How NOT to Screw Up Your MajesticSEO Data

How NOT to Screw Up Your MajesticSEO Data

Post difficulty level: Intermediate.

This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for a while now. It’s for those SEO’s who know their way around link library MajesticSEO and robust link crawler (amongst many other things) Screaming Frog. There are a number of different situations in which the information in this post would be handy, primarily:

a) If you were to provide a client, or project manager, with an estimate as to how long a link detox task would take.

b) Performing a link analysis task whereby you would need a list of all client backlinks in order to go through them and remove them using whatever process you see fit (this process is subjective and I may publish the process I use on this blog in the near future!)

Let’s get down to it shall we?

You’re after a list of all the backlinks a client currently has. The key thing to note here is use of the word “has”, to me this means a list of backlinks that are currently live. This is something that you need to keep in mind when calling on link library tools, as most of the generic reports available to you will usually spit out all backlinks ever recorded for a particular domain since the dawn of the Internet, which as you can imagine is of no use at all. Picture this scenario:

  • Average Joe visits MajesticSEO
  • Average Joe exports a list of backlinks for
  • Average Joe begins to work through this list of links in order to size up which ones are rubbish and need to be removed
  • Upon doing so, Average Joe doesn’t find a live link, or a link with an instance of on the page, until he’s spent 3 hours working through the list

A common alternative to this is a tool that reports on links found in the last 30 days, which although useful, isn’t as thorough as the task at hand requires

One sure fire way, that I’ve come across, to discover all live backlinks that make up a backlink profile for a domain is to use MajesticSEO hand in hand with Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Here’s how you can get your hands on more accurate backlink data:

Note: I’ve combined a few steps into one on many occasions, do forgive me, this is because there’s a fair few steps otherwise! It’s still super easy though, don’t fear!

Step 1

Plug your URL into MajesticSEO’s site explorer and select historic index then hit search

Note: Historic index pulls up all backlinks for this domain that have ever existed.

Step 2

On the “Summary” tab you should see two tiny icons to the right, the one you want is the one on the left, “Create Report”

Step 3

On the “Create Report” page make sure that you’ve selected Historic Index. Scroll down and select the “Advanced Report” radio button, hit the “Domain” radio button then hit the “Create Report” button

Report has been created – Huzzah!

Step 4

Do as the success page says and make your way over to the “Reports” page. In the “Advanced Report” section you should see your URL listed there in a table with a few other stats such as Status and Last Updated.

Click the URL. In this example I clicked “”.

Note: You may also see that the number of external backlinks that was on the “Summary” page is different, typically lower, than what is listed here – tricky hm? In short, this is because MajesticSEO apply specific filtering rules in advanced reports.

Step 5

On the next page you’ve got to spend a couple of seconds searching for the link you need to click in order to get an export, I’ve highlighted this below.

Step 6

Click “Prepare Download” button

Step 7

Click “Downloads”

Step 8

Click the URL you plugged in at the start

Step 9

Rejoice because you just spent a good chunk of your life exporting data from MajesticSEO! But seriously, you should be proud because there are so many different exports you could have done, but you’ve exported the most expansive set of data ready for the next step of this entire process.  In other words, a download of a .zip file should have start upon clicking the URL you have chosen to investigate, in my case; (as shown in the previous step).

Now we move onto part 2! How to thin this list out into links that we care about (aka, links that weren’t deleted 10 years ago that MajesticSEO decided to give you anyway).

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of 'How NOT to Screw Up Your MajesticSEO Data'
Part 2 will be published within the next week or so, keep your eyes peeled. In the mean time, if you have any questions about the above, or if you are experiencing any troubles, holla at me in the comments below or on twitter or Google+.

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Natalie Wright is a Freelance Search Engine Strategist. She is incredibly fond of technical SEO and can often be found speaking at digital marketing related conferences. She also has no idea why she's speaking in third person right now. Find her on Google+ or Twitter.

3 thoughts on “How NOT to Screw Up Your MajesticSEO Data”

  1. Hi Natalie,
    Thanks SO much for helping users through Majestic’s maze of data. The number of users that assume that they can only download 3,000 links (as opposed to 3 million or more if they could handle it) is staggering and something we should have addressed earlier. However – since you took all those screenshots, we have now made this MUCH easier by adding a “raw export” button next to the create report button that you highlight on your screenshot. This pretty much does steps 2-9 all in one jump! I know it took us a few years to get there, but this will save your readers loads of time and heartache! Since we launched that button, we seem to have lifted the spirits of many a penguin problem solver just that little bit.

    EXPERT TIP: I just want to add a touch more insight and a way to make your data even better. In your article you say that the Fresh index covers the last 30 days, but we now have better data storage technology available and the Fresh index includes everything crawled over the last 90 days. This includes links older than 90 days… so if we do not see a link for a whole 90 days, the chances are that it is either broken or VERY hard to find. However, a really neat trick (if you have the time) is to do a raw export of the Historic data, then resubmit it into our URL submitter. You can submit up to 100,000 links at a time with this tool, so big sites may need to break down the file. This will then request our crawler to revisit all the historic links, thereby re-triggering them in the Fresh Index where they exist (and eventually flagging them as bad in the Historic index where they don’t). It takes a few days (maybe 3-4) for the effects to be seen in the Fresh Index, but then you are able to work reasonably well with the Fresh Index for Penguin analysis rather than having to tread through all the “dirty links” in the Historic data. In short – this does the job of Screaming Frog for you when the site is too large for the links to be analyzed in Screaming Frog (although smaller sites DEFINITELY work well in Screaming Frog in list mode… excellent companion tool to Majestic).

    You could even go further and export all link data from Google Webmaster Tools (or any other source) and also upload this to our URL submitter. This then effectively collates and calculates Flow metrics from multiple data sources in Majestic. Unfortunately, we cannot import data from GWT or other sources automatically, as pulling this data from Google is not part of their ASP, so we would have to break their terms of service to do it.

    1. This comment made my day. Firstly, thanks so much for taking the time to read it!

      Secondly, thank you SO MUCH for adding 1 button that does so much. I’ll be for sure using this from now on, especially for link removal or detox tasks alongside the URL submitter. Just to get my head around prior to giving it a whirl, once you submit the historic via the URL submitter, you say you’ll end up with effectively, a “live” list of links using the Fresh Index?

      Another request, if I may be so bold, would you mind if I used your comment in a future blog post/based a future blog post upon your comment? I feel like it’s valuable information that people would love to know! I’d be pleased to post it.

      Thanks again Dixon!

      P.S. Jessica Rose from Majestic also gave me a demo of a number of Majestic tools today including Clique Hunter, URL Submitter, Backlink History and more!

  2. >>would you mind if I used your comment in a future blog post/based a future blog post upon your comment? I <<

    Yes – no problem. Dixon.

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