As many of you will have noticed, Market Samurai has recently been updated to get backlink data from a new location – Majestic SEO.
We understand that for some users, the change in backlink numbers and the differences in available data has come as a surprise.
Most of our users have been delighted that we’ve updated to use Majestic SEO, as they generally offer a more accurate picture of the true number of backlinks that are going to your website. Websites that previously reported only a handful of backlinks now regularly report hundreds or even thousands of links.
However, in a small number of cases, Majestic SEO will report lower or even no backlinks to your website. While they have the largest private backlink database available on the Internet (with over 1 Trillion Backlinks), their data will vary from Yahoo’s, particularly for newer websites.
Why We Changed to Majestic SEO
The reason behind changing our data source from Yahoo! to Majestic SEO is that Yahoo is closing down it’s Yahoo Site Explorer service very soon. Yahoo Site Explorer is the service that we previously used to retrieve backlink data from. You can read about in more detail here:
With their service being permanently retired it was vital that we find a new source of backlink data and integrate it into Market Samurai as soon as we were able, as much of Yahoo!’s data would, by the end of March 2011, no longer be available.
In addition to this, the entire Yahoo Site Explorer website will cease to operate by the end of this year.
The Search for a Source Of Backlinks
After a lot of searching and shortlisting of potential services, we entered talks with Majestic SEO to become our data provider. The writing has been on the wall for a long time.
Google, as you know, does not make much of it’s backlink data available at all (only a very small percentage of your true links are reported by Google), and with the merging of the number 2 search giants Yahoo and Bing, we needed to find another data provider.
In fact, in anticipation of this change over a year ago, our CEO, flew over to the UK and met with the Majestic SEO team personally to make sure that the quality of their service was going to be suitable for our extensive user base (now almost 300,000 users!).
Majestic SEO is a highly regarded company in professional SEO circles, and their backlink index is considered the best available (almost 4 times the size of their nearest competitor) and regularly updated (on average twice a month).
Why there is Majestic SEO branding in Market Samurai
There has been some speculation in our userbase that the data we are personally profiting from the partnership with Majestic SEO, and that we were pushing users to take up Majestic SEO accounts as part of an affiliate deal with Majestic SEO.
This is not the case. The branding that is present within our software is a requirement of use for providing the service to our users free of charge.
Majestic SEO have generously provided our users access to their API, for all our 300,000 Market Samurai users, for no additional cost.
Were we to remove the branding we would need to pay a substantial amount for their full premium service, which would make providing their data uneconomical under our current pricing structure.
If you do elect to take up services with Majestic, Noble Samurai won’t see a cent from it.
While Yahoo Site Explorer is still available, we’re giving you the choice
Whilst we are very confident in the data that Majestic supply, we want you to feel happy about the data you are receiving, so until such time as the Site Explorer is retired, we have updated Market Samurai to allow you to select between the two data sources in both the SEO Competition module and the Rank Tracker module.
Be Warned: Yahoo’s Data is Flawed and Inconsistent
For the past four months prior to our Majestic SEO update, there has been an uproar in the professional SEO community about the inaccuracies of Yahoo’s backlink data.
Thousands of our users have report that Yahoo backlink counts have been dropping substantially, and fluctuating wildly.
Yahoo has recently changed to use Microsoft’s Bing search engine as their provider of search results. Many have attributed this as part of the cause (ie. we’re now looking at Bing’s backlink data). Others have suggested that as Yahoo Site Explorer will be decommissioned soon, that the data is not as fresh, is not being effectively maintained, and is decaying rapidly.
Be Warned: Yahoo Site Explorer will be gone soon
In any case, regardless of what your belief is about the data, at the end of March, their API (which we’ve been using to pull data back from Yahoo) will be switched off. And by the end of the year, the entire Yahoo Site Explorer web-site will be decommissioned.
We therefore can’t guarantee how long the data will be available. But for the time being we’ve updated Market Samurai so that you have a choice for the time being about where you’d like to retrieve your backlink data from.
Please Note: PR Backlink Analysis & Anchor Text Analysis still come from Yahoo
Currently the arrangement we have with Majestic SEO only allows us to provide the “counts” (ie. the number of backlinks), not the actual URLs (ie. what the backlinks are).
Currently this means that we’ll still use the Yahoo Site Explorer website data to get a list of backlinks. This is the source of the discrepancies between the number of backlinks Majestic SEO reports, and the actual backlinks that Yahoo Site Explorer provides.
We’re in discussions with Majestic SEO for a solution to this in anticipation of Yahoo Site Explorer being decommissioned at the end of the year.
How You can Get Both Yahoo and Majestic SEO Data…
You can update to the latest version of Market Samurai for FREE, complete with the multiple backlink sources by simply re-launching Market Samurai and saying “OK” to the dialog asking you to update to the latest version.
In your Rank Tracker module, and in the SEO Competition module you will then be given a choice about where you’d like your backlink data to come from.
If you don’t yet have a full copy of Market Samurai, and would like to get access to this new backlink data in our paid SEO Competition and Rank Tracker modules, then you can upgrade to the full version.