Ahrefs review

By | December 22, 2020
5 (100%) 2 votes

Among moz, majestic, semrush, and ahrefs, ahrefs seems the best one. I do not know why I got this opinion because I have never used ahrefs before as it requires you to insert a credit card to get a 7-day trial for $7. Today, I finally bought an ahrefs trial account.

What is inside ahrefs?

Here is what it looks after login:

dashboard

Here is what site explorer page looks like:

siteexplorer

Keywords Explorer:

keywordsexplorer

Site Audit Page:

siteaudit

Rank Tracker Page:

ranktracker

Content Explorer Page:

contentexplorer

Alerts:

alerts

Ahrefs Rank:

ahrefsrank

Domain Comparison:

domaincomparison

Batch Analysis:

batchanalysis

Link Intersect:

linkintersect

SEO toolbar:

seotoolbar

 

Ahrefs API:

ahrefsapi

WordPress Plugin:

wordpressplugin

Apps that support Ahrefs:

apps

Account Settings/my account:

accountsettings-myaccount

Account Settings-My notifications:

accountsettings-mynotifications

Account Settings – Members:

accountsettings-members

Account Settings – Limits & Usage:

accountsettings-limits-usage

Account Settings – Billing:

accountsettings-billing

Account Settings – Integration:

accountsettings-integration

Account Settings – Applications:

accountsettings-applications

 

Generally speaking, the structure of the website of ahrefs is more concise than moz. No billing financial information can be seen in the account. Ahrefs charges you via FastSpring.

Site Explorer

If you type a domain in the dashboard page or the site explorer page and press the search button, you will get dazzling statistics diagrams and figures, as most of this kind of tools do. The reports are distributed over 3 tabs on the page: backlink profile, organic search , and paid search. There are some summary statistics numbers above the tabs:

  • Ahrefs Rank – Ahrefs Rank (AR) shows the strength of a target website’s backlink profile compared to the others in our database, with rank #1 being the strongest.
  • UR – URL Rating (UR) shows the strength of a target page’s link profile on a 100-point scale. If you analyze a domain, the homepage’s UR is shown.
  • DR – Domain Rating (DR) shows the strength of a target website’s backlink profile compared to the others in our database on a 100-point scale. It’s essentially a less granular version of Ahrefs Rank (AR).
  • Backlinks – The total number of links from other websites pointing to your target.
  • Referring domains  – The total number of unique domains linking to your target.  
  • Organic keywords – The total number of keywords that your target ranks for in the top 100 organic search results across all countries in our database. When your target ranks for a keyword more than once, it’s counted multiple times

We can see Ahrefs UR is analogous to Moz’s PA(Page Authority) indicator, and Ahrefs DR is analogous to Moz’s DA(Domain Authority) indicator. The tabs below show the evolution of these indicators over time.

If you click the “Backlinks” on the left column Under the “Backlink profile” menu, you will see all the backlinks each of which is provided the following information: Referring page, DR,UR, Referring Domains, Linked domains(Shows the number of unique root domains linked from the referring page at the time of the most recent crawl. ),external links(Shows the number of external links from the referring page. ), Traffic(The referring page’s estimated monthly organic traffic from search.), keywords(Shows the number of keywords that the referring page ranks for in the top 100 organic search results across all countries in our database.), Anchor and backlinks(Shows the anchor text of the backlink (along with a snippet of the text that surrounds it) and the URL where the backlink points to. ) ,First seen(The date Ahrefs’ bot first found a backlink to your target website or URL on a given referring page.), last check(The date Ahrefs’ bot last verified the status of this backlink. ), Similar(Shows the number of backlinks with the same anchor and surrounding text that were grouped together. ).

If you click the Organic keywords 2.0 under the Organic search menu, you’ll be brought to a page that lists all the keywords each of which is provided with the following information: SF(The SERP features that appear in search results for a keyword.), Volume(An estimation of the average monthly number of searches for a keyword.), KD(Keyword Difficulty gives an estimate of how hard it is to rank in the top 10 organic search results for a keyword on a 100-point scale.), CPC(Cost Per Click shows the average price that advertisers pay for each ad click in paid search results for a keyword.), Traffic(An estimation of the monthly organic search traffic that your target gets from a given keyword.), Position(The top ranking position of your target for a keyword.), URL(The URL that is ranking in search results. If there are multiple URLs ranking for a single keyword, we show the top URL.), Updated(The date when we last checked search engine results for a keyword.).

Click on the Top pages 2.o under the organic search menu, you will see the tops pages of your target, each of which is provided the following information: Traffic(Our estimate of organic search traffic generated by all keywords that a given URL ranks for in organic search shown alongside with the share of traffic to that page (in %) compared to the total websites’ traffic in a selected country.), Change(The change in traffic value between your selected dates.), Value(The estimated value of your target’s monthly organic search traffic.), Value Change(The change in traffic value between your selected dates.), Keywords(Shows the number of keywords that the page ranks for in the top 100 organic search results.), Keywords change, Top keyword(The keyword that brings the most organic traffic to this search result.), Volume(Estimated monthly search volume of “Top keyword”.), Position(Shows the position that a given URL holds for that “Top keyword”.)

The Top subfolders page shows the performance statistics for subfolders of your site such as https://reviews2018.com/subfolder/

The Top subdomains page shows the performance statistics for the subdomains of your site such as https://subdomain.reviews2018.com

The Competing Domains page list all competing domains each of which is provided with the following information: Keywords unique to target(Keywords that your target website is ranking for, but your competitor isn’t.  ), Common keywords(Keywords that both your target and competitor rank for.  ), Common keywords percentage(The percentage value of keywords that both your target website and your competitor are ranking for out of the total number of keywords.), Keywords unique to competitor(Keywords that your competitor is ranking for, but your target website isn’t.  ), Intersection graph(This is a graphical representation of the numbers in the left columns, where the green bar represents the intersection between the blue (keywords unique to your target website) and yellow (keywords unique to your competitor) bars.).

The Competing page shows the statistics for competing page each of which is provided with the following information: Keywords
unique to target, Common keywords, Keywords unique to competitor, Intersection graph.

The Content Gap page shows the keywords other sites rank for but your target does not rank for.

Under the Pages menu, you can see your best pages by links, best pages by link growth,

Under the Outgoing links, you can see the linked domains, anchors, and broken links.

Under the Paid search menu, you can see the PPC keywords, Ads, and Top landing pages.

Under the Export menu, you can export Backlinks/Ref. pages, Anchors , Referring domains , Referring IPs, Crawled pages , outbound links, etc. to CSV files. You can also  export Overview reports to pdf file on a Lite or Standard plan.

Batch Analysis

On the Batch Analysis, you can input up to 200 domains/urls and generate their backlink reports. Each domain/url will be provided with the following information:

  • Mode – The target mode used for the analysis. Depending on the selected mode (URL, Prefix, domain/*, *.domain/*), different parts of the website will be analyzed.
  • IP – The IP address of the target domain or subdomain.
  • Keywords – The total number of keywords that your target ranks for in the top 100 organic search results across all countries in our database. When your target ranks for a keyword more than once, it’s counted multiple times.
  • Traffic – The target website, subsection, or URL’s estimated monthly organic traffic from search.
  • UR – URL Rating (UR) shows the strength of a target page’s link profile on a 100-point scale. If you analyze a domain, the homepage’s UR is shown
  • DR – Domain Rating (DR) shows the strength of a target website’s backlink profile compared to the others in our database on a 100-point scale. It’s essentially a less granular version of Ahrefs Rank (AR).
  • AR – Ahrefs Rank (AR) shows the strength of a target website’s backlink profile compared to the others in our database, with rank #1 being the strongest.
  • Total – The total number of unique domains linking to your target.
  • Dofollow – The number of unique referring domains pointing to your target via value-passing links.
  • Gov – The number of unique governmental domains linking to your target. These include not only .gov TLDs, but also domains that we consider to be governmental.
  • Edu – The number of unique educational domains linking to your target. These include not only .edu TLDs, but also domains that we consider to be educational.
  • IPs – Shows the number of unique IP addresses with at least one domain pointing to a target website or URL. Several domains can share one IP address.
  • Subnets – Shows the number of c-class IP networks (AAA.BBB.CCC.DDD) with at least one link to the target website or URL. Example: 151.80.39.61 is the website IP address where 151.80.39.XXX is the subnet.
  • Domains – Shows the total number of unique domains linked from the target website, subsection, or URL.
  • Total backlinks – The total number of links from other websites pointing to your target.
  • Text – The number of links in <a href=””> HTML tags pointing to your target. This includes links using an image as an anchor and links with an empty anchor.
  • Nofollow – The number of links with the rel=”nofollow” attribute pointing to your target.
  • Redirect – The number of links pointing to your target via a redirect.
  • Image – The number of links pointing to your target where an image is used as the hyperlink.
  • Frame – Shows the number of backlinks pointing to the target website, subsection, or URL from <iframe src=””> HTML tag.
  • Form – The number of links in <form action=””> HTML tags pointing to your target.

 

Keywords Explorer

keywordsexplorer1

On Keywords Explorer page, input a keyword and press enter, you will see the above result page.

You can see the following numbers and figures:

  • Keyword difficulty: gives an estimate of how hard it is to rank in the top 10 organic search results for a keyword on 1 100-point scale. We estimate that you’ll need backlinks from ~2000 websites to rank in the top 10 for this keyword.
  • Volume: An estimate of average monthly number of searches for a keyword.
  • CPS: Cost per click shows the average price that advertisers pay for each ad click in paid search results for a keyword.
  • Clicks: metric refers to the average monthly number of clicks on the search results that people make while searching for the target keyword. Some searches generate clicks on multiple results, while others might not end in any click at all.
  • CPS: Click per Search is the ratio of clicks to keyword search volume. It shows how many different search results are clicked, on average, when people search for the target keyword in a given country.
  • RR: Return Rate is a relative value that indicates how often the same person searches for a given keyword over a 30-day period. Since it is a relative value, it does not show the exact number of repeated searches and should be used when comparing keywords against each other.
  • Global volume: global search volume shows how many times per month, on average, people search for the target keyword across all countries in our database.
  • Parent topic: determines if you can rank for your target keyword while targeting a more general topic on your page instead. To identify the Parent topic, we take the #1 ranking page for your keyword and find the keyword responsible for sending the most traffic to that page.
  • #1 result for parent topic
  • Keyword ideas by search volume – There are 4 lists. “Having same terms” list shows you all keywords that contain all of the terms of a target keyword in them. “Questions” list shows you queries that are phrased as a question. “Also ask for” list shows you all keywords that the top 10 ranking pages for your target keyword also rank for. “Newly discovered” list shows the search queries containing your “seed” keyword (as phrase match) which were added to our database only recently. We use clickstream data to discover new search queries so some long tail keywords may come in a little delayed.
  • SERP position history for the target keyword: The ranking position change of the top 5 ranking web pages in the past 24 months.
  • SERP overview for target keyword: the top 10 search results, each result is provided with the page’s AR, DR, UR, #backlinks, #domains, traffic, keywords, top keyword, volume

Under the Traffic share menu of the Keyword explorer page, there are two options: By domains and By pages. Here, you can see how the traffic for your target keyword is distributed over various domains or pages.

There is a beta feature for the Keywords Explorer: Ads History, which shows the ads appeared on the SERP of your target keyword. You can see the domains, landing pages of the ads, the number of found ads, etc.

adshistory

 

Site Audit

On Site Audit page, click “Add project”, you have two options to add a project:

Import from GSC

  • Automatic ownership verification
  • Import multiple projects at once
  • Edit project settings later

Add manually

input your site

Add projects one at a time and fully configure each project during creation.

Set up a project to analyze it across all major tools in Ahrefs. This can be any website, whether it’s your own, a competitor’s or just one you’re curious about.

createaproject

Verify ownership (optional)

verifyownership
Prove that you own your website to crawl it much faster in Site Audit. You may skip this step.
Verification proves that you own the website to be audited. This enables advanced settings for more control over your site audits. You’ll be able to increase your crawl speed and ignore robots.txt rules.
You can use any of the following verification methods.

Google Search Console (recommended)

Connect your Google Account and allow access to your Search Console data. If your website is verified in your Google Search Console, it will be automatically verified in Ahrefs.

DNS record

Sign in to your domain name provider (e.g. godaddy.com or namecheap.com) and copy the TXT record below to the DNS configuration for reviews2018.com
ahrefs-site-verification_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Note: DNS changes may take some time. If Site Audit doesn’t find the record immediately, wait a day before trying again
TXT record not found. Please check your DNS configuration and try again.

HTML file

Upload the HTML verification file below to your domain’s root folder reviews2018.com/
If the upload was successful, the file will be viewable at https://reviews2018.com/ahrefs_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

HTML tag

Copy the meta tag below and paste it into the HTML code of your site’s homepage. It should go in the <head> section, before the first <body> section.
<meta name="ahrefs-site-verification" content="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx">

Schedule site audits

Regularly check your website for 100+ SEO issues.
In the Schedule tab, you can turn “Run scheduled crawls” on or off, set Frequency, Start day, Time & time zone, choose whether to Run first crawl now.
schedulesiteaudits
On the URL sources tab, you can start crawling your website from the URL sources selected below. If you’re not sure what to choose, please use the default settings.
  • Website:Check this to use your project URL as the starting point for the crawl.
  • Auto-detected sitemaps: Check this to start crawling from the sitemap files listed in your website’s robots.txt file. If the robots.txt file does not list sitemaps, we’ll check the default sitemap location at review2018.com
  • Specific sitemaps: Check this to use sitemap files as the starting points for the crawl.
  • Custom URL list: Check this to enter or upload a list of URLs you want to use as the starting points for the crawl.
  • Backlinks: Check this to start crawling your website from the URLs that have external backlinks in our database.
schedulesitesudits-urlsources
On the Crawl settings tab, you can do the following settings:

Speed settings

Crawl speed depends on the number of parallel requests from our crawler and the delay between subsequent requests. To speed up your crawl, increase the number of parallel requests and/or reduce the delay time.

Note: the higher the crawl speed, the more likely it is to cause a significant load on your web server and slow response times for your visitors.

Crawl speed is limited to 1 request per 2 seconds. Verify your ownership to increase this limit.
  • Number of parallel requests: 1 request by default
  • Delay between requests, sec: From 2 to 100 secs for non-verified domains

Settings

  • Execute JavaScript — Enable this if your website content depends on JavaScript. This usually happens when you use a framework like Angular or React. Note that crawling speed may be slowed with this enabled. To balance this, you can increase the number of parallel requests.
  • Check images — Enable this if you want reports on image-related issues like broken images.
  • Check CSS — Enable this if you want reports on CSS-related issues like broken CSS files.
  • Check JavaScript — Enable this if you want reports on JavaScript-related issues like loading time and script size.
  • Follow links on non-canonical pages — Enable this if you want our crawler to follow links on non-canonical pages.
  • Follow nofollow links — Enable this if you want to follow links with the “nofollow”, “ugc”, and “sponsored” attributes along with links on “nofollow” pages in order to crawl more pages.
  • Follow nofollow links — Enable this if you want to follow links with the “nofollow”, “ugc”, and “sponsored” attributes along with links on “nofollow” pages in order to crawl more pages.
  • Check HTTP status of external links — Enable this if you want to follow external outgoing links on your website and report their HTTP status.
  • Remove URL parameters — Enable this if you want URL parameters to be ignored during the crawl. For example, reviews2018.com/?parameter1=value1 and reviews2018.com/?parameter1=value2 URLs will be replaced by reviews2018.com/. Note: this option will not be applied to canonical, hreflang and pagination links.

Limits

  • Max number of internal pages — Pages will stop being crawled when this number is reached. This limits the maximum number of credits that can be spent during the crawl. Only internal HTML pages returning a 200 HTTP status code are taken into account. From 1 to 1,000,000 pages
  • Max crawl duration, hours — The crawl will stop when this time is reached. From 1 to 168 hours
  • Max depth level from seed — URLs deeper than this will not be crawled. Seed depth starts at 0 and is counted by the number of clicks from the seed URLs. Note that redirects count as clicks as well. From 0 to 512 clicks
  • Max folder depth — Folders deeper than this will not be crawled. Folder depth starts at 0 and is counted by the number of folders, where a folder is a / in a URL after the domain name. For example, https://domain.com/folder1/page2 has a folder depth of 1 and will not be crawled at a max folder depth of 0. From 0 to 128 folders
  • Max URL length, characters — URLs longer than this will not be crawled.  From 1 to 4,096 characters
  • Max number of query parameters — URLs with more than this number of query parameters will not be crawled. (Parameters come after a question mark in a URL). From 0 to 12 parameters

Robots instructions

You can choose to ignore robots.txt, and you can choose a user agent between AhrefsSiteAudit(Desktop) and AhrefsSiteAudit(Mobile) .

Include and exclude URLs

Use these fields to crawl specific URLs or exclude certain URLs from the crawl. You can use regex for advanced patterns.
You can choose to Only crawl URLs matching specified pattern or not to crawl URLs matching specified pattern.

URL rewrite rules

Use these fields to replace URLs or parts of URLs found during the crawl with other values. For example, change all URLs from http to https or remove “www”. You must use regex to create URL rewrite rules.
schedulesiteaudits-crawlsettings

Add keywords to Track

Monitor your rankings for specific keywords and get regular progress reports by email.
addkeywordstotrack

Add competitors to analyze

Keep an eye on your competitors’ progress. We’ll track their SEO metrics and keyword rankings for comparison against your own.
addcompetitorstoanalyze
In the end, you will see the site audit progress:
siteauditprogress
After some time, you can see the audit result:
siteauditresult

Rank Tracker

You can add keywords to track their rankings on the Site Audit page. If you have not done so, you can also add keywords on the Rank Tracker page:
rankingtracker
Here is the rank tracker overview page:
ranktrackeroverview

What if I cancel my ahrefs subscription?

You must submit a credit card and pay $7 to get a trial ahrefs account? What will happen if you cancel your subscription during the trial period? Can I login ahrefs if the subscription is canceled? Can I continue to use ahrefs after the trial period? See the following figure:

cancelsubscription

After the account downgrade, you can still use site explorer and site audit for verified websites.

Conclusion

Have you been dazzled by the splendid webpages/reports of Ahrefs? Ahrefs seems to have plenty of diligent engineers to do things right. They do not give up any detail. Unfortunately, they seem not to do right things. I bet its engineers never use their product to do real business and make money from it. They do not know what really matter in real business world.
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