Ever since Yahoo Site Explorer was shut down, bloggers and webmasters have been looking for alternative tools. Ahrefs.com is one of the latest tools in the link research tools arena. It is essentially a paid service, however, some tools on the site are available for free. Whether it is for your own site or to spy on the competition, this tool can prove quite useful.

The tool relies on its own bot and index for the research. Also users get fresh data all the time as the index refreshes itself every half hour. Ahref offers these tools for link research:

  • Site Explorer (Overview, External backlinks, New backlinks, Lost backlinks, Anchors,   Crawled pages, Referring domains, Raw data export)
  • SERPs Analysis (Position Analysis, Daily Stats, Daily Stats table, History of changes, Ads Analysis)
  • Reports (Report list, Own domain, Standard report, Report filters, Raw Export report)
  • Labs (Ahrefs Top, Domain Comparison, Chart Comparison, Batch Analysis)

Let us explore all these features separately.

Site Explorer

Ahref's Site Explorer works in a familiar manner, where you are allowed to pick a specific URL, the domain without subdomains, or domain with all its subdomains. The overview of last 45 days will be displayed in the results and there will be details on number of backlinks, the types of backlinks, referring IP's and subnets (class c blocks and such), unique domains and more.

Site Explorer

You can research further about new or lost links, anchor text profile, organic ranking report, referring domains as well as the pages crawled on the Site.

New Links

The ‘New Link’ tab allows you to find new links while referring to the previous month of working in the current month. Clicking on a day presents you with details like- linking urls, the target link page, and the anchor text used for the link.

New Links

New Link report is a great way of following the competition’s link building campaign and also to keep a close eye on your own link campaign.

Lost Links

Use the tool to determine your own drops or keep an eye on the competitor by finding links that the competitor has lost. Then you can contact those webmasters and see if  they will link to you now.

Anchor Text

Get detailed reports about anchor texts of external links and number of occurrences. There is an expandable dropdown menu which tells you the pages on site that are being linked from and the ones being linked to.

Crawled Pages

Get a report about the pages crawled by Ahrefs with details like crawl date, page URL and size as well as internal % external links. This can be an insightful report as far as spying on your competition is concerned as you can use it to know how the competitor’s site is structures as well as check out their popular internally linked-to pages.

Referring Domains

This report reveals the referring domains as well as the number links coming from that domain to your/competitor’s site. Click ‘expand’ button right next to the referring domain to access the links from each domain.

SERP Analysis

You get the ranking data for keyword sets on both Google and Bing with Ahref, and that too in multiple countries. With the analysis you get to know the position, keyword, CPC, estimated cost, ranking URL, global search volume, advertiser competition, last date checked and rating.

Daily Stats

With this report, you can know about keywords in great detail. Spying on the competition? Then find out all about their new or lost keywords, the keywords that went up and by how many positions, the keywords that went down and by how many positions, the estimated percentage of traffic gained or lost as well as the cost change due to this.

Daily Stats

History of Changes

You can get a daily, weekly or monthly or a custom range report on keyword changes and its movement up and down.

Ads Analysis

Research your ads better with Google and Bing PPC data. Ahref tool tells you the ranking, text, volume, CPC data & competition levels of your ad.


Ahref provides reports for each domain separately. The tool allows you to create reports for your own domain for free or for other sites that you have included in your subscription.


You can filter the reports on the basis of:

  • URLs from
  • Backlinks Type – nofollow, image, frame, redirect, form, deleted
  • Pages Specific
  • Subdomain specific
  • Country specific links
  • Anchors ( include or exclude specific anchor text links)
  • Referring Domains ( links for a particular domain only)
  • IP specific links
  • Subnets specific backlinks
  • TLD specific links
  • Date (links from a on specific crawl period)

Remember that you can use these filters and layer on them just like you want.


Delve into further research with the Labs feature of Ahref.


The lab section on Ahref has tools like:

  1. Ahrefs Top – which tells you the top 1 million domains by number of backlinks, completely searchable
  2. Domain Comparison – you can compare your site with 4 competitors’ domains for different link metrics. Learn where you are as compared to them.
  3. Batch Domains – you can get to know the backlinks, referring domains, and IP's of a number of URLs thrown together.

The tool looks promising and can provide deep insights in your own site research as well as sizing the competitor. Will you subscribe for it? Do share your views.


Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet is also the CEO of SEO Services company PageTraffic which is one of the leading search marketing company in Asia.