7 Best Ahrefs Alternatives (Free and Paid)

7 Best Ahrefs Alternatives (Free and Paid)

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated Apr. 10, 2020

7 Best Ahrefs Alternatives (Free and Paid)

This is a list of legit alternatives to the popular SEO tool, Ahrefs.

In this post I’ll:

  • List out 7 SEO tools that you can use instead of Ahrefs
  • Show you how each of them compares to Ahrefs
  • My personal experience with each tool

So if Ahrefs isn’t a good fit for you, check out the list below for your best options.

The 7 Best Ahrefs Alternatives

1. Ubersuggest

In my opinion, Ubersuggest is one of the best free SEO tools on the market.

Ubersuggest – Homepage

Why?

Because it has a wide range of features, including:

  • Keyword research
  • Topic research (like BuzzSumo)
  • Backlink analysis
  • SEO audit reports
  • And more

And each of them are solid.

In fact, if you’re just starting out with SEO, Ubersuggest is a solid option.

Now: Ubersuggest used to be 100% free. But they recently rolled out a paid plan.

Ubersuggest – Pro Version Pricing

The free version is still solid. But if you want to access more features or get more reports, the paid plan might be a good option for you. For example, with a paid plan you get unlimited SEO audit reports.

Ubersuggest – Pro Unlimited Reports

Which is helpful if you have SEO clients or manage a bunch of websites.

How Ubersuggest Compares to Ahrefs

Like I said above, Ubersuggest is a high-quality tool. That said: it’s not quite as feature-rich as Ahrefs.

So if I had to compare Ubersuggest and Ahrefs side-by-side based on features alone, I’d go with Ahrefs.

But there’s another important factor to consider: cost.

Ahrefs starts at $99/month.

Ahrefs – Lite-Pricing Monthly

Ubersuggest is a flat $29/month.

If you have a large marketing budget, I’d still probably go with Ahrefs. But in terms of pure value, Ubersuggest definitely comes out on top.

2. SEMrush

SEMrush is one of the most popular SEO tools on the market.

SEMrush – Homepage

And for good reason: it’s REALLY good.

In fact, I’ve been a paying SEMrush customer for over 8 years now:

SEMrush –Profile Registration Date

Over that time I’ve seen it evolve from a keyword research tool for PPC to a full-on SEO software suite.

Today, besides its standard keyword research features (like search volume, CPC etc.), SEMrush also has a ton of helpful features like:

  • Traffic analytics (where a site gets its traffic from)
  • Backlink analytics
  • Rank tracking
  • SEO site audits
  • On-page SEO analysis
  • And lots more

In my opinion, SEMrush is probably the closest tool to Ahrefs out there (both in terms of feature quantity and quality).

How SEMrush Compares to Ahrefs

I already wrote a complete SEMrush vs. Ahrefs breakdown here. So if you want a super-detailed list of how Ahrefs and SEMrush compare, check out that review.

But the bottom line is that Ahrefs and SEMrush are VERY similar.

Similar in terms of features. Similar in terms of quality. And even similar in terms of pricing.

Ahrefs And Semrush Pricing

I do personally prefer Ahrefs. Mostly because I really like their UX. Specifically, Ahrefs’ excellent UX makes it easier for me to do my work.

So even if SEMrush has the same exact feature as Ahrefs, they’re harder to find and harder to use.

For example, when you analyze a site in Ahrefs, you have a SUPER helpful sidebar that links directly to important reports (like broken links, internal links and anchor text).

Ahrefs – Site Report Sidebar

In SEMrush, you also have a sidebar. But it only links to features.

SEMrush – Domain Overview Sidebar

To find something specific, you need to dig into each feature to find the exact thing you need.

Now, this is obviously a personal preference. Some people actually like SEMrush’s UX better than Ahrefs.

But in terms of pure features, Ahrefs and SEMrush are pretty much tied. So if you want an Ahrefs alternative with a list of similar features, I recommend trying SEMrush.

Monitor Backlinks claims to have “The best monitoring tool for backlinks and keywords, period.”

Monitor Backlinks – Homepage

I first signed up for Monitor Backlinks in 2015. And I just gave the tool another try today.

Now: it does have some pretty cool features. For example, a disavow tool.

Monitor Backlinks – Disavow Tool

But the main issue with the tool is that there’s really nothing unique here. Monitor Backlinks basically just pulls data from Majestic and Moz. And adds a few bells and whistles (like a rank tracker).

How Monitor Backlinks Compares to Ahrefs

In my opinion, Monitor Backlinks doesn’t begin to compare to Ahrefs. They’re not close.

For example, with Ahrefs you can pull 10k rows of backlink data.

Ahrefs – Rows Per Report

With Monitor Backlinks, you only get 4k.

Monitor Backlinks Daily Rows

There’s also the fact that it lacks a keyword tool, competitor analysis feature, domain comparisons, organic traffic reporting… and a laundry list of features that you get in Ahrefs.

Monitor Backlinks does have a free trial. Which can give you feel for the tool. So if you want to give it a spin, go ahead.

But in my opinion, Monitor Backlinks is so limited that it barely qualifies as an Ahrefs alternative.

4. Mangools

Mangools isn’t your typical SEO software suite.

Instead of a bunch of integrated features, Mangools is actually 5 completely different tools.

Mangools – App Shortcuts

For example, let’s say you want to see the keywords that a site ranks for in Google.

Well, you’d open up “KWFinder” hit the “Search by domain” tab, and type in the domain you want to look at:

KWFinder – Domain Search Backlinko

And now you want to see that site’s backlinks. Well, now you need to go back to your dashboard, hit “LinkMiner” to open up their backlink tool, and start the whole process over again.

Link Miner – Search Backlinko

So yeah, this setup isn’t ideal. And it makes using the tool MUCH harder than it needs to be.

That said: as I write in my recent Mangools review, the tools themselves are actually pretty solid. Not quite at the level of SEMrush. But not bad.

I just wish the tools weren’t stitched together.

How Mangools Compares to Ahrefs

In my opinion, Mangools isn’t even in the same universe as Ahrefs.

And I’m not just talking about the fact that it takes 3-5x more clicks to do something in Mangools than in Ahrefs.

The features themselves also aren’t nearly as solid as Ahrefs.

For example, the backlink analysis feature Mangools doesn’t have that many filters.

You basically have filters for dofollow vs. nofollow, active vs. deleted… and that’s about it.

Link Miner Analysis Filters

With Ahrefs, you can filter by literally hundreds of things, like link type, language, to URL Rating, and more.

Ahrefs – Backlinks Search Filters

Which is super helpful if you want to drill down on a specific type of backlink.

So it’s clear that Ahrefs is overall a better SEO tool than Mangools. But is it a better value?

Mangools’s “Basic” plan is is about half the price of the Ahrefs “Starter” plan.

Mangools – Basic Pricing Monthly

(Note: if you sign up for an annual plan, the price of Mangools Basic goes down to $29).

I personally don’t think the tradeoff in price is worth it. I rather pay 2x more for a tool that’s 10x better. Which is why I happily pay for Ahrefs every month.

But it’s ultimately your call. If you’re on a super tight budget, you can still get a lot out of Mangools. But if you can swing 100 bucks a month, I recommend going with a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush.

5. Moz Pro

I’ll cut right to the chase:

Moz Pro isn’t a bad SEO tool.

MOZ Pro – Product Page

But it’s not quite at the level of its two main competitors: Ahrefs and SEMrush.

The main issue with Moz Pro is that it’s features haven’t really kept up with the competition.

While Ahrefs and SEMrush are constantly rolling out improvements, Moz Pro has really only rolled out one recent feature improvement: their keyword tool known as “Keyword Explorer”.

Granted, Moz’s keyword tool is great. And it’s especially good at generating long tail keyword suggestions. But I can say the same thing about Ahrefs and SEMrush.

How Moz Pro Compares to Ahrefs

I recently put a bunch of the top backlink checkers to the test.

Backlinko – Best Backlink Checker Post

And we found that Moz was actually on the same level as the other tools. Both in terms of findings links quickly. And the total number of backlinks in its index.

Backlinko – Site Data Table

The main issue with Moz Pro is that they charge $99/month. And in my opinion you’ll get much more from that investment with SEMrush or Ahrefs.

6. Majestic

Even though it’s getting a little dated, Majestic SEO is still one of the top SEO tools on the market.

Majestic SEO Homepage

Majestic is 100% focused on backlink reports. So if you want a tool that takes care of all of your SEO tasks in one place, Majestic SEO probably isn’t a good fit for you.

But if all you care about is backlink data, Majestic SEO is actually pretty solid.

In fact, in that backlink checker comparison I mentioned earlier, Majestic wasn’t too far behind other major SEO tools.

In fact, for some sites, it actually found more backlinks than SEMrush.

MOZ – Truvani Site Data Table

As you can read in my full Majestic review, I can’t criticize the data you find in the tool all that much. It’s actually solid tech.

The main problem is that the UX is super outdated.

Majestic Backlink Search Interface

And I’m not just talking about the look and feel. I don’t really care about that. It’s more that the backend is tricky to use. Especially compared to Ahrefs.

How Majestic Compares to Ahrefs

In terms of pure backlink data, Majestic SEO isn’t a bad Ahrefs alternative.

But you can’t really evaluate a tool based only on the data it provides. You also need to take into account UX, key features, customer support, and more.

And when you take all that stuff into account, Ahrefs comes out way ahead.

For example, you can use Ahrefs for pretty much all of your SEO tasks. Keyword research. Technical SEO. Rank Tracking. And more.

Majestic doesn’t have any of that stuff. It’s a 100% pure link building tool.

That said, the price of Majestic reflects the lack of features. It starts at $50/month.

Majestic SEO – Pricing

Which is about half the price of Ahrefs.

So if you’re someone that pretty much ONLY cares about backlinks, then you’ll probably get an insane amount of value from that 50 bucks.

But if you want an all-in-one piece of SEO software, Ahrefs is probably your best bet.

7. BuzzSumo

Next up, let’s take a look at BuzzSumo.

BuzzSumo – Content Search Backlinko

Unlike some of the other tools that I listed here, BuzzSumo isn’t super SEO focused. It’s more of a content marketing tool.

So why does BuzzSumo make this list of Ahrefs alternatives?

First, up SEO and content marketing overlap. A LOT.

In other words: your site can be perfectly optimized. But to rank today, your content needs to be GREAT.

Plus, BuzzSumo does have a few SEO-focused features (like a decent backlinks tool):

Buzzsumo – Backlinks Tool

So yeah, BuzzSumo is one of my favorite marketing tools. And it’s improved my SEO indirectly by making my content better.

How Buzzsumo Compares to Ahrefs

To be clear: Ahrefs and BuzzSumo are very different tools.

For example, BuzzSumo lacks a lot of the key SEO features in Ahrefs, like a site audit tool.

And Ahrefs lacks a lot of the content-focused features in BuzzSumo, like mention tracking.

That said, there is some overlap between the two tools. For example, both Ahrefs and BuzzSumo have features that help you find content with lots of social media shares.

BuzzSumo Ahrefs Side By Side

So the question here isn’t: “How does BuzzSumo stack up against Ahrefs?”. It’s more: “Do you want a tool that’s focused on SEO (Ahrefs)?

Or a tool that helps with content marketing (BuzzSumo)?”.

If you’re 100% focused on improving your Google rankings, then I’d stick to Ahrefs or one of the other tools that I listed here. But if you want SEO to be more of a byproduct of your content marketing, you’ll get a lot of value out of BuzzSumo.

So yeah, there’s no right or wrong answer. It depends on the type of digital marketing that you’re focusing on right now.

I personally use both all the time. And because I’m more focused on SEO I tend to use Ahrefs more often than BuzzSumo.

But I know plenty of people that use BuzzSumo every day and only login to Ahrefs once and a while. So it really depends.

Bonus. Serpstat

Our last alternative to Ahrefs is Serpstat.

Serpstat is billed as an “All-in-One SEO platform”.

Serpstat – Homepage

And it largely delivers. Serpstat has the features you’d expect from an SEO software suite, like backlink analysis, organic rankings reports, and more.

That said, I’m not sure if the features themselves are all that great.

For example, when I look at the top SEO keywords report for Backlinko, it says that my top 3 keywords are YouTube views, pogosticking… and “press released”?

Serpstat – Domain Search Top Keywords

I obviously don’t expect this report to be 100% accurate. You’d need my Google Analytics for that. But these numbers are way off.

That said, it’s “Backlink Dashboard” is pretty good. I used it to analyze my backlink profile. And it found that Backlinko has 21.4K referring domains.

Serpstat – Backlink Dashboard Reffering Domains

That pretty much aligns with what Ahrefs’ Site Explorer report.

Ahrefs Site Explorer – Reffering Domains

How Serpstat Compares to Ahrefs

Serpstat has many of the same features as Ahrefs.

But I don’t think any of them are as good as Ahrefs.

For example, my organic keywords report in Ahrefs is much more accurate than Serpstat:

Ahrefs – Organic Keywords Top Three

They both technically have the same feature. But one is way better than the other.

The one Serpstat feature that’s comparable to Ahrefs is their backlink analysis tool. It has a massive index. Plus, it’s pretty easy to use.

What Did I Miss?

So that’s my list of 7 Ahrefs alternatives.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Are there any tools that are similar to Ahrefs that you use?

Let me know in the comments section below.

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