Majestic SEO is the backlink analysis service developed by Majestic-12 allowing for the exhaustive backlink report that can (potentially) be a fully legitimate competitor of and a great alternative for Yahoo! SiteExplorer.
The tool is free as soon as you request the report for your own website (you will have to verify your ownership by uploading an empty page to the root of your site). If you want to see a backlink report for your competitor’s site, you will have to buy credits.
Majestic SEO current index size is impressive:
32,690,802,864 crawled pages (211,051,271,656 unique urls in total) and 81,502,004 unique domains (685,461,105 with subdomains), ~ 1.5 trillion (1.5*10^12) linking relationships.
The service methodology, index quality and data sources:
There are two sources of data: the main is our own web crawl that we have been doing since late 2004, and for quality verification of that data we use backlinks reported by Google and Yahoo.
Our methodology allows us to estimate how close our index is in terms of quality to those used by other search engines.
The service offers a range of valuable reports:
1. Domain Overview:
- Top anchors;
- Top referring domains;
- Top page (based on “A-Citation-Rank’ – depends on number of unique referring external domains).
2. Anchors – the huge list of external anchor text including valuable data:
- Referring domains (using this anchor);
- Total backlinks;
- External backlinks;
- Backlinks ACRank spread.
3. Referring TLDs: statistics citing linking TLDs distribution.
4. Referring domains: a table showing domains linking to a site (and the most powerful page the link was found on);
5. Domain daily updates: new links found daily. According to the company employee:
…as soon as domain name is added to control panel we will be providing daily backlinks updates – we crawl 150-170 mln pages every day and if we find backlinks to that domain in any given day we will add them to recent crawl list.
- (in case a page was previously 301 redirected) the tool will search for links to both old and new URL versions;
- the tool checks for links to both www and non-www versions of the site;
- the service offers the option to search for links to a domain or to a page;
- you can view “source flags” (redirect, frame, nofollow, image link, deleted link) for more specific reports;
- the tool provides a handy export-to-CSV feature.
What can be improved?
- More sorting and filtering options (the tables and lists are huge and there is no way to sort them online). Though you can always export the results and sort them in Excel, a few more online sorting options would help a lot.
- Some data seem to be a bit outdated (the current index is dated end of May 2008 but they promise to have full index update this month). Citing the company employee who I had a chance to briefly interview:
At the moment we are not very up to date – it can take 2-4 months before we find most recent links, however I expect this to change in the next couple of months as we will switch to automatic recrawl of important sites – this I hope will reduce time of discover of new links from important pages to a few weeks or maybe days.
Some vocabulary used at the site should be also paid special attention to:
Short domain (also sometimes referred to as second level domain) is the shortest form of the domain without any subdomains;
ACRank (A-Citation-Rank) – a very simple measure of how important a particular page is by assigning an integer value from 0 (lowest) to 15 (highest) depending on number of unique referring external short domains.
ACRank spread shows number of ACRanked backlinks split by their ACRank.
Disclaimer: please don’t solely rely on information any tool reviewed here provides. I recommend running multiple tests before arriving at any conclusions (also please share your test results here if you please).