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Is Ahrefs or Semrush More Accurate

The debate between Ahrefs or Semrush has been going on for years in the SEO community. Both are incredibly powerful SEO tools that provide a wealth of data to optimize websites.

But which one provides more accurate and actionable data?

In this blog post, we’ll compare Ahrefs vs Semrush across key features to help you decide which platform is right for your needs.

Backlink Analysis

Backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors in 2024. Both Ahrefs and Semrush offer detailed backlink analysis to help you evaluate your existing backlinks and identify new link-building opportunities. When comparing Ahrefs vs Semrush, Ahrefs is often regarded as having a slightly larger backlink index.

In my testing, Ahrefs provided data on marginally more backlinks for the same domains. However, Semrush was on par in most cases. I’d call it a very close race between the two for backlink data accuracy and depth of historical backlink reporting.

Keyword Research

Thorough keyword research is the foundation of any good SEO strategy. Both Ahrefs and Semrush provide excellent keyword research tools to analyze search volume, competition, suggested keywords, and more. In my experience after testing both platforms extensively, Semrush tends to provide higher search volume estimates in many cases.

Ahrefs takes a more conservative approach with its keyword data. However, keyword difficulty scores and other metrics are fairly similar across the two tools. For most users, either solution will serve them perfectly well for identifying high-value SEO keywords.

Rank Tracking & Site Audits

Monitoring your website’s rankings across keywords is crucial for gauging SEO success. Both Ahrefs and Semrush offer rank-tracking tools to see your current positions and track progress over time. From rank-checking various client sites, I’ve found the two tools’ data to align very closely in both desktop and mobile rankings.

If I had to choose one rank tracker between Ahrefs and Semrush, I would give the edge to Ahrefs for its intuitive UI and useful rank comparison against competitors.

Content Gap Analysis

Creating content that targets unoptimized keywords and topics can boost traffic and rankings. Ahrefs and Semrush both provide content gap analysis to uncover missing or thin content pages compared to your competitors. My testing shows Semrush’s content gap tool provides more gaps and ideas for any given domain.

However, sorting through the long list of gaps can be cumbersome. Ahrefs presents a more condensed list of high-potential content gaps focused on more valuable keywords in my experience. For actionable content insights, I slightly prefer Ahrefs over Semrush. However, Semrush still provides solid content optimization opportunities.

Site Audit

Reviewing technical SEO issues on a website is essential to maximize online presence. In my site audits using both tools, I’ve found Ahrefs’ crawl-based audit data to be more accurate and detailed compared to Semrush. Ahrefs provides thorough diagnostics for indexability issues, duplicate content, structured data, page speed, and more.

Semrush’s site audit still covers plenty of useful information. But overall, Ahrefs has the edge for technical site audits thanks to its sophisticated crawling and pattern analysis.

Local SEO

For businesses targeting local search rankings, both tools provide excellent local SEO capabilities. You can research localized keywords, optimize Google My Business listings, find local backlink opportunities, and more. From my local SEO campaigns, Semrush appears to have a slight upper hand for local-focused projects.

Its database of local listings and keywords is unparalleled. And handy features like the Possum audit checker give it an advantage in the local space. But Ahrefs still delivers ample local SEO support, so either tool is a great choice.


Clear reporting is necessary to demonstrate SEO progress and ROI to clients and management. Ahrefs and Semrush both provide thorough reporting across projects, keywords, backlinks, and technical issues. For its customizability and visual appeal, I give Ahrefs the edge in reporting.

The ability to build fully white-label reports with custom branding in Ahrefs makes it the prime choice for client reporting. But Semrush’s slick templates and exports work fine for most use cases.

Support & Documentation

Let’s quickly compare the customer support experience offered by both platforms. For support, Semrush provides 24/7 real-time chat along with email and phone. Ahrefs offers email-based support with exceptionally fast response times day and night.

Both companies have extensive knowledge bases and documentation to learn the tools. For its phone and live chat support, Semrush wins for those who want real-time answers. But Ahrefs’s superb email support makes it hard to beat.


Ahrefs and Semrush both offer 7-day free trials to test drive their toolsets. Subscription plans range from around $129 to $499+ per month depending on your usage needs. Semrush has a lower entry point at $129.95 per month for its Pro plan. Ahrefs starts at $99 to $999 per month for its Lite subscription.

For extensive features and large-scale data needs, Ahrefs becomes more cost-effective at higher pricing tiers. Semrush offers strong value for just getting started with SEO tasks. Both platforms price fairly for the immense value they provide.

Our Verdict

So which SEO platform comes out on top – Ahrefs or Semrush? In my experience utilizing both extensively for client projects, Ahrefs has inched ahead as the winner. It offers unmatched accuracy and capabilities for technically savvy SEOs. Semrush still delivers an excellent breadth of tools for well-rounded search optimization.

For beginners, its slightly simpler interface may have an advantage. But Ahrefs triumphs for large-scale agency projects requiring best-in-class data. That said, you can achieve fantastic results with either Ahrefs or Semrush. Both have my wholehearted recommendation as essential SEO platforms.


Which tool has a larger backlink database?

Ahrefs tends to have a slightly larger backlink index. However, Semrush is quite comparable in the depth of its historical backlink data.

Which platform provides more accurate keyword volumes and difficulty scoring?

Semrush provides higher keyword volume estimates in many cases. Ahrefs takes a more conservative approach to its keyword data. Both tools offer fairly aligned keyword difficulty scores.

Is one tool better for rank tracking and site audits?

For rank tracking, they are both highly accurate. Ahrefs gets a slight edge for its user-friendly UI. For site audits, Ahrefs provides more granular and actionable technical SEO diagnosis.

Which tool is better suited for local SEO campaigns?

Semrush shines brightest for local SEO thanks to unmatched local listing data and specialty tools like Possum Auditor. But Ahrefs still delivers great local SEO support.

Which platform offers better customer support?

Semrush provides real-time chat and phone support which some users may prefer. But Ahrefs’s stellar email support response time is hard to beat and very thorough.

Pros of Ahrefs:

  • Leading accuracy in backlink data
  • Best-in-class site audit diagnostics
  • Intuitive user interface and reporting
  • Responsive world-class customer support

Pros of Semrush:

  • Higher search volume estimates for keywords
  • Specialized strength for local SEO
  • Phone and live chat support options
  • Slightly lower pricing entry point


Ahrefs inches out the win over Semrush as the most accurate and powerful SEO toolkit, especially for savvy technical users. Semrush still delivers an excellent breadth of SEO features at an appealing price point. Both platforms can serve SEOs extraordinarily well – you can’t go wrong with either Ahrefs or Semrush.

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