Ahrefs webmaster tools, a free SEO tool for content creators

What Is Ahrefs webmaster tools?

This is a rough first review of Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (or AWT), Ahrefs’ new free tool for webmasters and online content creators. AWT offers some free functionality for new Ahrefs users, that is meant to complement Google Search Console. Moreover, for existing Ahrefs users it opens to everyone parts of the tool that were previously reserved for the premium plans.

For existing Ahrefs users:

If you are an existing Ahrefs user you get the following functionality for free, independently of the plan you’re in:

  • Unlimited number of “verified” projects on your Dashboard
  • Additional “per project” limits for verified websites
  • Lite plan limit improvements
  • JavaScript rendering available for all
  • New website verification method: Google Search Console

For new Ahrefs users:

If you sign up for Ahrefs Webmaster Tools as a new user (or if you have an Ahrefs account with a canceled subscription), this is what you get:

  • Access to the Ahrefs dashboard for your websites

The dashboard gives you metrics such as your domain rating, referring domains, number of backlinks, organic traffic, keywords and position movements – neatly organized and visualized.

  • Access to the Site Explorer but only for your vierified domains

This will give you an in-depth look at the backlink profiles, search traffic and keywords of your websites and pages.

  • Alerts

Ahrefs alerts will send you a scheduled email notification for any new links, keywords and backlinks of your verified domains.

How does Ahrefs treat your data?

There has been some discussion about if it’s wise to share your Google Search Console data with Ahrefs. Some people pointed out that according to their privacy policy or terms of service Ahrefs might use anonymized search data from your website to improve their service.

This is hardly news in my opinion, and I don’t see why Ahrefs having better data (to be honest their data is great already) would be a problem to anyone. Some people believe that SEO is built on secrets. I believe that there are no more secrets when you do business on the internet, the only thing that gives you a competitive edge when everyone has almost the same resources and data is your strategy and ability to execute.

Also, as Tim Soulo (Ahrefs’ CMO) commented on a Reddit thread, GSC connection is a feature available to both paid and free subscribers. So this feature is clearly not about using the data from the free subscribers to make the service better for the paid ones.

Final thoughts

In my opinion Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is an exciting new release. The pricing of professional SEO tools is steep because they are targeted primarily to agencies. But if you’re an online content creator interested in your website performace (and not so much in competitor analysis, keyword research etc.), AWT offers a GREAT dashboard with the most important SEO metrics for your websites.

Read my article on Open Source SEO Tools here.