Ahrefs Review

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Rating: 4.2/5 (21 votes cast)

Review Overview



Ahrefs is a complete set of organic competitive research tools available to you on a pay-as-you-go monthly subscription program. Your paid subscription gets you access to all the tools offered by Ahrefs.

  • Site Explorer
  • Competitive Link Research Tools & Domain Comparisons

The Site Explorer tool allows you to enter a specific page, just the root domain (home page), or the entire domain for link research. Site Explorer gives you a variety of helpful information upfront, with an overview page that shows a summary of their core data points:

  • Total referring IP addresses, subnets, and referring domains
  • Link breakdown of domain extensions linking to the site (.com, .org, .net, .gov, .edu, and so on)
  • The type of backlinks pointing to the site (text, no-follows, images, redirects, sitewides, frame, and form links)
  • Link charts showing total, newly discovered, and lost links over a rolling 5 month period as well as a total referring domain count
  • In-depth anchor text breakdowns in helpful, easy to read bar charts.

In addition to a helpful overview page, you also get access to standard link research modules such as deeper dives into external links, anchor text breakdowns, and a raw export of links.

Inside of the domain comparison suite of tools you’ll find:

  • Exportable backlink reports for a given domain or URL complete with social sharing data
  • Comparison of up to 5 domains with in-depth statistics on referring domain types and link types (text, image, redirect, and so on)
  • Batch analysis of multiple URLs or domains with similar data to the 5 domain comparison plus social metrics for the exact URL only (rather than social metrics on the entire domain or on a page by page basis)

Unique Features

Combining Multiple Tools & Owning the Data


The most unique and beneficial feature of Ahrefs is that it combines solid link data and a great web interface. The data is strong enough to the point where you can have one subscription cover multiple needs and cover them well.

Some other unique features of the tool are:

  • Freshness – Ahrefs updates every 30 minutes with a complete update completed every 2 weeks
  • Own Index – Ahrefs does not access another companies index and layer their own metrics on it, they provide you with a unique index not found in other tools
  • New and Lost Links – You are given data on new links discovered and links previously discovered but no longer in existence. You get monthly snapshots of this data in bar graph format covering a 5 month rolling period.
  • You can actually get an exportable list of your new and lost links to help you immediately spot and attempt to fix potential lost link issues

Depth of Anchor Text Information


Another feature worth highlighting is the anchor text break down feature. You can easily break down an anchor text profile by phrases as well as terms. This makes it easy for you to spot over-optimization issues with external anchor text and a very granular level. You can break down anchor text in the following ways:

  • Actual phrases
  • 1 word terms
  • 2 word terms
  • 3 word terms
  • 4 word terms

Terms can be helpful in breaking down the overuse of a single or multiple word phrase or term. An example would be how many times does the word quote show up on the anchor text profile of an insurance company website. If you are struggling to rank for terms with the word “quote” in it, you might find that on a term level you have overused quote quite a bit. Some examples would be:

  • auto insurance quote
  • home insurance quote
  • insurance quote

While you may think you are diverisfying your anchor text (you are, to a degree) you are actually putting your site at risk on terms with the term “quote” in it. Search engines do not simply penalize phrases, they also go after over-optimized words and terms.

Social Metrics


In addition to the unique features mentioned above, Ahrefs has some unique metrics that are not found in most of their competitor’s products:

  • Breakdown of TLD’s (domain name extensions) for external links
  • Sitewide and not sitewide links
  • Twitter, Facebook, and G+ metrics for all URLs (some competitors just have the top 20 or so pages, some have none of this data)

Website Audit Tool


Ahrefs also includes a Site Issue section that covers standard website issues like HTTP errors, redirects found (301, 302, and so on), missing title tags and meta descriptions, as well as length issues with URL names, title tags, and meta descriptions. They also have features to highlight both broken inbound links into your site & broken outbound links from your site. Fixing broken links into your site is one of the quickest & easiest ways to build low-risk, high-quality links. Fixing broken outbound links lets search engines know the site is well maintained.

While their Site Issue module is not a replacement for a full on site audit it is a usable tool that provides a quick overview of potential site issues that you can spot and address quickly. I do not see this feature being as strong and in-depth as the keyword and link modules so I wouldn’t classify it as a 3-in-1 tool but it is certainly a unique feature to have inside of a competitive research tool.


Of the three major link tools on the market (Majestic SEO, Open Site Explorer, and Ahrefs) Open Site Explorer generally is lauded as the tool with best user interface and the strongest in terms of usability while Majestic SEO is generally mentioned as having the deepest data.

Ahrefs has come a long way in the usability department and it is on par with the user experience that Open Site Explorer provides and is a notch or three higher on the data front and gaining on Majestic SEO quickly. There are filters to look at links from a particular sites, internal links, links which use nofollow, links which do not use nofollow, recently gained links, recently lost links, etc. Their interface is lightning quick and is almost like having a sortable feature-rich Excel spreadsheet on their website.

It is very easy to move around in Ahrefs’s interface, easy to export, and easy to filter. They provide many helpful charts that you can easily screen grab and save for later use.


Review Video

Coming soon!




Ahrefs uses its own bot to crawl the web and provide link data and metrics. They also maintain their own index for keyword, social, and link data purposes.

They also obtain data from Google with respect to search volume, ranking, CPC, and Google+ information. Data is also pulled externally for Facebook and Twitter data.


They claim that their index has information on a trillion website connections and their bot crawls billions of pages per day.


Information is updated every 30 minutes and a complete index update is achieved every 2 weeks.

Usage Strategies


Tips & Ideas

The new and lost link reports are great for enhancing an ongoing link campaign. If you’ve recently earned a link from a solid source you could reach out to them on a social network or via email and thank them for the promotion. This can further engage potentially interested site visitors outside of pure search. The lost link report is a good tool for basically the same thing except you’d be reaching out to find out why you lost the link. Was it content related? Do you have a 404 error you are unaware of?

The depth of link data really gives you a unique opportunity to dive into potential issues with a site or to help you figure out what is working in a particular market. The ability to break down links by domain extension, IP address, and subnets certainly enhance your ability to quickly and efficiently breakdown potential link issues (or opportunities) without the need for a lot of downloading and spreadsheet work.

If you are looking to develop content or are looking for keywords which appeal to the social market, you can download the social metrics of each URL on a given site. Having the most shared content on a domain available to you is a solid tool to have in your content development and promotion arsenal. This tool can help sort through various competitors to help find the most prolific one for you to begin your research on. If you are entering a market it is helpful to know who is on top for the more profitable terms so you can begin to establish a baseline strategy on the back of what the more successful sites are doing.


Some final thoughts on Ahrefs:

  • While Ahrefs is a newer tool they are adding helpful features at a quick rate. The simple fact that they are new (and were for sale many months ago) should not discourage you from using their tools. They have solid data and have been adding quality features at a fairly quick rate
  • They do not provide a deep historical index like MajesticSEO does but they are very much on top of providing fresh and up to date data. The inclusion of lost link reports are helpful here as well


Sign Up



You have 5 account options. These give you access to all the features and the only differences are in requests per day, results per request, amount of standard reports, export limits, and API units.

  • Free / Newbie – 500 results per request, 15 requests per day, 3 standard reports.
  • Lite – $79 monthly / $790 yearly – 2,000 requests per day, 5,000 results per request, 100 standard reports, 5,000,000 raw export results (rows of data), 4,000 API units.
  • Standard – $179 / $1,790 – 5,000 requests per day, 25,000 results per request, 200 standard reports, 30,000,000 raw export results (rows of data), 9,000 API units. All tiers at or above this price level contain access to the recently added advanced features: broken backlinks, content analysis, top content & top referring content.
  • Plus – $499 / $4,990 – 10,000 requests per day, 100,000 results per request, 500 standard reports, 125,000,000 raw export results (rows of data), 25,000 API units.
  • Premium – $1,299 per month, allows you to access analyzing up to a billion backlinks per month

The pricing listed above is monthly/annual. You save 2 months worth of fees buy going with an annual plan. The Raw Export refers to the pure raw export of the following items:

  • Backlinks/Referring Pages
  • Anchor Information
  • Crawled Pages
  • Referring Domains

You can download all of those against your listed monthly quota while your standard exports in the individual report sections inside Site Explorer, Keyword Analysis, and Domain Competition are based on your total requests and results per request.

So as an example, you could do a domain search on Travelers.com and click on the External links tab. You’ll see 43K+ results (this includes multiple pages on a domain). If you click to show just 1 link per domain you get down to about 10k. Now, you can export from the interface and if you had the Professional account you could get up to 5,000 results in the sheet.

If you went into raw export, you could export all 10k+ referring domains against your monthly raw export quota (in case you wanted to do some custom sorting or manipulation with that extra data in excel or what have you)


Free Trial

There is no free trial available but you can sign up for a free account here. This account is free on an ongoing basis but is limited in scope as noted above.

For their paid accounts they offer a 7-day money back guarantee.


Discounts & Coupons

Currently there is a promotional code from SeoBook that gives you 50% off the first month.


Click here to activate this promo.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.6/10 (18 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
Ahrefs Review, 9.6 out of 10 based on 18 ratings

36 Responses to Ahrefs Review

  1. roger janik says:

    When I try the coupon code ‘seobook’ for the annual plan it says ‘coupon code not valid’

    • Aaron says:

      If you click on the link in the post it works on the monthly plans, but I think you are right in that it doesn’t discount off the annual plans.

  2. Ela says:

    A good analysis tool Ahrefs personally tried it and got positive results, I would recommend

  3. The Blues says:

    Do you have any other discounts for ahrefs? This one from seobook doesnt work any more 🙁

  4. Webfire says:

    In my opinion, ahrefs is the best backlink search engine available to SEO’s.

  5. When I try the coupon code ‘seobook’ for the annual plan it says ‘coupon code not valid’

  6. Oh my goodness!! Thanks Aaron, your coupon code just saved us 50% of the first month subscription, pretty sweet that!! Thanks a lot man 🙂

  7. Candy says:

    Is there really no other way? I would really like to use it every now and then, or at elast for 2-3 days without sleep, but I can’t pay for that much..

    • Aaron says:

      The price is quite cheap if you value your time. Imagine how much it costs to crawl the web & keep an up-to-date index of links across the web. That’s an expensive problem to solve & their interface is fantastic. And they keep adding more features to the tool over time.

  8. Dave says:

    Hi Aaron,

    I have been looking into getting ahrefs and have heard that it is available at $49 is this true ? as most places i see are offering $79 less 20% which $63 ??

    • Aaron says:

      Over time their prices have increased, but they have also added a lot of additional features to their suite of tools. If you value your time the monthly cost is quite cheap. Even if you only dip in and out of the tool in concentrated bursts, you can still get a ton of value out of using their tools for a couple days here and there.

  9. diwali images says:

    code is working fine for me. thanks for coupon code.

  10. 21flats says:

    I went for a free plan, now when i used it I am planing for a subscription. Ahrefs is the best seo tool to check backlinks. Even i learned many things from it!

  11. ahrefs is the best tool for backlinks analysis. But the price is kind of high 🙁

  12. bgpages says:

    roger this coupon is valid for the first month only

  13. MoreDigital says:

    Is it still valid offer?

  14. TD says:

    What is ‘5,000 results per request’ and ‘4,000’ API units as in:
    Professional – 79$/$790 – 2,000 requests per day, 5,000 results per request, 100 standard reports, 20,000,000 raw export results (rows of data), 4,000 API units.


    • Aaron says:

      When you view or export data, there are limits to the depth of data you can view. Generally speaking the higher tiers offer a deeper level of analysis which makes it easier to analyze broad/deep websites with hundreds of thousands or millions of inbound links.

      That said, most websites do not have more than a few hundred to a few thousand unique linking domains. And if you analyze link data for a particular page (rather than sitewide) you’ll have even less data that you need to sort through, so even their $79 per month account level is quite powerful – especially for the price.

  15. Charles B says:

    Is the coupon for this still valid? I tried and didn’t see a discount. Thanks

  16. Personal coupon is working , thank you even was considering hiring the majestic SEO , but with this price this high.

  17. Adam Smith says:

    I want to buy Ahrefs Tools. Please tell me the coupon is still work in 2015.

  18. Emina says:

    AHREFS is the best backlink analyzer that I’ve seen. However i dont have more experience with pro. This coupon code is still work ?

  19. Sean Paulson says:

    Awesome, it still works as I was able to get one at 50% discount for the first month

  20. Liseli Orospular says:

    Does the discount code still work?

    • Aaron says:

      Yes it does. And they keep adding more features, like rank tracking, a common link intersect tool, social metrics, etc. … it really is a fantastic service.

  21. Becky says:


    Great article. I am thinking of using this so I wanted to ask whether you you would use it to replace the Majestic for backlinks?

    Is there keyword explorer based on Organic search volume or keyword planner data?

    Does anyone know of a tool which can help to monitor individual landing page data over time? Such as page rank? And then use this to determine what pages on your site are best for link equity when crosslinking?

    Thank you 🙂

    • Aaron says:

      Hi Becky
      So if you go back a year or two my general way of thinking of the 3 main third party link data providers (Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, Moz Open Site Explorer) was something akin to: Moz has great usability but not the most robust feature set, Majestic has the deepest data set but often required exporting to CSV for manipulation of data in Excel, and Ahrefs sort of straddled the two other players by having a fairly deep data set and great usability to the web interface.

      Over time I think all 3 of the players have become more alike in some ways as competition has driven innovation and improvement. So Majestic is far more usable than it was a year or two ago, etc.

      The above 3 tools have historically been primarily focused on link-related metrics. Ahrefs is also adding some other competitive research tool features like rank tracking and such.

      My favorite competitive research tool (not for link data, but for rankings and such, along with search volumes and estimated bids) is still SEMRush, however there are some other good players on that front too, like SearchMetrics and SpyFu. That said, as mentioned above, Ahrefs has expanded beyond links to social metrics & rank tracking, and if they keep innovating on that front the way they did on the links data front then they might give SEMRush a run for their money in a year or so. But one big advantage some of the other keyword tracking data providers like SEMRush and SpyFu have is they have historical data going back for years on site rankings, which can be useful when looking into the background of a site to try to determine if it has ever been penalized or such.

  22. برامج اونلاين says:

    Thanks for the site review , best seo tool in market but the code is not valid any more

  23. bluebirdcab says:

    ahrefs tool one of best seo tool ever.

  24. agario says:

    Is the coupon for this still valid? I tried and didn’t see a discount. Thanks

    • Aaron says:

      They still offer their money back guarantee, but unfortunately they recently canceled their coupon codes. They’re still my favorite link data source / provider, but unfortunately we no longer have a coupon code to share.

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