Moz is famous for providing a comprehensive suite of free or low-cost tools that help businesses improve their SEO. 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
Updates to Domain Authority are giving SEO experts a better understanding of how to report on a given site’s ability to rank in SERPs. Around March 2019, many saw changes in their DA scores, which is a response to the new DA model. The new model accounts for things like Spam Scores and link quality patterns. 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.
Getting started with Link Intersect is easy. First, enter your own site name, then enter the web domains of up to five competitor websites. You will then be able to find websites that link to your closest competitors, but not to you. The Link Intersect tool provides actionable awareness of how your link-building campaigns are going in relation to your competitors, as well as other parties you should be reaching out to for back linking opportunities.
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.
Vizion Interactive can help you with your link-building and all other aspects of SEO. An SEO audit can help you determine where your company currently stands while garnering insights that you can actually act on. Contact us to learn more about our SEO audit services today.