(SEO This Week) - Over the course of the years, backlink analysis tools for the SEO industry have really been lacking. Sure we had Moz, Majestic, and AHrefs, but they didn't really have any serious competition to push them to expand their databases and improve their product. When you're the only game in town, you don't need to stay ahead of the competition after all.
AHrefs did push the envelope there for a while and they increased their data quality and began improving their user interface, a process that is still going on as we speak.
Moz also conducted a new data collection period and updated their data as well, however, it's not so clear if that work was too little too late to help them maintain a significant market share. There are plenty of link sellers that still rely on DA (domain authority) rating from Moz to sell links on the open market.
Majestic seems to have taken the other route. There have been no significant updates to the service, or from what can be discerned, the size of their database of backlinks. When logged in, a user can see new links being added to their crawler bots are still gathering links, however, it seems to be missing a lot. It could also be that they are filtering more links than the other services to only show you "higher quality" backlinks. But from a backlink analysis perspective, this is a horrible idea, because you'll never see the bad links pointing at your site.
This general lack of improvement resulted in the birth of new SAAS solutions, the most notable is Link Research Tools, which claims to be combining 22 different link sources together to get a better picture. Users report though, despite that claim and its very high price tag (the lowest subscription tier is $499/mo), they still have to import links in from the likes of Moz, Majestic, or even Google Search Console to get the full picture of their backlink profiles.
AHrefs has been updating its product offerings and reporting to help its users gain more actionable intelligence about their backlinks, but they are not the only ones with an eye on improvement.
SEMRush has also been very busy updating their backlink database and making their entire suite more informative to SEOs. This is a progression for a service that primarily served the pay-per-click market while also touching on SEO data.
Since launching that new aspect to their product offering they've increased their market share in the SEO tools space and are expected to continue that move forward leaving tools like SpyFu, Moz, and Majestic wondering how they will catch up, nevermind overtake, the SEMRush product development team.
All of those new features do come at a price though, with their pricing plan that doesn't allow full access to the entire tool suite until the Guru level which will run you $229.95/mo plus another $300/mo if you want to round out the toolset and use it for your agency.
SEO Powersuite is the newest player to enter the backlink analysis space with a tool good enough to be taken seriously. With a $699/yr price point, and yearly update service payment, they are not exactly cheap. Though you do get several different software tools that all have their positives and negatives.
Their SEO Spyglass tool is their backlink analysis offering they have since taken great strides in improving their service. Second to none, except for SEMRush, they've worked really hard to increase the size of the link database. More so, they've increased the number of reported referring domains, in this way, they've even surpassed SEMRush data numbers providing a more informative picture to users.
Though they are in third place when it comes to total backlink count, SEMRush and AHrefs beat them out.
If price is a big sticking point then Majestic is probably the choice to go with. They have a lower barrier for entry compared to the other tools, however, they also have the worst performance in relation to link and referring domain count.
If all in one super SAAS is what you're looking for, the SEMRush is probably the way to go. There are a lot of agencies in the space that rely on the toolset for their day-to-day operations.
If you're looking for software to run on your own systems that really aren't limited by project counts, data pulls, etc, then SEO Spyglass is the way to go.
Regardless of which you chose, you'll be losing some data based on the resources the maintenance teams of the services put to keeping their link databases updated so you'll probably want to continue combining the information for your analysis, something SEO Spyglass is good for as well.