When you really want to know how something works you turn to the experts, right? Website Magazine is introducing our new "Reader Reviews" series in which industry experts, from search marketers to digital designers, review the solutions they use to achieve Web success. In the first edition of this series, Wellspring Search CEO Karl Hindle shares his insights on recent upgrades at Majestic (one of the most popular tools among search engine optimization professionals) including outbound link metrics, language detection and linking page title integration.
Interested in sharing a review of the software solution you use? Reach out to our editorial staff and share your pitch today.
Majestic is a tool well-known to any serious SEO practitioner, especially for detailed backlink metrics and keyword-rich anchor text analysis in a post-Penguin world.
While Majestic has the largest link database available to SEOs, Google is a lot more sophisticated in using links as a ranking metric than simply counting up the numbers.
My first impression when opening the beta, was that a lot of user experience (UX) updates had been done with a noticeably wider screen and some layout changes. I am a strong supporter of Majestic as a go-to SEO tool, and there is also some loyalty involved because of their close association with Aston University, my alma mater.
Initially, I had a sinking feeling thinking this was just a facelift and I would have to figure out where everything I used had been moved to. This was very quickly displaced with the very cool, very powerful and very sexy SEO functionality under the hood.
I spoke with Majestic's Dixon Jones on his way to the Brighton SEO conference in the UK, and he very quickly peeled the UX veneer away for me.
"Majestic likes to compete through innovation, not imitation, so I am really glad that this update not only catches up on some long-requested features, but also brings something totally new to the industry," said Jones,
Innovation not Imitation
There are three significant enhancements to Majestic's tool which SEOs are going to like:
• Outbound Link Metrics
• Language Identification
• Backlink Page Titles
Outbound Link Metrics Opens Door to Link-Sculpting at Scale
The Outbound Link enhancement is the most exciting, game-changing development to my mind. We need to be clear in understanding that links, both internal and external, are calculated at the page-level not the domain level. This means how many links in and out of a specific page are the determinant of value, not the total links in and out of the website itself.
A Web page linking to our target site may have value, but how much value will be determined by how many other links are emanating from that source Web page. A link from a page is more valuable if it is one of only ten coming from a page, rather than if there are hundreds of links that must take a diminishing share of the finite value available.
The game changer here is that we now have convenient access to metrics, which we can use to gauge the true value of a link in context.
For each backlink Majestic reports on, we are now given three new data points for pages linking to our target sites:
1. Number of internal links out of the source page;
2. Number of external links out of the source page; and
3. Number of outbound domains linked to from the source page.
This opens the door to SEOs carrying out link-sculpting at scale with the shaping of Web page link profiles, using both internal and external links to optimize Web pages. Historically, link-sculpting has been ignored because it is very difficult to improve something you cannot measure, but this obstacle has now been overcome and we can get a much better idea of just how good a link from a Web page is going to be for us.
This is a great time-saving feature for two reasons: it is going to make catching spammy links coming into target websites more obvious. For the same reason, it also makes identifying link candidates from competitor link profiles easier too.
Running through backlinks and referring domains for potential red flags and spam is a common SEO chore, as is looking at competitor websites to see if they have any juicy links you may want to get to. Firstly, we'll be looking at the type of website giving the link, with Porn, Pills, & Casinos (PPC anyone?) being the obvious "Bad Boys", and secondly, the language used by the linking URL.
A global software website may have links from multiple languages coming into it, and this may be perfectly normal as in this instance:
But, if that Dutch language website was linking to a local English-speaking business in the Ozarks, we should be more inclined to take a closer look at what is going on.
This feature is not 100 percent accurate yet, and it is also going to take some time to roll out fully, but I don't want to detract from this enhancement because it is going to make catching spammy links that much faster.
Backlink Page Titles
If you're like me and scan through backlink results to try to pick the standouts, this is a pretty cool feature that would have saved me a lot of monotony if it had been done a long time ago.
Still, it's nice to have it today.
Understanding what is happening with backlink profiles is of vital importance for gaining ranking ground. A deeper and more sophisticated insight into link value is a necessity to generate ROI from SEO. In this regard, Majestic has truly innovated with the delivery of Outbound Link Metrics in a readily usable form, and at scale (something competitors have not done).
Subscribers will see the changes now in the Fresh Index, with the latest crawl by Majestic already done by the launch date, Sept. 14, 2017. The Historic Index, which looks back over the last five years, will take longer to update.
About the Author:
Karl Hindle is the CEO of Wellspring Search