What is Ahrefs bot? Are Those Friends Or Enemies Of Site?

If you run a website you’ve most certainly come across the word “Ahrefsbot” in your server logs or web analytics reports. But what exactly is AhrefsBot, and should you be worried about its presence on your website?

Ahrefsbot crawls your site regularly. It behaves just like Googlebot, coming in and disappearing when it likes. This isn’t always an issue, but it may be, especially if it overloads your server and slows down your site.

So, the question is Where does Ahrefsbot stand on this spectrum?

Is it a friend or foe for your website?

Let’s explore!

First, let’s clarify exactly what a bot is.

What Is a bot?

bot

Bots, as we understand them, can complete basic or complex tasks far faster than people. They’re usually there to support the parts of a process that people can’t reach, keeping the plates spinning on our behalf.

Search engine web crawlers, chatbots like Skype, Slack, or other types of instant messaging, and even front-line help requests for businesses are likely examples of good actions.

The rest?

Those could be terrible, but their results may differ. Bots are employed in more areas of business than you may understand and they’re rapidly being used for many activities. Some help people at home, while others just benefit the group that runs them.

Types of Bots

There are many types of bots used online. The four most common types include:

  • Search engine bots (Googlebot, Bingbot, and Yahoobot)
  • Commercial bots (Ahrefsbot, SemrushBot, and GPTBot)
  • Feed Fetchers (Facebook Mobile, Twitter, Feedburner)
  • Monitoring Bots (WordPress, Uptimer)

All of these bots run various programs, making them more valuable to users. These are considered to be ‘good’ bots.

But there are some ‘bad’ bots out there. These bots perform horrible things, such as:

  • Credential stuffing
  • Scraping for content
  • Spam traffic

They may also consume a large amount of server traffic and create chaos on your website.

Among them, Ahrefsbot performs an excellent job most of the time, however not everything it does is perfect. It also has the potential to be used for bad activities.

What is Ahrefsbot?

AhrefsBot is a web crawler run by Ahrefs, a market-leading SEO software suite. This bot explores the web 24 hours a day, seven days a week to create and update the backlink database, allowing Ahrefs to present its users with the most accurate and up-to-date data.

It is one of the internet’s most active crawlers. Every minute, AhrefsBot crawls 5 million web pages. According to third-party research, it exceeds Yahoo, and Yandex crawlers and is undoubtedly the most active crawler among other SEO tool providers

Ahrefsbot has performed so well at its job that it has pushed the company to the top of the food chain, with an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $100 million by 2023.

The bot indexes current, reliable information on websites, their content, and how they relate to one another. This data is highly useful and can be used in many ways:

  • Search with Yep to get high-quality content and all of the information you need, all while supporting an alternative search engine dedicated to placing money in the pockets of your favorite content producers.
  • If you run a website, use Ahrefs to analyze its structure, content, and backlinks to gain insights into its performance. Then, optimize it to enhance user experience, rank better in search engines, and increase traffic.
  • When it comes to web-scale research, Ahrefs allows you to see how the popularity of a website or a certain topic has grown over time, which websites link to what sorts of content, how many times a brand has been mentioned recently, and so on.

Besides, AhrefsBot, like any good bot, carefully sticks to the rules specified in the robots.txt files, does not display advertisements on websites, and does not increase Google Analytics traffic.

How Does AhrefsBot Work?

Ahrefsbot crawls as many websites as possible. On each crawl, it records a variety of high-quality link data and sends back it to the Ahrefs database.

Here’s a quick overview of how AhrefsBot works:

a. Crawling

AhrefsBot begins by crawling the internet, accessing websites, and requesting pages from servers. Every 24 hours, the AhrefsBot searches over 6 billion web pages and refreshes the link index every 15 to 30 minutes. During the crawling process, it follows links on pages to look for new content. The aim is to create a complete index of online pages.

b. Discovering New Pages

AhrefsBot finds new pages by following links from existing ones in its index. This helps it to identify and index new information as it becomes available on the internet.

c. Data Collection

AhrefsBot scans pages and gathers data on a variety of SEO-related variables, including but not limited to:

1. Backlinks: AhrefsBot finds and tracks backlinks to a particular page, including its linking domain and anchor text.

2. Keywords: It analyses page content to find out which keywords are being targeted.

3. On-Page SEO Components: AhrefsBot may gather data on on-page elements such as meta tags, headers, and other SEO-related aspects.

d. Site Audit

AhrefsBot performs site audits, which include a systematic analysis of websites for typical SEO issues such as broken links, duplicate content, missing meta tags, and other on-page and technical SEO concerns.

e. Indexing

The data gathered by AhrefsBot is subsequently analyzed and indexed in the Ahrefs database. Ahrefs users can gain insights into their own and competitor’s websites by accessing this indexed data via the Ahrefs platform.

f. Regular Updates

Ahrefs Bot often visits websites to update its index with fresh information. This promises that Ahrefs users get the most up-to-date information about their site’s performance and that of competitors in their field.

g. Respect for the Robots.txt and Noindex Meta Tags

AhrefsBot, like other web crawlers, follows the restrictions set by websites via the robots.txt file and meta tags such as “noindex” and “nofollow.” If a website directs AhrefsBot not to crawl specific pages or parts, it will follow those instructions.

Benefits Offered by Ahrefsbot

benefits

Ahrefs is well-known for its complete backlink analysis and SEO-related capabilities. The AhrefsBot collects data for Ahrefs’ index and provides helpful information to those trying to improve their website’s SEO performance.

Here are some of the benefits offered by Ahrefsbot:

1. Practical SEO Data

Ahrefsbot data is extremely valuable to the SEO and marketing communities. The data it collects helps SEOs and marketers learn how to better optimize their websites for huge search engines like Google.

Allowing Ahrefsbot to crawl your website makes sure that its database is constantly up to date. Your website provides the most accurate data, which you may compare to that of your competitors.

This will help you:

  • Optimize your website.
  • Prioritize what you need to work on to improve your ranking.

2. Web Crawling

AhrefsBot crawls the web and indexes sites in the same way as search engine bots do. It identifies and collects data from websites, creating a complete database that Ahrefs users may access.

3. Backlink Analysis

One of Ahrefs’ key features is its backlink analyzing tool. It facilitates the collection of backlink data, such as the number of backlinks, referring domains, anchor text, and so on. This information is useful for SEO specialists who want to understand their website’s link profile and that of competitors.

4. Keyword Research

Ahrefs provides a set of keyword research tools. AhrefsBot helps in the discovery of new and existing pages relevant to specified keywords, as well as the contribution of data needed in keyword analysis, such as search traffic, keyword difficulty, and click-through rates.

5. Rank Tracking

Ahrefs enables users to watch their website’s rankings for certain keywords over time. AhrefsBot contributes to the collection of ranking data by crawling and indexing pages regularly to establish their position in search engine results for specific keywords.

Drawbacks of Ahrefsbot

There are certain drawbacks to AhrefsBot that you should be aware of. Each of them can cause undesirable problems on your website and may not be worth the risk.

1. AhrefsBot Can Slow Down Your Site

When Ahrefsbot crawls your site, it loads like it would for any other user, which consumes bandwidth. If Ahrefsbot crawls your website too often, it might consume too much bandwidth, making the site load slower for other visitors.

We’re all aware that speed is an important Google ranking criterion that hurts user experience.

2. AhrefsBot Can be Used by Spammers

As website owners, we must be aware of spammers. Nothing is worse than receiving a flood of uninvited spammy referral traffic that not only clutters your Google Analytics report but also affects your website’s performance.

Spammers may use the Ahrefsbot user agent to:

  • Repeatedly spam your website.
  • Send out phony referral traffic.
  • Scrape important data.

If you find that you are receiving a lot of traffic from Ahrefsbot, you should examine and compare it to the official Ahrefs IP address ranges.

How to Manage Ahrefsbot On Your Site?

manage

AhrefsBot can be blocked or limited using your robots.txt or htaccess file. 

Method 1: Block Ahrefsbot Using Robots.txt

Ahrefs states that Ahrefsbot follows robots.txt guidelines. You can block Ahrefsbot by adding new rules to your robots.txt file.

You’ve got two choices here:

  • Change the frequency at which AhrefsBot can visit your site.
  • Completely prevent AhrefsBot from viewing your website. 

To adjust the frequency with which Ahrefsbot visits your website, add the following code to your robots.txt file:

The crawl-delay value represents the time the delay was recorded in seconds. To delay the number of seconds between each Ahrefsbot crawl, set this value.

Want to completely block Ahrefsbot?

To do this, add a disallow tag to your robots.txt file. Simply copy and paste the following code:

Ahrefsbot should follow the robots.txt rule that you just set up.

Method 2: Block AhrefsBot Using the.htaccess file

This strategy is quite good in blocking AhrefsBot and provides you with more control.

Unlike approach 1, which relies on the Ahrefsbot to follow the rules you establish, method 2 gives you entire control over the server.

You will add the Ahrefsbot’s IP address range and ban it based on those addresses.

Now the question arises here…

Should You Block Ahrefsbot?

Before using  the term “block”, analyze its pros and cons:

If

  • Blocking Ahrefsbot conserves server resources and may improve page performance.
  • You are concerned about the disclosure of sensitive data, blocking can help. 

Then it may be suitable to block it.

If

  • Blocking Ahrefsbot may prevent you from accessing backlink analysis, competitive research, and keyword data.
  • Ahrefs’ tools rely on Ahrefsbot data, therefore disabling it can decrease your website’s visibility in their reports and rankings. 

Then don’t block Ahrefsbot since you want to keep your website up to date in the Ahrefs index.

Finally, this question can help you decide whether to use the Ahrefsbot or not. 

“Does this benefit my website or hurt my website?”

You can only figure this out by reviewing your site’s access records.

Conclusion

Now the choice is ours: to treat Ahrefsbot as an enemy to be defeated or a friend to be mastered. Understanding Ahrefsbot’s real nature and using the right measures will allow us to take advantage of its potential while lowering any hidden risks.

We can change it from a dangerous enemy to a strong friend, bringing our websites to the heights of achievement 

FAQs

1. What is AhrefsBot?

Ahrefsbot is a web crawler used by Ahrefs, a well-known suite of SEO tools and services. It systematically browses and indexes webpages, gathering information for Ahrefs’ many SEO analysis and reporting tools.

2. Is Ahrefsbot helpful or harmful to my website?

Depending on how you manage Ahrefsbot’s presence on your site, it might be a friend or an enemy. Its crawling and data-gathering skills can give important SEO information, making it a valuable ally. However, unmanaged activity may strain server resources or disclose vulnerabilities, making it a potential risk.

3. How Can I See AhrefsBot’s Activity on My Website?

Think of Ahrefsbot as a kind visitor who leaves a calling card with each visit. Here’s how to figure out its activity:

User-agent string: When Ahrefsbot visits your website, it leaves a unique “user-agent string” in the server logs. Look for the following signature: AhrefsBot/7.0; +http://ahrefs.com/robot/

Log Analysis: Examine your server logs to determine Ahrefsbot’s behavior. Look for its IP addresses (which change on occasion; see Ahrefs’ official documentation for updates) and the exact pages it has crawled.

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