Following the apparent clamp down on software and tools that were using scraped data by Google, a number of SEO tools have been forced to withdraw their keywords tracking tools to the dismay of their users but in a move to keep on good terms with the search engine giants, the changes became a must for providers like Raven Tools and Ahrefs.com.
With the news that Ahrefs were going to comply with the enforcement that Google have clearly made, the guys over at Ahrefs.com broke the news to their users, publishing a news post on their site on December 11th 2012, saying that they were going to switch off their keyword analysis section of their tool because "it violates Google's Terms of Service" and revealing that a decision to continue making use of scraped data would place them on "shaky ground".
The closure of the keyword analysis area of their tool was not immediate, instead they offered users the chance to be able to use the tool until 11th January 2013, giving them a month of analysis before the section was closed, a move which Ahrefs believed was needed as their new take on not paying for scraped data to populate the feature would result in information they were displaying becoming "old" and "useless".
As today is the 11th January, Ahrefs have now made the switch off and the feature no longer exists within their tool but it seems that with the death of one feature comes the birth of a new one, a feature that their latest news post revealed to be named "snippets".
As we make use of this fantastic tool, we are able to see first hand the changes that have been made and we have noticed that as well as the new feature, which has been created to pull in a small snippet of text that surrounds a link into your site for better understanding of the placement, we see that they have also followed suit with a number of other SEO backlink analysis tools that are available on the market today by creating their own ranking metric, Ahrefs Domain Rank.
In order to fit this new element into their tool, you will see that they have created a new area within the Site Explorer ‘Overview' tab which is located above the information that was previously visible before this update happened.
As well as increasing the visibility of the Ahrefs Domain Rank, URL Rank, Backlinks and Referring Domains statistics within the page, Ahrefs have also decided to give you a social overview within the same placement, giving you a quick and easy way to be able to see the social impact that a site has on the internet.
As Ahrefs continues to develop and outgrow their competitors, we become increasingly impressed with the offering that they are producing for their users, making this a must have tool for anyone that is even remotely interested in SEO.
Once again they have surpassed themselves with giving users more and while other tool providers are simply switching off their features that used scraped data, Ahrefs have acted to replace one feature with another.