Majestic SEO to Build a Pure Link-Based Search Engine
Search Engine Optimisation

Majestic SEO to Build a Pure Link-Based Search Engine

22nd October 2013

Big news coming from MajesticSEO today. The company behind the tool Majestic SEO, Majestic 12, announced it will be expanding their business with a new product: Search Explorer. Search Explorer will allow its users to ‘search phrases and keywords, and return pages and sites that are most influential around that keyword.’

That sounds like Majestic is building a new search engine, but the company is eager to note that they are not building that. What they are doing is built up in a different way than for example Google and Bing are doing what they do best. Majestic will be connecting the dots when it comes to links and give you results based on that. It is a huge step for Majestic in to a new world for them, but one that seems to make sense.

Dixon Jones, Majestic 12’s Marketing Director says:

“We will not be looking to become a ‘Search Engine’ in the way that most people see engines like Google and Bing. However, as these products move towards a more personalized, consumer based audience, we believe a viable business model is being left behind, built on a research and Freemium subscription based approach to search.”


So what does Majestic’s Search Explorer do?

Even though it is not a search engine, it is a search product. As a user you will be able to do a search and get back results. With Search Explorer you can search phrases and keywords, just like a search engine, and it will return pages.

Why it is not a search engine has to do with the data used. Majestic is not crawling pages like Google or Bing, but is purely looking at the links.

From the press release:

“The data Majestic uses will (initially!) only be driven by link influence and other non-personalized metrics. They will start a dictionary list of key phrases initially. Nonetheless, the data will provide contextual relevance to its trademark “Flow Metrics”, which research has shown gives a meaningful value to the strength of a page or site on the Internet. By creating an index for Flow Metrics from a keyword perspective, rather than a page perspective, Majestic now believes it has the building blocks to continue with its ambitions.”

In other words: links are what matters for Majestic. The more the better and the better quality the better.

Majestic will be launching their product as soon as possible, potentially already at Pubcon this week where they will be talking about the product.

We asked Dixon Jones, Majestic 12’s Marketing Director, for some more information:

How do you think Google and Bing will look at this, will they see you as a competitor?

“No – and I want to be clear that there is more space in “search” than being a full blown search engine. We have no plans to be recognisable as a competitor to these guys. We will not be not trying to develop a consumer based search engine, nor an ad-suppported model. Our system will not be based around full text search and therefore – as a pure play search engine would be rather lame. However – our strength is in understanding the strength of links at scale, so stripping out all the stuff that makes Google and Bing unique actually leaves a nice rounded space behind for researchers who very much do NOT want personalisation and who DO want transparency as to why a ranking decision is being made.”

Links are important in your product, does this mean you are ‘saving’ the business of link building?

“We remain placed as aiming to be ‘Custodians of the Web Graph Data’. It is just that we will be much better in the future at showing the value of links to returning relevant results. However – we are not going to attempt to give a search result for every long tail search term in existence. Our focus will be on returning results for keywords which interest our customers only…. otherwise we would need a few more football stadiums of computers to hold data that nobody ever wanted.”

How can you guarantee quality?

“Hey – moving into search is a big ask… to start we’ll be happy if we can get brands to the top on its own domain name to be honest! 🙂 But we do have the advantage of the web graph, which most search engines never really managed at scale (other than the big engines we see today of course). That said, people looking at our Web Graph will not necessarily be looking for the “best” site for any particular topic, they may just as well be looking for anomalies… reasons why a site or page is out of place. Manipulating our data set may well happen – but I would imagine that if you tried, it would be at the cost of a penalty from one of the main search engines! So “nose, cut, face” are phrases that spring to mind.”

Will we be seeing Penguin-like updates with you as well?

“I couldn’t say, at this point. It’s too far down the line. Let’s get to first base first! :)”

We are looking forward at what Majestic brings out and will without a doubt be playing with it.


Written By
Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
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