Why I stopped using Moz… but plan to return

I’ve surprised more than a few people with this statement this year:

I don’t use Moz anymore. I just don’t feel like I can trust their data.

Apparently, I’m not the only one that saw it. In yesterday’s post Good News: We Launched a New Index Early! Let’s Also Talk About 2015’s Mozscape Index WoesLoki Astari, Director of Engineering reveals some information about Moz’s latest index update. There’s some important metrics there that you can hop over and read if you’re interested, but what’s important to me is the 2nd section.

As Astari writes it, “Let’s be blunt: the Mozscape index has had a hard time this year. We’ve been slow to release, and the size of the index has jumped around.”

Uhm, yeah. Just a little. We were using Moz data for a few different projects at my previous workplace, and the data became so spaztastic that we decided to completely eliminate Moz metrics from our reporting. That’s a pretty big decision for a team that’s been using a tool for years. We moved over to aHrefs instead.

Astari openly says that Moz had a bug, that the bug had huge consequences, that the index is smaller but will be ramped up slowly, and a variety of stats and explanations around many of the large issues that Moz faced this year. There’s also detail on what steps are being taken to maintain reliability and trust going forward. It really is a compelling read.

There’s still something that bugs me, though. Compare these index sizes:

  • Moz: 145 billion URLs
  • AHrefs: 2 Trillion URLs
  • Majestic: 179 billion Fresh URLs, 863 billion Historic URLs

Now it’s important to remember intent here. Moz isn’t a backlink analysis tool. That’s a part of the toolset, but it’s not the centerpiece. That said, I remember when OpenSiteExplorer was THE backlink tool to use, and I still have a tendency to view Moz through that lens. I need to go back and start using Moz as a holistic quality analysis tool and really reset my understanding of the platform.

That said, I think I’ll stick with AHrefs for raw backlink analysis. If you REALLY want power analysis, LinkResearchTools is must-have. It takes input from all of the above and more and gives you the most comprehensive view of backlink data I’ve ever seen.

So, 8:30 am rambling post before I’ve had my coffee. Take it for what you will. I’m going back to give Moz a try, curious what others think about the subject.


Free for students: Professional developer tools from JetBrains

Another great free item for students. If you’re looking to learn a programming language like PHP or Java, an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) can be incredibly helpful. I typically come across two primary recommendations for PHP IDEs: PHPStorm and NetBeans. The recommendations generally come down to two results: If you can afford to pay, go to PHPStorm. Otherwise, get NetBeans.

Well, if you’re a student, you can get any of JetBeans’ IDEs for FREE. Just go to https://www.jetbrains.com/student/ and follow the instructions. I’ve just installed Intellij IDEA with Java, PHP, & Python plugins, so I’m excited to geek out during some down time.

JetBrains, Inc. is a technology-leading software development company specializing in the creation of intelligent development tools.

Source: Free for students: Professional developer tools from JetBrains

7 Steps To Semantic Content Excellence

What is semantic content optimization, why do you need it, and how can you implement it? Columnist Eric Enge answers these questions and more.

Source: 7 Steps To Semantic Content Excellence

I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept to understand, but it’s one of the most difficult to get any organization to accept:

Create content for your users. Not for your team, not for your internal stakeholders, not for your ego – for your users. Don’t waste their time (or yours) on content they don’t want or need.


Ranking Factors Expert Survey – Moz

Every two years, Moz surveys the opinions of dozens of the world’s brightest search marketers and runs correlation studies to better understand the workings of search engine algorithms. Here are the results for 2015.

Source: Ranking Factors Expert Survey – Moz

I’ve been viewing Moz data with a somewhat weary eye over the past several months, but their bi-annual ranking factors survey is always a good read.