While it’s not an all-in-one tool, Majestic SEO shines in it’s particular niche.
It’s one of the best backlink checkers around, making it extremely useful for scoping the competition and coming up with a strategy to propel yourself up through the rankings.
The way it works is by linking you through their database, which is one of the longest running and most comprehensive around, to allow you to scope out the others in your niche. It’s extremely useful as long as you aren’t planning on it being the only tool you use.
As a proper accent, however, it’s hard to beat.
How Does Majestic Work?
Majestic is primarily a linking tool. It’s actually a side project for the company, which maintains a web crawler called MJ12. They keep a fairly comprehensive database of the internet for their own purposes, which is controlled by distributed computing.
If you want to participate, you can actually download their program called MajesticNOD.
Even if you don’t, you can pay for the tool in order to easily parse through the data which has been obtained by the project over time.
The information is broken down into a few different sections. The main things of concern to those of us looking to utilize the database for SEO are the following:
- Citation Flow measures the number of backlinks to a particular page. If you’re even passingly familiar with SEO you know this is one of the most important factors to ranking.
- Trust Flow is a breakdown of the “quality” of the backlinks. While PBNs(Private Blog Networks) are nearly obsolete due to Google cracking down, there are still ways to get very low quality backlinks quickly and cheaply.
- Topical Trust Flow measures the significance of the page within it’s own industry. Basically, a site which is focused on one type of content with an outlying article will score higher in their niche than in the niche which the outlier falls under.
Those are the most important of the metrics you’ll be shown. You’re not going to be researching keywords with this tool, but the above can give you a great look at the competition.
After those three proprietary rankings you’ll also receive results which include the following:
- Number of backlinks
- Referring domains
- Referring IPs
- Referring Subnets
It’s a pretty focused tool, the kind which isn’t essential for those who are doing their own projects or only have a handful of low competition clients.
All of these can be broken down into nice looking infographics to allow you to easily get a visual of what you’re looking at.
Overall, there are an absolutely astounding number of tools contained within MajesticSEO but sadly many of them are mostly redundant and give slightly different views of the same information.
There are four of them, each slightly different:
- The Bulk Backlink Checker allows you to check up to 400 URLs at the same time. Unfortunately, the actual backlink data is stored on a different page for each URL and instead you’re only presented with Majestic’s flow ratings. It’s still useful for checking a lot of pages at once.
- The Compare Tool provides almost the same information as the Bulk Backlink Checker with an easier view. It also highlights sites which have the highest ratings in each category, but you can only check up to 10 domains side-by-side in it.
- Link Profile Fight is a little bit cumbersome, since the overlapping information is often confusing on the main graph, but shows a visual representation of Citation Flow versus Trust Flow. There are still separate graphs which are useful but the combined one is pretty useless.
- Campaigns will let you keep track of multiple domains, usually within the same niche. While it’s a repeat of a lot of the same information, it can be useful for keeping track of your niche.
As you can see, MajesticSEO may only do one thing. It does it super well though.
You can also collect data from either the last 90 days, which is labeled as “fresh” or from the entire history of the database. Make sure to use whichever is more relevant for your purposes.
Understanding the MajesticSEO Metrics
If you’re not exactly backlink savvy, then you may be a bit lost with the above metrics. Since it’s a data-grabbing tool, you’re not going to get much usage out of it without some understanding.
So let me break it down for you.
should be self-explanatory to most people interested in SEO, but if you’re unaware a backlink is a link to your page from an external domain. They’re pretty much the main block of off-page SEO.
are the number of sites which link back to a page. For instance, someone might have an amazing piece of content which becomes a “go-to” source for a certain piece of information and might be linked back to multiple times. So you may see 1,200 backlinks and 800 referring domains because multiple domains have linked back more than once.
is actually a better metric to go by when scoping the competition. If the number of referring IPs is in a low ratio to the referring domains then the information isn’t likely to be quite as trustworthy. It could point to something like a PBN or other concerted grey or black hat SEO technique being used.
Potential Uses for Majestic
While the applications of this information might not be readily apparent to the layman, a little bit of thought will show some pretty obvious applications:
• Identifying the top links to your page and monitoring them. This will let you know if you lose a high-authority backlink without having to find out with a drop in rankings.
• Finding your best pages so that you can keep building backlinks to this page on top of the organic results your content is already receiving.
• Figuring out which of your pages aren’t performing well, allowing you to identify problems with the content on them.
Of course, for many of us scoping out the competition will be the primary use. Figuring out where they’re getting their backlinks, how trustworthy they are, and how many you’ll have to get for yourself to catch up and compete.
It’s also a good idea to scope out your competition if you’re planning a new project to make sure you have the skill to compete in this arena.
You may also find some benefit from identifying trusted and high ranked sites within your operating niche for link building outreach.
Those who find use for this tool are going to love it, those who don’t quite need it aren’t going to have anything really beneficial added to their plate however.
So, Who Will Benefit from Majestic SEO?
The small time webmaster probably isn’t going to receive a whole lot of benefit from Majestic SEO, but those who are primarily doing SEO for their work, experts and agencies in particular, might find it invaluable as an addition to their chosen all-in-one tool.
Smaller businesses and individuals would be better served by something like Moz or SEMrush and spending their money elsewhere.
It absolutely shines for those who can afford it and have SEO as their main business.
My Overall Impression
Majestic has limited functionality and it’s not my first pick for those who just need a good tool to aid them in their Search Engine Optimization efforts. While being able to crawl through so much data is pretty awesome, it’s simply too expensive for smaller businesses and entrepreneurs who work by themselves.
There’s also no free plan or trial for the most part. Some of the information can be accessed for free but it’s extremely limited and not really of much use as anything other than a quick look at the possibilities of the tool.
There are also some issues with a dated-looking interface. This cosmetic blemish doesn’t really mean much but it can be a bit jarring coming from tools with a more modern interface.
However, if you find yourself making a business out of Search Engine Optimization and your agency is doing well it’s worth the investment. With it you can monitor the freshest information and even have the site crawl some of the competition that hasn’t been included in the interface yet.
It’s a definite way to get additional data you won’t get from anywhere else.
Whether or not it’s worth the cost really depends on your skill level and what you’re doing right now. For agencies with multiple SEO experts on the payroll it’s invaluable and can help give you a leg up on the competition with the data and monitoring capabilities it offers.