Majestic SEO Review

Majestic SEO is a link analysis tool, with an index of 52 billion pages, a record of 350 unique URLs and 2.6 trillion mapping relationships (URL pointing to URL). Majestic SEO maintains its own web crawler, “MJ12,” and keeps its own database of the web (like the major search engines). The project belongs to Majestic-12 Ltd and is run by volunteers, with the goal of establishing a quality search engine to compete on the worldwide market. Majestic SEO is a side project of the Majestic 12 search engine, designed to raise funds. In this article we take a detailed look at the Majestic SEO tool and its use in search engine optimization.

Technology

Majestic 12 adopted the concept used by SETI@home and distributed.net called distributed computing. The idea of distributed computing is to use private computers (like yours) to work on the task and then send data back to the source for analysis. If you want to participate in Majestic 12′s project, you can download MajesticNOD, which will deploy a web crawler from your computer each time it’s idle. As the crawler gathers pages, it will send those pages to MJ12 servers for indexing. The crawler is only deployed at times when the computer is idle, so it does not affect performance or Internet speed.

Once crawled pages reach the server, they undergo indexing, link and anchor text analysis in a similar manner to large commercial search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. Once content is indexed (turned into number variables), information is merged into one large, searchable index which can be explored using keywords.

Crawl Champions

On the Stats page you can find crawl leaders, some of whom have crawled over 11,000,000,000 URLs, which is over 272,000,000 MB of data. You can also join “crawl” teams and compete with others for the title of the best crawling team.

So why is Majestic doing this? It can be presented in terms of a problem and a solution.

The Problem

The problem with large commercial search engines is that they don’t share their data with anyone, especially someone concerned with link graphs and algorithms. The reasoning is clear – it’s a competitive advantage on which Google alone spends hundreds of millions of dollars.

Many commands like “link:”, “inanchor:”, “intitle:” etc, are purposefully distorted to confuse search engine optimizers and to decrease manipulation of search results. Without this data, it’s hard to gather competitive SEO intelligence and to develop counteractive strategies.

The Solution

As the Majestic 12 search engine project was growing, founders and co-founders saw early the value of their index – search engine optimization. Hence Majestic SEO was created. All proceeds from Majestic SEO go to the Majestic 12 community fund, and founders are also looking to strike deals with leading search engine optimization companies for SEO use of their index.

On the MJ SEO home page you can click on the “demo mode” link to get a feel for their reports. This is a detailed review of those reports.

There are eight report sections:

  • Overview
  • Domain URLs 
  • Anchors 
  • Ref Domains 
  • Ref TLDs 
  • Daily updates 
  • Download 
  • Options

AC Rank

AC Rank is Majestic SEO’s measure of the importance of each page. The more links a page has, the more important it is. This is pretty much a copy of Page Rank. SEOmoz’s Linkscape tool uses the exact same measurement, and calls it Moz Rank.

Overview

In the overview section you will find a summary of all Majestic SEO reports. In the demo mode, you are given access to “example.com,” so here’s some interesting statistics about it: 6,466,776 backlinks and 6,466,694 external backlinks from 121,486 referring domains.

Below this you’ll find three tables. The first one is “Top Anchors,” and it shows you the top anchor text pointing to a domain. “Top Referring Domains” is where you can find the sites that have the highest number of links to the domains. Finally, there is "Top pages/links (sorted by ACRank),” which I will explain in more detail later.

Anchors

In the “Anchors” tab, the anchor text of different links is sorted by authoritative sources, top-down. Majestic SEO uses its own algorithm to determine authoritative links. Right next to each anchor text you can click on Google/Yahoo links and see how the site ranks for a particular keyword. You can also click on each anchor text link and explore all URLs that contain the link.

You can also see statistics such as 

  • Referring domains: the number of domains that link with that particular anchor text.

  • Total backlinks: the total number of backlinks that link with that particular anchor text.

  • External backlinks: the numbers are identical to the “backlinks” tab, and I did not find an explanation of this stat.

  • Reported backlinks: again, the numbers are identical to the “backlinks” tab, and I did not find explanation of this stat.

  • Backlinks ACRank spread: a Majestic SEO measurement of the importance of the page. Basically, it’s a copy of Google’s Page Rank.

Once you click on anchor text, you can explore actual URLs that contain links with specific anchor text. Data includes information such as:

  • AC Ranks (PR copy)

  • Date Found

  • Target URL (URL to which the links point)

  • Target AC Rank

  • Redirect

  • Frame

  • Nofollow

  • Images

  • Deleted

  • Alt Text

Ref TLDs is short for "referring top-level domains." A top-level domain (TLD), sometimes referred to as a top-level domain name (TLDN), is the last part of an Internet domain name; that is, the letters that follow the final dot of any domain name. For example, in the domain name www.example.com, the top-level domain is .com (or COM, as domain names are not case-sensitive). 

TLD analysis is especially useful for local ranking analysis, as you can spot the link ratio between local TLDs, like .CA and generic TLDs like .NET. it’s also useful for spotting .edu and .gov domains. Some statistics shown include: TLD (.com, .org, etc), the number of referring domains (how many sites with a specific TLD link), total backlinks (the number of backlinks from different TLDs), and backlink AC Spread (Page Rank spread).

Download

In the download section you can download all links in .CSV format, without limitations. If the domain has a thousand or a million links, you can still download the file. The feature is disabled in the demo version.

Domain URLs

Here you can find link information for each separate URL. For example:

  • Example.com/site/info.html

  • Example.com/site/folder/another-folder/page.html

Majestic SEO shows the number of links to each URL, along with additional data: the AC rank of the link (page rank), number of referring domains, total backlinks, external backlinks, reported backlinks, and AC rank link spread.

The section is useful for spotting landing pages to which the competition has specifically built links. You can click on each URL to see the real links that point to it.

Referring Domains (websites)

Here you can find different websites that have links to the domain you’re analyzing. Majestic SEO also gives information on how many links a specific domain has to your website (or competition) and the best backlink (according to AC rank).

You can also click on each domain and see all of the URLs that have links, along with the anchor text of each link, discovery date, target URL and some more information.

Daily Updates

In this section you can track daily updates of newly-discovered links for a website. Updates are one day behind and are done around 5-6 AM GMT. The feature was disabled at the time of writing, but Majestic SEO plans to make it live again.

Options

Here you can adjust options for your Majestic SEO reports.

Here’s the cost:

#

Credits

Price, GBP (excluding VAT*)

Per Credit Discount

1

2

£ 2.00

-

2

5

£ 4.95

1.0%

3

10

£ 9.75

2.5%

4

20

£ 18.95

5.2%

5

50

£ 45.95

8.1%

6

100

£ 89.95

10.1%

7

250

£ 209.95

16.0%

8

500

£ 389.95

22.0%

9

750

£ 561.95

25.1%

10

1,000

£ 699.95

30.0%

Majestic SEO vs Linkscape

SEO Moz’s Linkscape came under a lot of heat because the founder of the tool (Rand Fishkin) deceived webmasters by saying their tools crawl the web. It was later revealed their tool relied on their own crawl + other robots and business partnerships. Rand has made another post where he accused an SEO company of gaining their rankings solely on what seemed to be paid links, even though he himself left very good testimonials for TextLinkAds.com, and actually sold PR links in the past.

Though this is all drama, events like that leave a bad mark on the company, which inevitably passes on the tool and begs the question of what else we don’t know. It undermines a great product.

In terms of features, Linkscape surpasses Majestic SEO on some fronts; for instance, it has Trust Rank, which is a big part of Google’s algorithms. It also has domain juice and many other measurements Majestic SEO lacks. The big down side is that Linkscape reports are limited to a few thousand links and anchor text stats, and sell more of them for additional price, whereas with Majestic SEO, this information is unlimited.

If you’re interested in anchor text and link analysis you have to try both tools, as they both have their ups and downs. Majestic SEO is cheaper, while Linkscape is packed with more stats and features.

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