Ahrefs Review: The Best SEO Link Checker
Your Ahrefs Review (All SEO-ers Welcome)
A link checker tool like Ahrefs can have a big impact in the success of your SEO campaigns. Out of 250 factors, links continue to be Google’s top search engine optimization signal. If you need help analyzing links, creating a backlink strategy, or checking existing links, Ahrefs is the tool for you.
What Is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is a link checker tool, which is a fancy way of saying it looks at all of the inbound links to a websites.
Ahrefs has built their own specialized search tool that crawls 5 billion web pages daily. The site says that their data is refreshed every 30 minutes, making it about as up to the minute as you can get.
When you log into Ahrefs, you can track all aspects of your site’s linking strategy. Search for backlinks, and look into your competitor’s backlinks too. The tool also includes keyword data so you can do your keyword research on Ahrefs as well. It’s a lot of value for the money.
Site Explorer, the Big Picture
Ahrefs starts with Site Explorer. Site Explorer gives you the overall picture of a particular domain, beginning with Domain Rating and URL Ratings. These scores, similar to Moz and Majestic, are 0 to 100 and measure the authority of your website in comparison to others. It’s a great way to gauge how well you’re doing versus your competition.
When it comes to building a link profile for your site, it doesn’t get any better that Ahrefs. You can begin by examining the total backlinks, referring domains, referring IPs and subnets of any website. Among the details you can dive into include the Top Level Domains (TLDs), anchor text usage, DoFollow and NoFollow tags and the URL ratings distribution of all your backlinks.
The URL rating is important because it’s not about the quantity of backlinks. Today, Google cares more about quality and with Ahrefs you can analyze the value of each individual link and referring domain.
With so much data you’ll be happy to hear that reports ran through Site Explorer are saved in your History folder, and they’re accessible anytime.
Next up is the Content Explorer. When you use this tool, you can discover the most popular content on any given topic. The tool includes results by search traffic, as well as by backlinks and social shares.
The value of this part of Ahrefs cannot be understated for content marketers. It’s like being able to survey thousands and thousands of people and discovering their favorites websites, blog posts and other content on any given topic. Then, you create something bigger and better. When you see what’s popular for a given topic, you can piggyback on that idea and share your own original content to ride a popular trend and build backlinks.
The Domain Comparison functionality lets you review up to five different domains and look at their backlinks reports. Most often, Domain Comparison is helpful when you’re your analyzing your website to the competition. You can also look at link growth over time to see who is gaining the most backlinks and from where. If it’s not your website then you can use the Domain Comparison tool to find a list of websites to contact.
One of the great features of Ahrefs is the browser toolbar plugin. This is a download that you add to Chrome or Firefox. It lets you analyze any web page by clicking buttons on the toolbar while the web page is open in your browser. Instead of having to log into Ahrefs, add the information and run the reports, you can get an overview on your desktop.
The browser tool lets you looking at various social metrics like Facebook, Twitter and G+, analyze URL and domain ratings, and get a quick reference on referring domains. It’s a snapshot, with deeper insights available after you log into Ahrefs.
The site promises Keyword Research, Batch Reports, and other tools, but many have a “Work in Progress” sign up. It’s disappointing, because if Ahrefs adds a robust keyword tool, it’s going to blow the other SEO tools out of the water. Why pay for separate keyword research and link checking tools if one tool can give you both? The company could do well to add keyword research, particularly at the lower prices packages.
Like most SEO Tools, Ahrefs offers three-tiered pricing.
- Lite: The Lite tool is priced at $99 per month and includes five campaigns, 300 tracked keywords, and five million rows a month of keyword research. An average report, according to the site, is 800 rows, so that words out to plenty of reports each month, although of course it depends on individual report results.
- Standard: The Standard tool is $179 per month. It includes 15 campaigns, 1,000 tracked keywords, and 30 million rows per month.
- Advanced: The top level package costs $399 per month and gives you a whopping 40 campaigns, 5,000 tracked keywords, and 125 million rows per month.
Ahrefs claims that the Standard package is the best value. Like many online SEO tools, they do offer a free trial, although their free trial is a bit sneaky. You have to give them your credit card information in order to access the two week free trial, but you can cancel before the trial ends and they promise not to charge your card.
Most small businesses will find that the Lite or Standard packages offer plenty of power and data for the money. More serious Link Builders may wish to start with the Standard package and upgrade to Advanced if they find they run out of access.
Speaking of access to data, the idea of rows can be a little confusing. Think of your package like a checkbook, or a prepaid debit card. You’ve got money on your card, and every time you use your account, something is deducted. Each month after you pay the fee, you get your ‘row’ refilled. As you run reports or conduct searches, rows are deducted from your tally. It can be hard to manage your account if you’re not sure how many rows you are using but you can look at your account profile and billing information to find out. If you can’t figure out where to look, their online chat support center can help you.
Help and Resources
Ahref’s dashboard is easy for the novice to understand. There are many free tutorials, videos and walkthroughs on the site that show you how to navigate and use the many features to their best outcome.
The only live help you can get is from their chat interface. The chat shows you how many reps are on the site right now, and you can click on the rep’s picture to chat with someone if you’ve chatted with them before. The lack of a telephone or email-based support system isn’t a drawback since the site’s general usability, easy and tutorials provide plenty of support.
Ahref Review: the Best SEO Link Checker
In our opinion, Ahref is clearly the reigning champion when it comes to SEO link checkers. There are other tools, but none are as easy to use as Ahrefs.
You can quickly learn how to use Ahrefs and derive value from the tool almost as soon as you sign up. The tutorials, easy navigation, and clear on screen instructions make the learning curve very short for Ahrefs.
Backlinks are an important, if often-neglect aspect of SEO. Many basic SEO practitioners know to check keywords, but seldom remember to create backlink strategies to accompany their keyword research. Using Ahrefs gives you a competitive advantage in the arena of backlinks.
Using the information that you get from Ahrefs can help you clean up your existing website or blog and develop a competitive strategy. Knowing which sites are linking into your site, understanding the appeal of specific content, and developing an effective position against your competitors can transform how you create and share content, as well as how you handle paid advertising campaigns.
As business owners, we need all of the help we can get to get a leg up on the “big guys” online, those companies that have their own in-house SEO and digital marketing experts. Tools such as Ahrefs level the playing field between the larger companies with all of their specialized resource and staff and startups and small to mid-sized companies that are trying to do it themselves or work with a consultant or outsource firm. Tools like Ahrefs can help such businesses become competitive and profitable with the right linking strategy.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Using Ahrefs?
So far, we’ve talked mostly about the positive benefits of using Ahrefs. There’s virtually no downside to this tool. The only drawback is that some content marketers may find that the keyword research could be improved. Ahrefs is said to be working on a better keyword research tool, although integration with other tool would also be a nice touch.
Ahrefs, Best SEO Link Checker
Ahrefs offers a free trial, so if you’d like to check out the best SEO link checker on the market, sign up. You can start with the basic package and upgrade if necessary. One tip: keep an eye on your searches, since every search, report or function on the site is deducted from your “rows” tally.
If you’re looking for a robust, user-friendly link checker, Ahrefs is the tool for you.
Full Disclosure: When you purchase using our referral link, at no additional cost to you, we will receive a small commission. We would get this referral fee for recommending just about any other company, but we only recommend products that we personally use and/or believe will add value to our readers. Ahrefs is one of them!