Are AhrefsBots Bad?

Abisola Tanzako | Jun 04, 2024

If you manage a website, the term “Ahrefsbot” is likely in your server logs or web analytics reports. What is AhrefsBot exactly, and is its existence on your website a cause for concern? Ahrefsbot routinely crawls your website. It acts exactly like a Googlebot, entering and exiting as it pleases. It may not always be a problem, but it could be if your server gets overloaded and causes your website to load slowly.

So, the question is where does Ahrefsbot fit within this spectrum? Is it beneficial or detrimental to your website? Read this article to the end.

What is a bot?

Bots are systems that perform simple or complex tasks far faster than humans. They are typically used to support the parts of a process that humans cannot perform, keeping the wheels turning on our behalf. Examples of good bots include search engine web crawlers, chatbots such as Skype, Slack, or other instant messaging apps, and even front-line help requests for businesses.

The rest, on the other hand, might be terrible, but the outcomes may be to cause harm. Bots are being used in more business areas than you may realize, and they’re becoming increasingly versatile. Some bots are designed to help people at home, while others benefit the organization that created them.

Types of Bots 

There are a variety of bot kinds used online. The four most typical kinds are as follows:

  • Search engine bots  e.g Googlebot, Bingbot, Yahoobot
  • Commercial bots, e.g., AhrefsBot, GPTBot, and SemrushBot
  • Feed Fetchers e.g., Feedburner, Twitter, Facebook Mobile
  • Monitoring Bots e.g., Uptimer, WordPress

These bots are more helpful to consumers because they can all run different programs. These bots are regarded as good bots. However, there are specific bad bots out there. These bots carry out harmful tasks, like:

  • Stuffing credentials
  • content scraping 
  • spam traffic, and so on

They could also create chaos on your website and use much server power. Ahrefsbot usually does a great job, although it could be better in some areas. It has the potential to be utilized for harmful activities.

What is AhrefsBot?

AhrefsBot is a web crawler controlled by Ahrefs, a renowned SEO software suite. This bot searches the Internet twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to generate and maintain the backlink database and give Ahrefs’ users access to the most precise and current information possible. It’s one of the busiest crawlers on the internet. AhrefsBot crawls five million web pages per minute. Third-party research indicates it is the most active crawler among other SEO tool providers, outperforming Yandex and Yahoo crawlers.

With projected annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $100 million by 2023, Ahrefsbot has risen to the top of the food chain by doing an outstanding job at what it does. Their bot indexes up-to-date, trustworthy data about websites, their contents, and their relationships with each other. This information comes in handy and can be used for various purposes;

  • Use (an upcoming search engine by Ahrefs)  to find all the information you require and top-notch content while also helping out a different search engine that puts money in the hands of your favorite content creators.
  • If you manage a website, use Ahrefs to examine its backlink profile, content, and structure to learn more about its performance. Next, optimize it to improve user experience, search engine ranking, and traffic.
  • Ahrefs is a web-scale research tool that lets you view the popularity of a website or topic over time, what kinds of content websites connect to, how often a brand has been discussed recently, and more.

In addition, AhrefsBot, like any decent bot, follows the guidelines contained in the robots.txt files, refrains from showing adverts on websites, and doesn’t increase traffic from Google Analytics.

How does AhrefsBot work?

AhrefsBot attempts to crawl as many web pages as it can. It gathers high-quality link data during each crawl and returns it to the Ahrefs database. Here’s a brief rundown of AhrefsBot’s functionality:

1. Crawling:

AhrefsBot starts by navigating websites, retrieving pages from servers, and crawling the internet. The AhrefsBot refreshes the link index every 15 to 30 minutes and searches approximately 6 billion web pages every 24 hours. It searches for fresh content by following links on pages while crawling. The goal is to compile an exhaustive list of web pages.

2. Finding new pages:

AhrefsBot searches its index for new pages by clicking on links from existing pages. This helps it recognize and index new information as it becomes available online.

3. Data collection:

AhrefsBot collects information on a range of SEO-related factors by scanning pages, including but not restricted to:

  • Backlinks: AhrefsBot is a tool that locates and monitors backlinks to a specific page, along with the anchor text and linking domain.
  • Keywords: It examines the page’s content to determine which keywords are being targeted.
  • On-page SEO components: AhrefsBot can collect information about on-page SEO components, including headers, meta tags, and other relevant elements.

4. Site audit:

When AhrefsBot conducts a site audit, it methodically examines websites to look for common problems with on-page and technical SEO; examples include absent meta tags, repeated content, and broken links.

5. Indexing:

After being collected by AhrefsBot, the data is examined and cataloged within the Ahrefs database. By accessing this indexed data through the Ahrefs platform, users can learn more about their and competitors’ websites.

6. Frequent updates:

AhrefsBot frequently visits web pages to add new content to its index. This guarantees that Ahrefs users receive the most recent data regarding the performance of their website and that of rivals in the same industry.

7. Honoring the Noindex and Robots.txt Meta tags:

AhrefsBot complies with website restrictions via robots.txt files and meta tags much like other web crawlers. AhrefsBot will obey website instructions directing it not to crawl particular pages or sections.

Advantages of Ahrefbots

Ahrefsbot is renowned for its comprehensive backlink analysis and SEO-related features. The AhrefsBot gathers information for Ahrefs’ index and gives valuable advice to people looking to enhance the SEO performance of their websites. The following are some advantages that Ahrefsbot provides:

1. Useful SEO information:

Ahrefsbot data greatly benefits the marketing and SEO communities. Its data collection aids marketers and SEOs in learning how better to optimize websites for major search engines such as Google. By letting Ahrefsbot crawl your website, you can ensure that its database is updated regularly. The most accurate data is available on your website, which you can compare to your competitors. This is going to help you:

  • Make your website more optimized.
  • Set priorities for the things you should do to raise your rating.

2. Web crawling:

Like search engine bots index websites, AhrefsBot also crawls the internet. It finds and gathers information from websites to build a comprehensive database that Ahrefs users can access.

3. Analysis of backlinks:

Ahrefs’ backlink analysis feature is one of its main advantages. It makes it easier to gather backlink information, including anchor text, referring domains, and backlink quantity. SEO experts can utilize this information to learn about the link profiles of competitors’ websites and their own.

4. Keyword research:

Ahrefs offers tools for researching keywords. AhrefsBot assists in locating both new and current pages that are important to given keywords. It also provides data necessary for keyword analysis, including search traffic, keyword difficulty, and click-through rates.

5. Rank tracking:

With Ahrefs, users may track their website’s rankings over time for specific keywords. By routinely crawling and indexing pages to determine their position in search engine results for particular keywords, AhrefsBot helps collect ranking data.

Disadvantages of Ahrefsbot

You should be aware of some of AhrefsBot’s disadvantages. Each one may not be worth the risk because they can all result in unwanted issues with your website.

1. AhrefsBot may slow down your site:

Your website loads as it would for any other user when Ahrefsbot crawls it, consuming bandwidth. Ahrefsbot may use excessive bandwidth if it crawls your website too frequently, which may cause different users to have slower site loading times. We are all aware that a crucial Google ranking factor that degrades user experience is speed.

2. Spammers may use AhrefsBot:

Owners of websites need to be cautious against spammers. Nothing is more annoying than getting unsolicited, spammy referral traffic that clogs your analytic reports and affects your website’s performance. Spammers can use the Ahrefsbot user agent to:

  • Spy on your website repeatedly.
  • Distribute fraudulent referral traffic.
  • Take sensitive information off the web.

If you discover you are getting a lot of traffic, you should investigate and contrast the traffic from Ahrefsbot with the legitimate Ahrefs IP address ranges.

3. AhrefsBots clicks do not convert

AhrefsBots would click on your ads and your website while crawling. This implies you’ll receive clicks that do not convert into sales. They also come by several times a week, translating into significant losses on your adspend. 

How should you manage Ahrefsbot on your website?

You can restrict or block AhrefsBot in any of the following ways.

1. Use Robots.txt to Block Ahrefsbot:

According to Ahrefs, Ahrefsbot complies with robots.txt recommendations. Adding new rules to your robots.txt file will allow you to block Ahrefsbot. This gives you two options:

  • Modify the frequency of AhrefsBot’s website visits.
  • Stop AhrefsBot from ever seeing your website.

2. Disable AhrefsBot utilizing the file. htaccess:

This method gives you more control and does an excellent job of stopping AhrefsBot. Compared to step 1, which depends on the Ahrefsbot adhering to the rules you set, step 2 offers you total control over the server. The Ahrefsbot’s IP address range will be added and banned based on those addresses.

3. Block Ahresbot using ClickPatrol

ClickPatrol’s superior algorithm is designed to detect and block non-human activity from your website. Thus it can effectively detect and block bots like Ahrefsbot both proactively (before they click on your ads) and reactively (after the first click).

The question is: Should Ahrefsbot be blocked?

You must examine its pros and cons to determine if you should block Ahrefsbot.  Obstructing Ahrefsbot may enhance page performance while conserving server resources. Blocking it is appropriate if you’re worried about private information being revealed. Blocking Ahrefsbots can prevent access to keyword data, competitive research, and backlink analysis. Because Ahrefsbot data is essential to Ahrefs’s tools, turning it off may make your website less visible in its reports and rankings.

If you wish to maintain your website current in the Ahrefs index, avoid blocking Ahrefsbot. When you ask yourself these questions, you can determine whether or not to use the Ahrefsbot. Does this benefit or harm my website? You can only find this out when you review your website record.

Dealing with AhrefsBots

When dealing with Ahrefsbot, you can perceive it as either an opponent to challenge or an ally supporting your website’s growth. Understanding the true nature of Ahrefsbot and implementing appropriate strategies is key to optimizing its potential while minimizing potential drawbacks. By adopting a proactive approach and taking the necessary precautions, you can effectively utilize Ahrefsbot’s capabilities to enhance your website’s performance.

Once you grasp the underlying intentions of Ahrefsbot and develop a comprehensive understanding of its functionalities, you can leverage its resources to your advantage. Rather than viewing it solely as a potential threat, consider how Ahrefsbot can be a valuable asset in your digital toolkit. Transforming Ahrefsbot from a perceived obstacle into a trusted ally requires more than just a shift in mindset and approach. It requires a collaborative relationship.


Q.1 Does AhrefsBot improve my website or make it worse?

Ahrefsbot may work for you or against you, depending on how you handle its presence on your website. It is a valuable ally because it can gather data and perform crawling, which can provide crucial SEO information. Unmanaged activity, however, is a concern since it might strain server capacity or reveal vulnerabilities.

Q.2 How can my website display AhrefsBot’s activity?

Think of Ahrefsbot as a courteous visitor who leaves a note each time it stops by. Here are 2 ways you can accurately track its activity:

  • User-agent string: The server logs contain a distinct “user-agent string” that Ahrefsbot leaves behind when it visits your website. Search for the signature listed: AhrefsBot/7.0; + 
  • Log Analysis: To ascertain Ahrefsbot’s actions, review your server logs. See the precise pages it has crawled and its IP addresses, which are subject to change; consult Ahrefs’ official documentation for updates.

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