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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are looking for the definition of a technical term you may be better looking in our glossary of terms, If you see an obvious question which is missing, please let us know.

About Majestic SEO

  1. What is Majestic SEO?(play video)
  2. Where is the data coming from?
  3. Do you include data from Google / Yahoo / Bing?
  4. What is the best way of getting in touch?
  5. Are you planning to offer SEO services to end users?

Flow Metrics

  1. What is "Flow Metrics?"(play video)
  2. How can a URL with no external links have non-zero Flow Metrics?
  3. How often does Majestic update each of the Flow Metrics?
  4. Do both historic and fresh support each of the Flow Metrics?
  5. Are Flow Metrics a replacement for ACRank?
  6. Is it of concern if my site has a much lower Trust Flow than its Citation Flow?

The 'Fresh Index' and 'Historic Index'

  1. What are the 'Fresh' and 'Historic' Indexes? Why are they different?
  2. How big are the 'Historic' and 'Fresh' indexes?
  3. My site is found in the Fresh Index but not in the Historic Index (and vice versa)?
  4. What is your index update strategy?
  5. What is the index built date?
  6. What is the most recently discovered backlink date?
  7. What technology is used to build the indexes?
  8. I can't find my site in your index, what's wrong?
  9. What is the Memory Effect?

Reports and Tools

  1. How can I see more detailed information for my site?(play video)
  2. What new features and tools are you developing?
  3. What is the effect of backlinks and anchor text on relevancy?
  4. Why can't I search using keywords?
  5. Where are the link: and linkdomain: commands?
  6. What happens to my ( Standard/Advanced ) Reports if I cancel my Subscription?
  7. What is the difference between Rank4R and Rank4T in the CSV produced in advanced reports?

Subscriptions and Billing

  1. How do I subscribe to a plan?(play video)
  2. What are your payment options?
  3. How can I upgrade my subscription plan?
  4. I require additional resources and power, what can you offer me?
  5. How do I view my current subscriptions?
  6. Can I have a PDF invoice for my subscription payment?
  7. How do I cancel my subscription plan?
  8. How do I change my Credit Card details?

Majestic Badges

  1. How do I add a Majestic Badge to my website?
  2. Why can't I have a Majestic Badge for an specific URL?
  3. Why do the numbers on my Majestic Badge change?
  4. Why are the numbers different to Site Explorer?
  5. Why are there no stats on my Majestic Badge?
  6. Why is my site not in your index?
  7. Why does my badge say 'Get Your Own Majestic Badge'?
  8. What is a Majestic Million Badge?
  9. What is the Majestic Million?
  10. How do I increase my position in the Majestic Million?
  11. Will you be producing more Majestic Badge designs in the future?

Understanding our Visualisations

  1. How are the percentages in the Anchor text pie chart on the Site Explorer summary screen calculated?

Majestic SEO

What is Majestic SEO?(play video)
Majestic SEO is a commercial offshoot from Majestic-12 Ltd, a UK-based company founded in 2004.
Where is the data coming from?
Our data comes from the World Wide Web itself. The Majestic-12: Distributed Search Engine does not meta-search or otherwise query other search engines: we are the search engine! Over a long period of time we have developed software capable of crawling and indexing large amounts of web data. This index is a big stepping stone towards relevant full-text search. The purpose of the index is to allow relevancy research as well as to help fund continued activites in development of a competitive community-driven general-purpose web-scale search engine.
Do you include data from Google / Yahoo / Bing?
While we do incorporate third-party data to enhance our services - such as GEO IP information from MaxMind, Traffic Information from Alexa, and Open Directory Project information from dmoz.org, common techniques for obtaining search engine data - for example - scraping is often classed as a breach of service, and hence this data is unlikely to find its way into Majestic's database.
What is the best way of getting in touch?
Our contact form is the best way of getting a fast, effective response.
Are you planning to offer SEO services to end users?
Majestic SEO does not offer SEO services. Majestic SEO offers link intelligence and domain metrics to inform and empower Internet marketing professionals and Search engine optimisers.

Flow Metrics

What is "Flow Metrics?"(play video)
Flow Metrics are produced by studying how various metrics alter as they flow through the link graph. This technique provides an indication of how sites compare within the context of the internet ( or, at least, the part of the internet we have crawled and indexed ).
How can a URL with no external links have non-zero Flow Metrics?
Majestic SEO flows these metrics through internal, as well as external links. Early trials suggest this technique provides a more thorough model for the basis of calculation.
How often does Majestic update each of the Flow Metrics?
We fully recalculate each of the Flow Metrics on every index update.
Do both historic and fresh support each of the Flow Metrics?
Flow Metrics work on both our fresh index and historic index.
Are Flow Metrics a replacement for ACRank?
Yes! Our Flow Metrics represent a leap forward in link graph analysis. Initially, ACRank calculations will be migrated from Citation Flow. It will then become deprecated, being removed from our website and CSV downloads as Citation Flow becomes more popular.
Is it of concern if my site has a much lower Trust Flow than its Citation Flow?
Our Flow Metrics are intended for use as a part of a link analysis solution, so it is important to assess many aspects of your sites link profile, and backlinks prior to leaping to any conclusions. Many Link profiles have a great deal of colour below the line, perhaps indicating that citations are easier to come by than trusted recommendations. Majestic SEO, for example, has a lower Trust Flow than Citation Flow, perhaps because of the popularity of our backlinks history graph, which is embedded in many third party sites.

The 'Fresh Index' and 'Historic Index'

What are the 'Fresh' and 'Historic' Indexes? Why are they different?
Our 'Historic Index' and 'Fresh Index' are huge databases which contain information about how sites on the Internet link together - effectivly large repositories of Internet mapping data. Our tools then access these databases in order to generate reports which help people understand the flow of organic traffic to their own websites, and those of their competitors.
Our Historic Index is one of the most comprehensive sources of backlink data on the Internet. As such, despite our huge processing power, the index takes many days to build - ensuring that it is always a few days behind what is happening now. In order to address this, we have created a smaller, separate index which we call the 'Fresh Index'. As this index is smaller, we can update it more often, and thus it can be kept more up-to-date.
The two datasets - the 'Fresh Index' and the 'Historic Index' are separate, and it would take substantial effort to merge the two datasets seamlessly from a user perspective - which would have resulted in delaying the release of the Fresh Index by many months. The data from the Fresh Index will be fed into the Historic Index when the Historic Index is updated. There is therefore the possibility that older backlinks in the Fresh Index will also be present in the Historical Index.
How big are the 'Historic' and 'Fresh' indexes?
The Historic index has 2,820,549,035,682 URLs from 718,129,454,793 crawled pages.
The Fresh index has 455,066,468,455 URLs from 188,070,120,079 crawled pages.
My site is found in the Fresh Index but not in the Historic Index (and vice versa)?
Investigating the structure of the internet involves running automated processes to download and study every webpage on the Internet. All web crawlers have limits on how much of the Internet they can crawl in any given period. Therefore crawlers try to prioritise visits to the most important sites more often. This is not a perfect process, as there are many factors which affect the viability and structure of a web crawl. It is possible that the time between crawls to certain sites will be greater than the duration that the Fresh Index covers - thus the site may exist, and be present in the Historic Index, but not present in the Fresh Index. As the Fresh Index contains more recent data, it may also contain sites that have recently been discovered by our crawlers, after we started building the most recent Historic Index. If a site has very few backlinks, then it can take sometime for it to be detected by our web crawlers, so sometimes even older sites may be present in our Fresh Index but not our Historic Index.
What is your index update strategy?
We regularly update both of our indexes. However, due to the massive scale of the Historic Index it takes several days of constant processing to generate it. At the time of writing, we are able to update our Historic Index monthly, and aim to update the Fresh Index daily. Historic index updates are publicised on the blog.
What is the index built date?
This is the date when the latest version of our index was built - it then takes around 12 hours to release the index. In this time we have to transport large amounts of data to our front end, so there may be a short period after this date when the update is not reflected on the website.
What is the most recently discovered backlink date?
It is the date of the most recently crawled backlink in our index. This is an indicator of the freshness of the data on our site.
What technology is used to build the indexes?
We developed our own proprietary software using the C#/.NET platform: highly parallel methods that take advantage of multiple cores and machines to process data in parallel.
I can't find my site in your index, what's wrong?
Nothing if your site is very new or not well linked. Our index is based on the links that we followed. It should be fairly rare for a site to be missing as our index is pretty comprehensive. If your site is not in the Fresh index it is worth checking for it in the Historic index and vice versa!
What is the Memory Effect?
Our Fresh Index and Historic Index are populated by crawl data produced by our web crawlers.
A web crawler cannot tell when a link was made, it only knows when it found it. Our Historic Index has the advantage of a history of 5 years of data, which we believe makes it the most comprehensive source of backlinks information available. Our Fresh Index has a much shorter memory, currently 90 days.
Fresh and recent indexes have no knowledge of the internet before they started crawling. Our Fresh index forgets It has ever seen a link after 90 days. This can lead to the new tab rediscovering links, and wrongly including them in the data, a problem particularly acute for the oldest links in the fresh index. For a robust solution, consider generating an advanced historic report, and de-duplicating the data.
We believe all site explorers on the market suffer from some kind of memory effect when reporting link creation dates and hence new links.

Reports and Tools

How can I see more detailed information for my site?(play video)
By registering with us you can add your own websites to your profile to see detailed analysis of backlinks and anchor text. This information is prioritised to show the most important backlinks first, rather than showing a random sample (this helps gives prominence to the more important backlinks). The catch is that in exchange for free basic information about anchor text and backlinks for your site you will have to allow our bot (MJ12bot) to crawl your site for at least 12 months since your last usage of reports. In the vast majority of cases (95%+) you already do that, so in this case there is no catch really: only those who specifically disallowed our bot in their robots.txt or only allow a handful of other bots to crawl and disallow all the rest, will need to decide if they want to allow us crawl them in exchange for the free information that they can get. We hope your decision will be positive!
What new features and tools are you developing?
Lots of very cool features. For example determining authority sites, types of backlinks, detecting link exchanges and more: you are basically witnessing the kind of secret relevancy tool that any large search engine keeps under wraps away from prying eyes. Here you will have the opportunity to see things that some people would not want you to know: you are being left guessing and using clues that might have been designed to lead you away from the truth. Here we are actually making a big effort to get to the truth on how relevancy algorithms work in the best search engines out there. So that we could build one ourselves.
What is the effect of backlinks and anchor text on relevancy?
For cases when the number of matches is high, backlinks and anchor text begin to play a very important role. The reason for this is simple - search engines can only show the top 10 entries, but when the number of matches is in the range of tens or even hundreds of millions, you will get lots of matches with nearly the same full text matching scores so you have to use something else to select the "best" of them. Just how important is it? That's exactly why we created the anchor index to be able to find good answers to this question!
Why can't I search using keywords?
There is no full-text index, no HTML cache or anything like this present in the anchor index. The anchor index is a collection of factual information about linking on the web. There are two big reasons for this: first we need to understand relevancy algorithms much better, and secondly we will need a lot more hardware to handle ~50 bln pages full-text index, so we have to do it in steps. The first stage is this anchor index which we hope will help us move forward toward our ultimate goal.
Where are the link: and linkdomain: commands?
They are not implemented on purpose because we don't want to fight with large scale automated queries trying to get these backlinks. If you want to see backlinks and anchor text then you need to register and then verify your domain: this is when you will get a set of reports showing backlinks, anchor text, links from bad neighbourhood's and other goodies.
What happens to my ( Standard/Advanced ) Reports if I cancel my Subscription?
The hosting and provision of access to reports generated is a service included in the subscription plan. Once the final allowance period on a subscription plan expires, any reports generated during the subscription will be locked, and after a period these reports will be removed and purged from our servers. It is therefore critical that you should download all reports before the expiration of any subscription you may have.
What is the difference between Rank4R and Rank4T in the CSV produced in advanced reports?
The numbers in the summary screen on the site and the ACTUAL link totals in an advanced report can be different because the CSV downloads in the summary reports are based on a smaller set of data than is present in our index. The filters specified on the Advanced Report Analysis Options screen are applied, but the data is cropped to make it manageable by our servers. All of the data referred is available to download and process offline using the "download options" tab. This cropping action results in there being two totals - the one present in our database and the one present in the summary report.
The CSV file displays both the Summary Total ( R ) and the Actual total ( T ).

Subscriptions and Billing

How do I subscribe to a plan? (play video)
In order to select a subscription type you need to first create an account, via our registration page. After you have created and activated your account, visit the plans and pricing page. Plans are available in US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds.
What are your payment options?
You can either pay annually via credit card with a discount, or you can pay monthly also via credit card. We also support monthly payment via PayPal.
How can I upgrade my subscription plan?
Visit our plans and pricing page in order to view the different plans that we have available and to see which suits your needs.Simply select and subscribe to the new plan, and after recieving email confirmation, cancel your existing subscription plan. Contact us via our contact page to receive a pro-rata refund for any unused period on the existing plan.
I require additional resources and power, what can you offer me?
We support simultaneous subscriptions so if you need more power and resources you are able to add another subscription to your plan. In order to do this sign up to another plan as usual and our system will take care of the rest. All plans on your account will be subject to automatic rebilling, so simply cancel the additional plan when it is no longer required to return to normal service.
How do I view my current subscriptions?
A summary is shown on the Account summary screen. The "my subscriptions" page lists currently active and recently cancelled subscriptions in greater detail.
Can I have a PDF invoice for my subscription payment?
PDF invoices are available when logged on to your Majestic SEO account at the invoices page.
How do I cancel my subscription plan?
For paypal users – log into your paypal account and cancel the subscription plan. You can find details of how to do this on our paypal subscription cancellation page

For users paying by credit card – Monthly plans can be cancelled by visiting the "My Subscriptions" page, and selecting the "Cancel Subscription" option next to the relevant subscription. Annual plans do not automatically renew, so cancellation is not necessary to prevent rebilling.
How do I change my Credit Card details?
To change your card details, please cancel your current subscription here and then re-purchase your plan with the new card here, being sure to use the same email address as is currently associated with your account. For assistance with this process, please contact support.

For PayPal subscriptions, please contact PayPal for support in changing your card on file.

Majestic Badges

How do I add a Majestic Badge to my website?
To add a Majestic Badge to your website, copy the code for the badge that you want from the text area (underneath the badge) and then paste the code onto your site where you want it to appear.
Why can't I have a Majestic Badge for an specific URL?
We do not provide Majestic Badges for specific URLs (currently we default to the Domain used in the URL).
Why do the numbers on my Majestic Badge change?
The numbers (and date) change on the badge because we update our Fresh index every day. This means that the figures shown will be from the last 90 days and the date will be the Index Build date.
Why are the numbers different to Site Explorer?
The numbers might be different to those in Site Explorer. This will only be for domains that start with 'www.'. This is generally a better representation of the referring domains.
Why are there no stats on my Majestic Badge?
If there are no statistics on your badge then it might be because there is a problem connecting to our server, if this is the case then a static badge will be returned that will look like the following:
Majestic Badge - Count Pending Majestic Badge - Result Pending
Why is my site not in your index?
It is possible that your site is in our Historic index but not in our Fresh index. This could be because no new links have been found in the last 90 days, or because your site is so new that our crawlers haven't indexed it yet. See below for an example of the badge you could get:
Majestic Badge - Site Not In Index
Why does my badge say 'Get Your Own Majestic Badge'?
This is because we check the referring page with the domain of the badge and produce the images if they match. If not a static badge with the following will be shown:
Majestic Badge - Get Your Own Get your own Majestic Million Badge
The most common cause of this occurance is if you have migrated hosts without generating a new Majestic badge.
What is a Majestic Million Badge?
The Majestic Million Badge is signifies the ranked position of a domain in our Fresh index over the last 90 days.
What is the Majestic Million?
The Majestic Million is the Top Million ranked domains in our index. We feel it is a big achievement to be part of the 'Majestic Million'.
How do I increase my position in the Majestic Million?
Backlinks can be a measure of your sites popularity - so try to build a great site thats worth talking about, and share it amongst your contacts - if its good enough, it will soon create a buzz. If you need help doing this, then "white hat" Search Engine Optimizers can help manage your online reputation and assist with getting the message out there.
Will you be producing more Majestic Badge designs in the future?
Who knows what the future holds...

Understanding our Visualisations

How are the percentages in the Anchor text pie chart on the Site Explorer summary screen calculated?
The percentages in the Anchor Text pie chart on Site Explorer summary screen are calculated the following way:
  • The total number of referring domains for the chart is calculated by adding the referring domains for top 1000 Anchor text.
  • The number of referring domains with “empty Anchor Text” is subtracted from this total number.
  • The number of referring domains for a particular anchor text is then divided by the total number of referring domains calculated above and multiplied by 100 to get the percentage. This is done for the top 10 Anchor texts.
  • The "Other Anchor Text" percentage is calculated by subtracting the sum of Referring domains for top 10 Anchor texts from the total number of referring domains and multiplying it by 100 to get the percentage.

Note

Whilst we hope to provide the best possible user experience to our userbase, this FAQ may contain errors and omissions. This page is intended to provide an overview of some of the techniques which may be used in the delivery of data from Majestic SEO - but please note that the provision of any service may be subject to more frequent review than this text. Use of our services is subject to the acceptance of our Terms and Conditions.