Majestic SEO Review: Glorious Backlink Checker After All These Years

majestic seo review

In my Majestic SEO review, you’ll learn:

  • What Majestic SEO is
  • What it does

 And how it can help you boost your site in the SERPS with quality link building.

Without wasting your precious time, let’s get started.

INTERFACE

Overcrowded, overbearing, and unintuitive. You’ll get used to it eventually but expect a real struggle at first. It was for me and I’m no novice to SEO tools.

USEFULNESS

The tool does what it claims it can do. And anyone can learn to use Majestic SEO to their advantage if you manage to get past the confusing interface.

USABILITY

Very useful. You need links to rank and Majestic SEO can find you all the backlinks you’ll ever need. Their custom metrics are fantastic and insightful.

EFFECTIVENESS

The tool is good at finding and measuring backlinks. Majestic’s native algorithm for determining links’ value is child’s play compared to Google’s… but it still works.

What is Majestic SEO?

Majestic SEO is an SEO software tool that specializes in links and link analysis.

They have one of the world’s largest backlink index and are “a must have for any serious link builder”. 

Their words, not mine.

Majestic SEO is a niche tool and is not an SEO version of a swiss army knife. 

So you won’t be able to do keyword research with Majestic SEO. You won’t be doing any SERP breakdown with Majestic;

And if you were hoping to do website audits with it, forget about it!

Majestic is all about links and link building.

So let’s see what it can do!

Majestic Features

#1- Majestic Campaigns

What is a Majestic campaign?

It’s a way for you to track your progress with link building. 

majestic-seo-campaigns

So, you plug in a domain you want to build authority to and Majestic shows you base values, i.e., how strong that domain is at that point in time and then as you build links you can watch how the metrics change.

Majestic SEO updates their index daily, so you’ll be able to track changes almost in real time.

For example, here are Moz’s metrics and the time of me writing this Majestic SEO review.

moz-metrics

If Moz decided they wanted to build their Trust Flow to 70 and Citation Flow to 80, they’d track it here in the Majestic Campaigns section.

Though Moz have their own metrics and link tools too.

Now let’s go to the Site Explorer where you can find most of Majestic SEO’s best features

#2- Site Explorer

 a) Summary

Once you’ve entered your domain in Site Explorer, you’ll see a Summary page where you can see aggregated data about your site.

From linking domains and a few examples; to several backlinks, also with examples; anchor text breakdown and everything in between.

majestic-site-explorer-summary

Unfortunately, the page is too long and I can’t show you everything.

Just know that Majestic’s Summary page is chock-full with valuable info; and  perfect for a quick overview. 

But not for deep analysis.

You can also analyse different URLs. Instead of domain address, plug in your URL of choice and let Majestic deliver the goodies.

majestic-url-analysis

So, let’s explore deeper with the “Topics” tab.

b) Topics

A unique Majestic SEO feature, “Topics” page shows you what Majestic thinks your niche is.

The curious thing is that they don’t do it by analyzing your content, but by analyzing the sites that link to you.

It’s smart because that’s how Google works, except way more complex

Google scans your pages looking for keywords, but they also look at the sites linking to you.

So if you have a site about SEO and most links are from SEO blogs, that’s a clear sign to Google that your site applies to the topic.

Though, sometimes it doesn’t matter.

For example, Moz’s profile is all over the place. 

majestic-topical-trust

But it doesn’t matter because they’re so big and authoritative that all kinds of sites link to them. 

Still, of the sites linking to them, most belong to:

  • Computers / Internet / Web Design and Development and
  • Business/Marketing/Advertising
Referring Domains
majestic-seo-domain-feature

This feature is like the ones from Majestic’s major competitors, Ahrefs and SEMrush.

Here you can see all domains that link to Moz.com and you can arrange them in a hundred unique ways.

For example, you can filter only domains that have high Trust Flow and Citation Flow. These are the strongest links the site has, and it pays to reverse engineer them so you know how to get some more.

Or you can see deleted and lost links. Because Majestic’s index updates so quickly, you have a lot of time to replace those links with recent ones. 

Link reclamation is a legitimate link building strategy btw.

Or you can see which links have high Citation Flow, but low Trust Flow. 

This shows low quality link profile and you might need to investigate further to see what sites link to you.

Similar to domain report, here you can access all backlinks Majestic found from each linking domain. 

You can also filter them the same way as with domains.

Also worth noting is that Majestic counts the total number of links on pages linking to you.

majestic-seo-backlinks-report

Why is this important?

Because of Page Rank, which is a finite resource. Ideally, you want to get links from pages that have few links on them. 

So that maximum authority flows through your link and to your site.

Not a big deal, but worth knowing.

d) Context 

Another unique Majestic feature.

Here they give you a graph which shows you exactly where you link is. For example, this graph shows a link is in the middle of the post.

link-context-unique-feature-majestic

That is an editorial link, of highest value.

Unique feature though I’m not sure what the use case for this is.

Because I as a webmaster can’t control where my link will end up. 

And I’m happy to see it anywhere on the page.

Nothing to say here.

 A standard feature you can also find in Moz, Ahrefs and SEMrush.

Links that the site built

new-backlinks

Links that the site lost

lost-backlinks

Value here is that you can recover some lost link equity. 

Email outreach is the answer.

f) Anchor text

In this report you can see the most common anchors the site receives. 

Anchor text is hugely important for rankings, so knowing the ratios is crucial.

But, Majestic fails here as the data is not clear.

For example, Majestic shows you anchor texts arranged from most occurring to least. But what are the percentages?

anchor-text-majestic-seo-report

To see the exact percentage of, for example, branded anchor you must go to the Summary page and find it there.

anchor-text-percentages

I like the anchor text tag cloud though.

anchor-text-cloud

Definitely useful to gauge a site’s link profile.

 Mostly branded and brand variation anchors imply a healthy link profile.

g) Pages

This report shows what pages on your site have the most backlinks pointing to them. They are your strongest assets and perfect candidates for sending powerful internal links to your money pages.

top-pages-majestic-seo-report

Here’s Majestic’s explanation of this tool:

“The Bulk Backlink Checker allows you to analyse the backlink numbers for up to 400 URLs using the paste URLs feature, and up to 1,000,000 URLs from a file upload (depending on your remaining Analysis Units).

This tool helps check backlink and referring domain counts for the top 10 billion most-linked to URLs in our database, all sub-domains and root domains present in our database.”

And here’s what this looks like when I compared Ahrefs and Moz.

majestic-bulk-url-checker

To be honest, I see little use for this feature. All I get is that Moz is stronger than Ahrefs.

It’s a little better with URL comparisons. For example, here are the metrics for first three results for the keyword SEOPress review.

bulk-checker-comparison-url

I can instantly see that this keyword is not competitive. So, my review stands a grand chance of ranking.

#4- Keyword Generator

In this feature you can mine the target site and extract their most valuable keywords.

To do it enter the domain address, add related sites and wait for Majestic to populate with data.

majestic-keyword-generator

Once it does, you can see the keywords, along with few crucial meters

  • Search volume– represent on a logarithmic scale that’s why number seem small
  • KD– how hard is it to rank
  • Frequency– another way to measure the relative difficulty of rankings
get-best-keywords-competitors

Also by clicking on a keyword, you get a list of hundreds of related keywords you can add to your content and make it more comprehensive and relevant.

related-keywords-feature-majestic

Citation Flow; Trust Flow; Topical Trust Flow- What the Heck are They?

Good question.

They’re Majestic SEO’s proprietary metrics.

I know that doesn’t answer your question:)

so read on…

Citations Flow

Citations Flow is Majestic’s version of Domain Rating from Ahrefs, or Domain Authority from Moz.

Its name is unique, but it works the standard way. When you get a bunch of links, your citation score goes up 

If you get links from powerful websites in your niche, or powerful websites overall (think the likes of New York Times, or TechCrunch) then your score rises quickly and sharply

You want Citation Flow to be as high as you can get it, but that high backlink count and CF need to stem primarily from high profile and trusted websites.

Speaking of trust…

Trust Flow

Majestic tries to evaluate links based on how trustworthy they are. And trustworthiness depends on the quality of the sites linking to you.

They based the whole system on the idea that there are a handful of seed sites which have a “trust” score of 10/10. 

These are Wikipedia, New York Times, LA Times, New Yorker, Washington Post…

They are 10/10 because their editorial standards are mad and their linking pattern is STRICT.

It’s easier for a common person to land on a Moon, then for a bad website to get a direct link from a seed website.

So the sites seed websites link to must be legit.

It’s a simplified version of TrustRank.

Here’s an image to show what I mean.

google-trustrank-algorithm

As a site owner, you want to get links from sites that have links from seed websites. That’s both realistic and doable.

Topical Trust Flow

As you saw earlier, Majestic internally classifies websites into categories where they think each site belongs.

So, Topical Trust Flow shows you the theme of sites linking to you and whether their theme closely or loosely matches yours.

You want to have a higher score here, because it means you’re getting links from relevant sites.

And those links are both strongest and safest.

Here are three ways to use Majestic SEO to build outstanding backlinks to your site.

Knowing the best domains that link to you is power because these are the links that get meaningful results and that you can get relatively easy.

Why?

Because these webmasters are already linking to you. If someone gives you a backlink once, they must like you and will respond to your further pitches.

Especially if you make it a mutually helpful relationship.

In Majestic, the way to find the strongest linking domains is to go Site Explorer/Referring Domains, and then filter the results for high TF and CF.

High TF and CF implies power. Because these domains are both very trustworthy (meaning they have links from seed sites); and powerful in raw link equity (because they have a tonne of links).

When you focus on sites like you’re using the Pareto principle to your advantage.

20% of your links will drive 80% of your rankings, and more!

ind-strongest-links-majestic-seo

#2- Find Weak Domains That Link to You; But You’d Like Them to Stop

Conversely, you can also use Majestic to hunt down links that don’t help at all, and probably hurt your rankings.

Now, you probably think links with low TF and CF are harmful? 

But you’re wrong there!

Low metrics don’t imply a spammy website.

It could be a brand new website that Google indexed a week ago?

Or maybe they’re an old website who aren’t actively building links?

Instead, you want to search for domains with low TF but high CF.

Having a low Trust Flow score, but high Citation Flow (a lot of links) implies a spammy link profile. That’s because it’s very easy to build millions of links using automated software.

And many webmasters look for shortcuts in link building.

To find toxic domains in Majestic SEO use their inbuilt filter and search for domains with low TF and high CF.

majestic-seo-find-toxic-backlinks

Majestic is superb at finding links you recently gained and lost.. 

That is very good because if act swiftly you can receive a lot of lost link equity. 

I suggest you fire up Majestics’ lost Backlink reported once a week and see what you can salvage.

Sometimes it’s impossible. For example, the site is already gone or deleted.

But other times, you can get the link back. For example, I like your site and content, but I updated the page and forgot to re-include your link.

Just send me a gentle reminder and I’ll take care of it ASAP!

Majestic Pricing – What Does Majestic Cost?

Majestic has two pricing plans, plus an API access for advanced users.

majestic-seo-pricing

I’m guessing you’re a blogger looking to try Majestic SEO for the first time? Then for you are Lite or Pro plans.

Both plans offer the same data, with Pro giving higher volumes.

I suggest Lite for all those who’re just starting to build links to their sites.

If you need more power– it’s easy to upgrade later.

Majestic SEO Review Pros and Cons

Majestic is not a perfect tool but there are plenty of things I liked, being a link building fanatic as I am.

PRO: Link context and number of external links

Link context is a feature with murky benefits, but I like it.

It’s valuable for me to see the visual representation of where on page my link is. It forces me to remember that not all links are equal.

Editorially placed links that lie smack middle of the post hold the most value and those are the ones I should focus on.

As opposed to directory links for example, which Majestic has an easy time detecting and for Google is easy pickings to devalue.

Knowing the number of external links gives me power to predict how influential that link will be in moving my rankings forward.

I know that if my link is on a page with a few others, then the effect will be greater. And maybe, just maybe… I won’t need to build any other links to rank.

PRO: Crowded UX

Majestic offers a lot of link data but I get the feeling it’s not presented well.

When I first started using it I had difficulty in discerning what is what.

It was very frustrating.

Take a look. Does this page look crowded to you? 

crowded-page-bad-ux

I wish different columns are delineated better, maybe by color so I can quickly grasp what is what.

And there are far too many options to click on, and numbers to look at. It’s dizzying on a first glance, and I’m a heavy SEO tools user.

Probably, if I was a heavy Majestic user, I’d learn not to pay attention to it. But if a tool asks you to put significant effort into mastering- it’s not intuitive enough.

PRO: Majestics unique metrics

Trust Flow and Topical Flow are unique to Majestic and are excellent tools to keep my link profile healthy.

I don’t want to have irrelevant links in my profile because they weaken my site and they confuse Google as to the niche my site’s in.

And confused Google will prevent me from ranking, just in case they make a mistake.

PRO: UX Writing

Majestic is feature packed, but some feature I completely omitted from my Majestic SEO review.

Why?

 Frankly, I couldn’t understand what they do!

For example, their Keyword Checker 

Can you guess what the tool does by reading the description? Please tell me because I was, and still am, clueless.

onfusing-product-descriptions

PRO: Backlink Index

Majestic crew say they have the biggest index on the planet, period.

I don’t know if it’s true, but I know their index updates daily and their crawlers find new and lost backlinks quick.

Link building is a numbers game and you want to find as many as you can. Lots of email outreach opportunities and Majestic over delivers in this area.

majestic-biggest-link-index

PRO: Wrong or Confusing Data

Take a look at this:

wrong-data

It says the website masterblogging.com is linking 1.122.606 times to Moz.com. Ah?!

Or maybe that’s their whole link profile?

I have no idea as they didn’t explain it clearly.

Logic tells me that’s the number of times other websites linked to it, but I find it hard to believe the site linked to Moz over a million times.

Competitors

Majestic may be considered one of the better link building tools in the market. However, it’s up against stiff competition from new and old tools alike. Some offer the same set of features that Majestic does while others can do more. Below are some of Majestic’s prominent competitors:


moz pro homepage

Moz has been around just as long if not longer than Majestic. It’s one of the most well-known SEO tools around because it can do almost all of your SEO needs. From keyword research to backlink analysis, you can ensure that your website is optimized for ranking on organic search. Majestic may have the upper hand when it comes to link building, but Moz has much more features and options.


Ahrefs

what is ahrefs - keywords explorer

Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tool in the market for a number of reasons. Considered to have the largest link, keyword, and content database, you can search for information that you wouldn’t find using any other tool. Also, the filters allow you to zero in on data that you need when researching for keywords and your competitors. Majestic compares favorably in a certain sense especially regarding backlink analysis, but Ahrefs arguably has the upper hand above the rest.

Verdict

Overall, I both can and can’t recommend Majestic SEO

If you are looking for an excellent link building tool, then Majestic SEO stands to- to-toe with Ahrefs and eclipses SEMrush.

It’s an excellent tool for link builders and one that can help you score link after link after link…

Bottom line

Barring horrible UX, Majestic is darn good in link building

But, if you don’t have a huge budget, and you can only afford one tool; then I suggest you avoid Majestic and instead opt for Ahrefs or Moz Pro.

Why?

Because those are link building tools. And keyword research tools. And content auditing tools. And competitor research tools…

Yes, they cost twice as much but you get 4x more value.

Majestic is too niche of a tool and that’s its major weakness compared to other giants in the field.