites. But for some sites it just doesn’t cut it.

Here’s another thing:

Although Majestic have a column with a number showing the number backlinks, they don’t differentiate between dofollow and nofollow links.

This means it’s only possible to sort by the number of backlinks from a ref.domain – you can’t sort by the referring domains with the most dofollow backlinks, for example.

Ahrefs, on the other hand, absolutely shines when it comes to filtering and sorting.

For a start, there’s a column highlighting dofollow/nofollow links, and it’s easy to sort a list of referring domains by that metric.

dofollow ahrefs ref domains

And once again, Ahrefs will sort the entire list of – not just a sample of the data like in Majestic.

Here’s another notable feature Ahrefs has in this report:

You can easily filter referring domains by the backlink type, and can instantly see how many referring domains of each type there is.

ahrefs filter by backlink type

So if you want to export dofollow only, simply filter and click export. Easy as that.

Back to Majestic, it looks like the domain with the most backlinks to this Moz guide is

ryangum moz backlinks

It has almost 378K backlinks. Let’s click on that number and see what they are.

Aaaannnndddd… I see only 10.


It’s a completely different story in Ahrefs, as they show everything – it’s even downloadable.

And again, I’ll reiterate the point I touched on earlier – some of the backlink numbers are absolutely crazy in Majestic thanks to the duplicated backlinks with URL parameters.

Case in point:

  • Majestic shows 376K backlinks
  • Ahrefs shows 4 backlinks

(I guess Majestic doesn’t care about URL parameters?)

But anyway… let’s move on.

Ahrefs vs Majestic Backlink Reports

Let’s start with Majestic.

In the report, there was at least some sorting options – here there are none.

Majestic no filters

All they give you is option to show/hide deleted links and display 1/3/10/all backlinks per domain.

I can see how one backlink per domain is useful, but three and ten… c’mon!

It almost feels like someone was desperate to come up with some kind of useful functionality here, but failed miserably.

Regardless, none of these restrictions matter anyway because this report (like the rest) only shows a sample of 30k rows out of almost 100k. That means Majestic are hiding 70% of the links they know about from you.

Luckily, things are more logical in Ahrefs.

First things first, their Backlinks report doesn’t show sampled data – it’s full data.

You can also choose to show either Similar links, One link per domain, or All links.

ahrefs backlink filters

This report defaults to Group similar links. This makes sense, as it groups sitewide and duplicated links, but still shows unique links from unique pages of the same domain. Which is pretty cool.

Is this report perfect? No. I’ve seen a few bugs here and there, but the usability and convenience of this filter still beats Majestic’s useless “3/10 links per domain” filter by a wide margin.

You probably already spotted those other filters too – Link type, Platform, and Language.

I recommend playing around with these – they’re really cool!

There are also some sorting options, including:

Combining sorting AND filtering is when you really start to do some cool stuff.

For example, you could filter by dofollow links only, from English sites only, and then sort by DR.

Ahrefs sort filtering

Seriously, play around this this report – you can do TONS.

Here’s one final report I want to briefly highlight (this one is specific to Ahrefs):

The Best Report That Majestic Doesn’t Have…

Ahrefs is MUCH MORE than just a backlink checking tool. They have world-class search traffic data too.

Yes, there are other tools have one of the two (e.g., Majestic with their backlink data) but Ahrefs does an amazing job of merging backlink and search traffic data together.

I don’t think there’s a better example of this than in their Top Pages report.

ahrefs top pages report

This shows the “top pages” on a domain by search traffic.

But this report is super cool because it also shows:

  • The percentage of all search traffic that goes to that page
  • Referring domains
  • Top keyword (the keyword that drives the most search traffic to that page)
  • The search volume for the top keyword
  • The current ranking position for the top keyword

There’s also a keywords dropdown which unveils ALL the keywords each page is ranking for.

Majestic has nothing like this, so there’s nothing to compare here.

Where Else Do These Tools Shine?

I mentioned earlier that Ahrefs is much more than a backlink checking tool.

It’s actually a suite of SEO tools.

Content Explorer is one tool I want to highlight here – this is a database of almost a billion web pages complete with backlinks and traffic data.

Basically, you enter a keyword and it’ll return any content containing (in either the title or body of the article, depending on your selection).

Here are the results for “SEO”:

Ahrefs content explorer

The highlighted region shows some of the cool data that Content Explorer shows for each and every results – there’s Domain Rating, referring domains, and organic traffic.

I’m not aware of any other tool that can do this and honestly, it’s super-useful! And let’s not forget the “who tweeted” button which is useful for any content marketers out there.

But what about Majestic? Where does that shine?

Well there are some cool things that I like, such as their Trust Flow and Citation Flow metrics.

Majestic trust flow and citation flow

If you’ve read my guide to finding expired domains, you’ll already know that I look at a ratio of these two metrics to find decent domains.

I’m also a fan of Majestic’s Topical Trust Flow metric, which is super useful for getting a sense of how relevant a backlink profile is.

Majestic topical trust flow

However, I’ve found that this isn’t always particularly accurate.

You can see in the screenshot above that (a website selling premium Wordpress themes including my theme) falls into the ‘Health’ category when looking at Topical Trust Flow.

That doesn’t seem right to me.

So as you can see, the tool that’s most useful for you will depend on the kind of data that you’re trying to access.

I have to be honest though:

For me, Ahrefs is my go-to tool for almost everything these days. I’d say Majestic does maybe 10-20% of what Ahrefs does, and that’s being generous!

Ahrefs VS Majestic SEO Conclusion

Irrespective of opinion, bias and discreditation – the data does not lie.

The data never lies, its why I love working with data so much. Want to settle which design is better? Test it.

Want to see which is the best backlink checker? Test it.

Data does not lie.

Ahrefs is clearly the winner here by a huge margin – a much larger margin than my initial test with just 3 domains highlighted.

ahrefs vs majestic results

In the Wins by IP test, Ahrefs finds 216% more than Majestic SEO. They are winning on ~76% of domains compared to Majestic SEO’s ~24%.

In the Wins by Subnets test, Ahrefs is also the clear winner finding 306% more links than Majestic SEO. They are winning on ~80% of domains compared to Majestic SEO’s ~20%.

So quite clearly, the best backlink checker is Ahrefs. PERIOD.

Even if the source data is Majestic SEO’s very own Majestic Million – Ahrefs still knows more about them than Majestic does.

Unless you only care about who has the biggest database of dead links of course.

And let’s not forget about all of the other awesome tools Ahrefs has – it is so much more than a backlink checker.

Take the hard work out of SEO

BONUS – How To Verify The Data For Yourself

In an effort to be unbiased and transparent, I have 2 seperate ways for you to independently verify the data yourself.

All of the data used in this test is available to download here.

Verification Method #1 – Easy

This is the easiest way to spot check the data.

  1. Download the source data
  2. Open the by_domains.csv file
  3. Select a line at random
  4. Enter the domain from column A into the search box at Majestic SEO and Ahrefs
  5. For Majestic SEO look at Referring IP addresses and Referring Class C subnets:
  6. For Ahrefs look at Referring IPs and Referring subnets

You can manually spot check these at random!

Verification Method #2 – Hard

What if you want to verify the data for all million domains though?

Well for that you will need a linux server with shell access, an Ahrefs API key and these files.

WARNING: Before you do this be aware that 1,000,000 API credits with Ahrefs costs $10,000.

For full transparency’s sake Ahrefs gave me an API key with 1,000,000 credits so I could run this test.

If any established bloggers want to confirm these results themselves and publish on their blog then please get in touch with me.

Anyway here is how to do it-

  1. Download this & you will find 2 files, get_stats.php and
  2. Open get_stats.php and update it with your Ahrefs API key on line 3
  3. Download the Majestic Million CSV
  4. Upload get_stats.php, & majestic_million.csv to your server
  5. Make sure all of the files are in the same folder
  6. Connect to your server with an SSH client and execute the script
  7. Wait a few hours
  8. This will output a file called by_domains.txt, rename to by_domains.csv

Wrapping It Up

Remember folks regardless of all of the controversy the data does not lie.

The simple fact is Ahrefs knows 216% more about Majestic SEO’s Majestic Million than they do (compared to 57% when I first ran this test in April 2013)

And if you haven’t checked out Ahrefs for a while you might be surprised, because it has evolved from a simple backlink checker to a complete SEO tool.

You can sign up for an Ahrefs account here to check it out for yourself.

And, if you’re on a budget and want to get more information about free tools, check out the Ahrefs Webmaster Tools as well as my free seo tools list.

Next time you see this topic in a forum – feel free to use this post to instantly win the argument.

What Are Your Thoughts?

886 Responses

  1. Thanks … this article is very useful.

    I using ahrefs and majestic….both have different results

  2. I’ve been with ahrefs from the very beginning. I can’t even imagine living without ahrefs. I like the fact that ahrefs is constantly evolving and keeps surprising me.

  3. Hi Matthew,Thanks for telling it the way it is in this review. The boys at Majestic might not appreciate it but it’s true, Ahrefs has a much better product especially with their 24 hour a day live chat for quick answers to all your questions. Ahrefs also has the advantage of having a ton of excellent Youtube training videos. The whole object of this software is digging the deepest to find all the new, broken and lost links and Ahrefs is it! Thanks again!

  4. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually understand what you’re talking about!Bookmarked. Please additionally talk over with my site =).We can have a link change contract between us

  5. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt,you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few folks are speaking intelligently about.I’m very happy I came across this during my hunt for something concerning this.

  6. Thank you for sharing good knowledge and information. It’s very helpful and understanding.. as we are looking for this information since long time.

  7. Another great post Wooders.I keep trying to ignore your posts so I can get some work done, but always end up reading all the way through 🙂

    1. Haha, well in that case you aren’t getting much done in the next month or so – got lots in the pipeline 🙂

  8. Definitely, Ahrefs is the way to go IMO…Lots of work for this article and I have bookmarked for use in the next discussion on what tool is better of the two! Thanks!

  9. Great info. Lucky me I found your website by chance (stumbleupon).I’ve saved it for later!

  10. Thank you for confirming what I have always suspected! I find it shocking that Majestic use parameter based URL’s within their analysis! As you mention though I always find it best to use a combination of backlink checkers depending on the task at hand but especially for when conducting a backlink audit for a disavow file. Thanks for the great article!

    1. No problem Alex! Yes I always use a couple of tools to get the most accurate data possible.

  11. It’s really amazing blog with very much helpful information about domain showdown, thank you so much for writing this blog here for us.

  12. Excellent post Matthew! I also like the Topical Trust Flow metric in Majestic but when it comes to the more accurate data Ahrefs wins. Cheers for clearing that up for us.

  13. Quality articles is the key to be a focus for the users to visit the site, that’s what this website is providing.

  14. nice comparison between ahrefs and majestic. Both tools are really effective to check out accurate web stats

  15. Hi Matt, with the usage of the tool over a long period in my view ahref wins. Was impressed by your insight content, thank you much.

  16. Your blogs are very useful here and especially with this blog, which provides this point information, I have received lots of help to read this blog post, please continue to share this kind of information.Thank you.

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