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Last UpdatedSep 26, 2023
With the plethora of SEO tools available in the market, Moz and Ahrefs are the ones that capture the attention of digital marketers due to their relevance to current digital marketing trends, SEO strategies, and website owners. Here’s why?
If you are in the middle of a dilemma about which of these tools can lead to a better online presence, here is what you need to know.
If you prioritize advanced SEO features like link building, keyword research (including utilization of Top Free Keyword Research Tools), and rank tracking, Ahrefs emerges as the clear winner over Moz.
Ahrefs offers more sophisticated tools in these areas, giving you a competitive edge in optimizing your website’s performance. However, be cautious of its confusing pricing model and limited monthly report allowances.
On the other hand, if you value the quantity of data and need to handle multiple SEO projects simultaneously, Moz takes the lead. With more generous reporting limits and a generous free trial, it becomes an attractive option for organizations with diverse SEO needs.
Moz Pro and Ahrefs are the tools that help optimize your website to rank on the search engines.
While optimizing your website, you get a lot of information with these tools, and you can use that data to:
Both Moz and Ahrefs serve as keyword suggestion wizards, fueling your content creation with phrases that resonate powerfully in search results.
One of the most valuable tasks you can perform with Moz and Ahrefs is domain analysis, a gateway to understanding how a website performs in terms of SEO.
Whether analyzing your own website to identify key SEO improvements or assessing a competitor’s domain to gauge their search result dominance, Moz and Ahrefs provide insights to shape your digital strategy.
Once you enter a URL into their domain analysis tools, both Moz and Ahrefs offer a wealth of essential information:
Conducting domain analysis with both Moz and Ahrefs is relatively straightforward, but in my assessment, Ahrefs takes the lead with its considerably superior domain analysis features.
One of the primary advantages of Ahrefs is its ability to provide more comprehensive domain data. Unlike Moz, Ahrefs offers an estimate of a domain’s traffic, crucial information for understanding a website’s performance.
Notably, this traffic data is highlighted for the known Google algorithm updates, offering a clear picture of how changes in the search engine have impacted the site.
Moz, on the other hand, offers limited options in this regard, allowing users to connect a Google Analytics account to their Moz account. However, this proves less useful, especially if access to the Google Analytics account for the domain under analysis is unavailable.
Additionally, Ahrefs goes a step further by showcasing the traffic value of a domain.
This essential metric reveals the monetary equivalent of buying ads to generate the same number of click-throughs to a site.
Keyword research lies at the heart of successful SEO strategies, as it unveils critical insights into user behavior and search engine rankings. Both Moz and Ahrefs excel in delivering the four key aspects of keyword research:
However, a key distinction between Moz and Ahrefs lies in their scope. Moz provides keyword research data solely for Google, while Ahrefs takes it a step further by offering insights for nine different search engines.
This vast scope empowers you to optimize your content for a wider audience, catering to diverse search preferences.
Keyword research, a pivotal aspect of SEO strategy, finds its prowess in tools like Moz and Ahrefs, serving two primary purposes:
The process to obtain a keyword overview on both Moz and Ahrefs is relatively similar. By accessing the ‘Keyword Overview‘ tool in Moz or selecting the ‘Keyword Explorer’ option in Ahrefs, users enter the desired keyword, unearthing vital data:
In the realm of keyword difficulty assessment, both Moz and Ahrefs employ a score ranging from 0 to 100, where higher values indicate higher difficulty in ranking for a keyword.
However, Ahrefs takes it a step further by providing an invaluable ‘backlink estimate’ alongside the keyword difficulty score. This estimate informs you of the approximate number of backlinks needed to secure a spot in the top ten search results for the keyword.
Moz, on the other hand, offers a keyword ‘priority score’ feature as a related tool. This score assesses the effort you should invest in ranking for a specific keyword, taking into account factors like traffic generated, ranking difficulty, and click through percentage in search results.
In terms of clickthrough rate data, Ahrefs excels by displaying the likely number of clickthroughs a keyword will generate. This feature considers that not all users click on organic results, some opting for ads or returning to the search for other queries.
Lastly, Ahrefs outshines Moz in providing more comprehensive data about the pages currently ranking highly for your target keywords. While Moz offers key metrics like domain authority and backlinks to the page, Ahrefs presents ten pieces of data, including traffic estimates, equivalent PPC value, and even word count metrics.
These metrics include a traffic estimate, equivalent PPC value of the ranking, and even a recent addition – the ‘word count’ metric.
In Ahrefs, the process commences by entering a phrase into its powerful ‘Keyword Explorer’ tool, similar to when seeking keyword overview data.
On the left-hand side of the dashboard, you’ll find the ‘Keyword Ideas’ options, providing access to three types of keyword suggestion reports:
Search Suggestions: A valuable feature, the ‘search suggestions’ report displays Google’s ‘autocomplete’ suggestions related to your keyword, further inspiring your keyword selection.
Furthermore, Ahrefs provides a wide range of filters, allowing you to fine-tune your results, thereby refining your keyword research with precision.
On the other hand, Moz offers its keyword suggestions through a dedicated ‘Keyword Suggestions’ feature.
Within this, you’ll find a drop-down menu offering ‘view’ options to narrow down the displayed keywords. While Moz provides similar options to Ahrefs, it lacks a dedicated choice for viewing Google’s ‘autocomplete’ suggestions.
The offerings in both Moz and Ahrefs are quite comparable, featuring similar main search types and filter sets in Ahrefs. However, Ahrefs has a unique advantage with its dedicated option for viewing Google ‘autocomplete’ suggestions, which is absent in Moz.
Using the filters in both tools can yield broadly similar sets of keyword research results. Yet, what sets them apart is the additional “ancillary” data they provide. While Ahrefs offers a more comprehensive range of insights, Moz focuses on essential data points.
In Moz, you receive three key pieces of data when requesting keyword suggestions: the keyword itself, its relevancy, and the monthly search volume it generates.
However, it falls short of providing crucial metrics like keyword difficulty, which is one of the most valuable insights for an effective SEO strategy.
Furthermore, in Moz, clicking on a keyword to access more information isn’t a seamless process. Instead, users have to re-enter the keyword into Moz’s keyword overview tool, using up one of their allocated monthly queries in the process. This limitation can be inconvenient and restricts the depth of keyword analysis.
In contrast, Ahrefs takes keyword research to a whole new level by offering a wealth of information alongside each keyword suggestion.
Users get access to crucial data such as keyword difficulty, search volume in the chosen territory, global search volume, traffic potential if ranking number one for the keyword, equivalent cost per click in Google Ads, and clicks per search (the percentage of people clicking on a search result for that query).
Moreover, Ahrefs provides a “parent topic” feature, offering a more general and high-traffic keyword related to each keyword suggestion. This added context helps users grasp the overall theme and search volume of a keyword suggestion.
Additionally, Ahrefs offers an interactive tool that showcases main keyword groups related to the entered phrase, providing a comprehensive view of related search suggestions and their respective search volumes.
In Ahrefs, adding a keyword to a list is as simple as clicking the plus symbol beside the suggestion, while in Moz, users can tick a checkbox to accomplish the same task.
These keyword lists serve as valuable references, providing access to evolving keyword difficulty scores.
Interestingly, in Moz’s keyword lists, the missing context highlighted earlier – including keyword difficulty score, typical CTR, and priority score – is actually available. This data-rich display is incredibly helpful for making informed decisions on which keywords to include in the lists.
Keyword gap analysis, a vital process to identify keywords that competitors rank highly for but you don’t, can be effectively performed in both Ahrefs and Moz. However, Ahrefs’ content gap tool gains the upper hand in this aspect.
With Ahrefs, users can perform a gap analysis between up to 10 websites, while Moz limits users to working with three.
Furthermore, Ahrefs’ content gap tool is easier to use, generating a neat list of keywords that competing sites rank for but your site doesn’t. The tool offers a plethora of filters, including keyword difficulty, volume, CPC, and word count, enabling users to fine-tune their analysis. While Moz’s tool is functional, Ahrefs stands out by providing more comprehensive results with supporting data and a wider range of filters.
Rank tracking, also known as position tracking, is the process of monitoring how a website performs in search engines for specific keywords over time.
The goal is to identify changes in rankings and take appropriate action to improve performance, such as enhancing content or building backlinks.
In Ahrefs, rank tracking can be set up easily by accessing the ‘Rank Tracker‘ section.
Users can enter the keywords they want to track for a specific site and receive a report showing the current rankings and recent position changes.
However, rank tracking in Ahrefs is limited by the number of available ‘project slots,’ which restricts the number of campaigns that can be tracked simultaneously.
Moz offers two rank tracking options: the regular rank tracking tool and an ‘on-demand’ tracker. The regular rank tracking tool in Moz functions similarly to the one in Ahrefs but is also limited by project slots or ‘campaign slots.’
On the other hand, the ‘on-demand’ rank checker tool in Moz provides a more basic snapshot view of keyword rankings and does not consume project slots. Users can use the on-demand tool up to 200 times per day.
Backlinks are a crucial factor in how well a site performs in search engine results. Conducting a backlink audit is essential to evaluate the quality and relevance of the incoming links. Having high-quality backlinks from reputable websites can significantly improve a site’s search rankings.
Both Moz and Ahrefs provide users with access to backlink data by allowing them to enter a domain name and view a list of all the backlinks that each tool has found for that domain.
This data is particularly useful for analyzing competitors’ backlinks and potentially reaching out to those website owners to request backlinks for one’s own site (a process known as backlink building).
In terms of backlink database size, Moz and Ahrefs both maintain their own indices of the web, containing a vast number of domains and associated keywords.
At the time of writing, Moz’s link database was reported to be larger than Ahrefs’, with 40.7 trillion links compared to Ahrefs’ 35 trillion.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the size of the database alone may not be the sole determinant of which tool surfaces the most backlinks in real-world scenarios. As demonstrated in your tests, Ahrefs outperformed Moz in six out of ten cases, even though Moz theoretically had the larger backlink database.
These results suggest that the quality and relevance of the data, as well as the algorithms and methodologies used by each tool, play a significant role in the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the backlink data they provide.
It highlights the importance of considering factors beyond database size when choosing a tool for spy competitor backlinks analysis. Both tools have their strengths and weaknesses in this aspect, and users should take into account their specific needs and preferences when making a decision.
It appears that you are comparing the backlink analysis features of two popular SEO tools: Moz and Ahrefs.
Both tools offer valuable insights into a domain’s backlink profile, but there are some differences in the information they provide.
On the other hand, Ahrefs provides a more extensive set of backlink analysis features:
The ability to sort backlinks by the date they were discovered can be valuable for monitoring and analyzing the growth of a backlink profile over time. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in Moz, and you would need to export the link data to a CSV file and manually sort it in Excel or another spreadsheet program.
The spam score report provided by Moz is another advantage, as it helps identify potentially harmful links that could negatively impact a site’s SEO. While Ahrefs offers comprehensive data, it does not include a dedicated spam score report.
As mentioned, Ahrefs offers an advantage over Moz in this aspect. With Ahrefs’ link intersect tool, you can compare up to 10 competitor URLs against your own, significantly expanding the number of potential link prospects you can identify.
On the other hand, Moz’s link intersect tool only allows you to compare five competitor URLs, which might limit the scope of your analysis.
In competitive industries where link building is crucial for SEO success, having access to more competitor URLs for intersection can provide a competitive edge. With Ahrefs’ capability to analyze up to 10 competitors, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of your niche’s backlink landscape and devise a stronger link-building strategy.
Therefore, for users looking for a more extensive link intersect analysis and broader link-building opportunities, Ahrefs’ link intersect tool is a favorable option compared to Moz’s limited comparison feature.
Identifying broken links is indeed crucial for maintaining a healthy backlink profile and ensuring a positive user experience on your website. Broken links can negatively impact SEO, so it’s essential to address them promptly.
Here’s how Moz and Ahrefs handle broken link identification:
Ahrefs does have a clear advantage over Moz when it comes to identifying broken links for broken link-building purposes. Ahrefs provides a dedicated “Broken Backlinks” report, making the process straightforward and efficient.
With Ahrefs’ “Site Explorer” tool, you can simply enter a domain and click on the “Broken Backlinks” option, which will display a list of all the broken inbound links to that website.
This report provides you with the actual URLs that are linking to the dead content, making it easy for you to recreate the content and reach out to the linking websites for potential link opportunities.
On the other hand, while Moz does offer the ability to identify broken links, it lacks a dedicated “Broken Backlinks” report like Ahrefs.
To find broken links in Moz, you have to access a “Top Pages” report for a website and then filter the results by status code, specifically looking for 4xx status codes that indicate broken links. This process is more convoluted and less efficient compared to Ahrefs’ approach.
Additionally, the report you get in Moz is limited to “Top Page” data rather than a comprehensive list of backlinks. It also doesn’t provide the actual URLs linking to the broken content, making it less helpful for conducting targeted outreach to potential link sources.
Monitoring and fixing broken outbound links on your website is crucial for maintaining a positive user experience and avoiding potential negative impacts on SEO. Search engines may view websites with many broken outbound links as less trustworthy and relevant, which can ultimately affect their rankings.
Ahrefs’ “Site Explorer” tool provides a straightforward and efficient way to identify broken outbound links on your website. By entering your domain and navigating to the “Outgoing Links > Broken links” option, you can easily access a list of all the broken links that need to be addressed. The report includes the URLs that contain these broken links, allowing you to find and fix or remove them quickly.
This streamlined process in Ahrefs saves time and effort compared to other methods that might involve manual scanning or using less specialized tools. Regularly checking for broken outbound links and taking corrective action can help maintain a healthy link profile, enhance user experience, and maintain search engines’ trust in your website.
Both Ahrefs and Moz offer site auditing functionalities that identify various technical SEO and on-page SEO issues, such as slow-loading content, duplicate content, SSL issues, crawl errors, missing headers, keyword overuse, and broken links.
They provide recommendations on how to fix these problems, helping website owners and SEO professionals improve their site’s overall health and search visibility.
Ahrefs stands out in two significant aspects compared to Moz’s site auditing:
Core Web Vitals Reporting: Ahrefs provides access to ‘field data’ and ‘lab data’ for Core Web Vitals checks. ‘Field data’ is based on real user experience gathered from Chrome users, while ‘lab data’ is performance data collected in a controlled environment.
Since Google’s rankings are based on ‘field data,’ having access to this type of information is more valuable for understanding how your website’s performance aligns with Google’s metrics and can influence search rankings.
On the other hand, Moz’s Core Web Vitals report only includes ‘lab data,’ which less reflects real-world user experience and Google’s actual ranking considerations.
You’ve provided a comprehensive comparison of the interface and ease of use for both Ahrefs and Moz. Both tools are powerful and feature-rich, but they have distinct approaches to presenting data and usability.
Both Ahrefs and Moz have their unique data metrics and tools. The learning curve for users is more about understanding the specific metrics and features each tool provides rather than accessing them within the interface.
While the support is fairly similar, there are some differences in the ease of access and information provided regarding response times.
Both Ahrefs and Moz offer help portals that serve as self-serve customer support platforms. These portals contain searchable resources to help users find answers to common questions and resolve issues independently.
Both tools currently provide support materials, including help resources and documentation, in English only. However, Ahrefs offers the advantage of allowing users to access its interface in multiple languages, with a total of 13 language options available. This multilingual support can be beneficial for users who prefer to work in their native language.
Moz and Ahrefs’ costs are justified by the extensive data and competitive intelligence they provide, making them valuable investments for SEO professionals and businesses.
Moz offers a range of plans to cater to different user needs, and they come with various levels of access to Moz’s suite of SEO tools. The Moz Enterprise plan is available for custom pricing, making it suitable for larger businesses with specific requirements.
Similar to Moz, Ahrefs provides several pricing tiers, offering different levels of access to their SEO tools and data. The Enterprise plan caters to larger organizations with higher demands.
When comparing the value of Moz and Ahrefs, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and goals. Here are some key aspects to consider:
Ultimately, the choice between Moz and Ahrefs depends on your specific needs and goals in SEO.
If you require a strong focus on keyword research, on-page optimization, and site auditing, Moz is an excellent choice.
On the other hand, if you prioritize backlink analysis, competitive intelligence, and broken link building, Ahrefs stands out as the tool of choice.
Both platforms offer valuable features, and some users may find value in using both tools together to leverage their respective strengths.
Regardless of which tool you choose, investing in either Moz or Ahrefs will undoubtedly benefit your SEO efforts and help improve your website’s performance and visibility in search engine results.
With over a decade of experience in the digital marketing landscape, Alekh has driven exponential growth for global Fortune 500 brands. He has led dynamic, results-oriented teams to acquire customers across digital channels. He develops strategies that deliver tangible business results. His expertise spans digital marketing, branding, organic growth, partnerships, and campaign management. He stays ahead of emerging marketing trends and technologies.
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