Moz is renowned for offering an extensive range of free or low-cost resources to help companies develop their SEOs. One of their most commonly utilized – and hotly contested – tools is their open site explorer, or OSE. In fact, OSE had so many problems that it was retired and replaced with Link Explorer at the beginning of 2018. Understand why the evolution occurred and how Link Explorer continues to evolve to help businesses achieve results through its tools and updates.
The Main Issues With OSE
First, it’s essential to understand why OSE retired and link explorer took its place. According to the company itself:
- Its index was too small. First, and probably the most problematic, is that the OSE link index was only about 1.5 of the size of other major competitors like Ahrefs.
- The data turned around too slowly. When someone published or built a link, it could take 60-80 days between actually building the link and the Mozscape actually registering it.
- As a direct result, PA/DA scores took too long to update, so it was virtually impossible to understand how your campaign was performing at the moment.
- Mozscape on OSE did not show links gained or lost over time.
How Is Link Explorer Different?
Moz’s new tool, Link Explorer, seeks to resolve these issues and make link building and assessment easier for the average user. Some of the main updates to the program include:
The index is much bigger.
Index size was a consistent complaint regarding OSE, so Link Explorer has an index that is 20 times the size of OSE. In the first 60 days after launch, Moz Link Explorer had nearly 5 trillion URLs – and it adds more every day. Ahrefs, by contrast, has about 3 trillion.
Data refreshes more often.
Under the Link Explorer, Moz changed their lag from 60 -80 days to 24 hours. Once a day, it updates all PA and DA scores, so you can easily find links that you built yesterday.
As an added bonus, all DA and PA scores are tracked daily for every site, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of tracking them yourself. Each domain will give you a graph showcasing authority over time, giving you insights to act on.
2019 Updates to Link Explorer
Link Explorer constantly evolves by adding new data, but Moz also continually rolls out new updates that makes the program easier to use. Some of the most notable for Link Explorer include the following.
Introducing Domain Authority 2.0
Domain Authority updates offer SEO experts a clearer understanding of how to report on the potential of a given site to rank within SERPs. Some saw improvements in their DA scores around March 2019 which is a reaction to the latest DA model. The new model accounts for things like spam scores and quality patterns that link together. Your new score is based on a model that is meant to keep pace with Google’s algorithm updates and the evolution of SEO best practices in general. Remember, however, that DA is a proprietary Moz score and does not determine your Google ranking. Use your new DA score to:
- See how you measure up to the competition. If you notice significant drops compared to your competitors, it might be time to examine your link profile.
- Gauge your performance over time. If your DA trends downward over time, it’s time to take action.
The Link Intersect Tool
Another important update to the Link Explorer tool is the introduction of the Link Intersect tool. This essentially shows you the websites that are linking to your competition, but not to you. This provides a novel approach to examining the backlink profile of your competitors and can give you some insight about the types of sites you should be reaching out to while making a quality link-building campaign.
It is easy to get started using Link Intersect. First, enter your own site name, then enter up to five competitor websites on the web domains. You will then be able to find websites that link to, but not to, your closest competitors. The Link Intersect tool offers actionable understanding of how your link-building activities are doing in relation to your rivals, as well as other parties to which you should be looking for opportunities to connect back.
Moz’s comprehensive suite of tools continually update to make them more intuitive and helpful to the end user. The Link Explorer tool is one of the most comprehensive overhauls to date, allowing users to access literally trillions more links compared to OSE. Since the tool updates often, it’s best to follow what’s new in their updates section.
Finsbury Media will help with your link building and all other SEO aspects. An SEO audit will help you assess where your business stands while at the same time obtaining information that you will actually act upon. Contact us today to get more information about our SEO audit services.