Tools reviews are not easy: You can test usability (based on your own preferences) and compare the feature set with what you have seen so far. However, if you want to dig deeper and compare the complex data and come to well-grounded conclusions, you need to be careful.
There’s no way you can get free logins at advanced tools, pick three domains and jump to fast conclusions based on that.
Do You Really Need to Compare?
When people ask what the best backlink profile crawling tool is, my favorite answer is, “Try many of them”. I absolutely believe in personal perspective and lots of playing:
- If you combine a few tools, you combine their indices, and you always get a much deeper understanding of the data;
- Different tools offer different ways to re-organize the data that can give you additional insight;
- Some people are born for some specific tools: You know that feeling when you login and you just know what is where. Whenever you try another tool, it just doesn’t feel right no matter how awesome it is. That’s why I so much believe in personal experience.
Besides, most tools have free trials: So read reviews for educated guesses but always make sure to play with all of them yourself.
What If You Really Have to Compare
Now, if we have a few similar-purpose tools, we can’t do without comparing and since there have been a few rather vague comparisons recently, here’s the indepth experiment: aHrefs and MajecticSEO
Description of the experiment: 100 random domains have been selected and imported into Excel using this tool (the list is here if you want to run your own test with the same domains).
Backlink info has been retrieved using the three tools:
- Majestic Historic
- Majestic Fresh
Here are some screenshots visualizing the outcome (I haven’t managed to show all 100 rows (you are welcome to re-run the test) but you’ll get an idea):
- Green = wins
- Grey = same result
- No color = lost
aHrefs versus MajesticSEO Fresh
Note: Mind that aHrefs count subdomains as separate domains here.
- On Referring Domain counts Majestic wins 72 times out of 100
- On Link counts Majestic wins 53 times out of 100.
aHrefs versus MajesticSEO Historic
Note: mind that MajesticSEO had recently announced their Historic Index update and this test was run after that:
I just thought of a good @MajesticSEO tag line – "Better, Deeper, and More Often" – Feel free to use that @Dixon_Jones 😉
— Scott Hendison (@shendison) February 2, 2013
Disclaimer: I have free “pro” accounts on both the services but none of them compensated me on this article.
Date of research: 30th January 2013
Now, Is This Just the Numbers Game?
No, like I said, I don’t believe in number-based comparing. Both the services have unique features and unique algorithm of measuring the value of each link. I’d say numbers mean the least to me here, and this test was just a response to previous discussions on this topic.
Your preferred one will be based on why you are actually using the tools (which is seldom the raw number of external backlinks). If you really want to get an insight into which tool does what, check out this article at SEObook, then try the tools and then write your own comparison!