SEO Tip of the Week: SEMrush Revisited

SEO Tip of the Week: SEMrush Revisited

90 Digital CEO Nick Garner gives us an overview of what SEMrush can do for you in this edition of’s SEO Tip of the Week.

If Google ranks a site, it makes sense they would give follow links from that site value but how do you get this information easily?

I have a theory. If Google ranks a site, then Google will give any outgoing links value too. Of course there may be exceptions i.e. Google decide a site is important, but don’t want any page rank passing through it, as may be the case with newspaper sites who were selling advertorials. The site will still rank because its important for this to be on Google’s index but all those external links paid for my SEO’ers will have been voided… Taking that aside, I do think my theory holds true on the whole.

So to find out how much a site is loved on Google i.e. how many keywords and their relative value, I use SEMrush.

It’s a tool that scrapes Google search results:

“SEMrush analyzes the top 20 Google (and Bing U.S.) search results for each keyword in our database. Using our proprietary collection methods, we now have a database of over 100 million keywords and 71 million domains. For every keyword, we take a snapshot of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). We use our Live Update algorithm to keep our 26 regional databases fresh.”

When I’m link prospecting, I want to see if a particular site already does well on the search results. I figure if the site has plenty of keywords on SEMRUSH’s index, then its a strong site in Google and therefore any links from that site will also do well.

The catch is that using SEMRUSH’s web interface can be a real drag because you can only ping one site at a time. That’s fine if you’re doing very focused research but if you are trawling for links, its very likely you will  need to analyse 1,000’s of sites.

So we (90 Digital) have developed a simple free tool using Excel 2013 that incorporates SEMrush API and allows you to run long lists of domains to check if they have been picked up on the SEMrush database.

A typical use case is where I might look a the backlinks from a highly ranking domain in my niche. I use Majestic because its really powerful, but there are other tools out there like ahrefs and Moz.

I then process the lists in excel and extract the root domains for the backlinks I’m interested in and then de-duplicate the list and import them into Datagrabber and depending on the list size, I’ll get a data dump that looks like this:

SEO Tip of the Week: SEMrush Revisited

From this, I can see the number of keywords a domain ranks for, the organic traffic and importantly the organic cost. The cost figure is derived from multiplying the search volumes of the rankings keywords by the cost per click by the respective ranking.

And already I see some very interesting things on this short list:

– ranks on 21 different phrases, but the traffic isnt worth a whole lot, so overall I would go for it when link prospecting, but I don’t think its a super strong domain.

– gets a zero on every metric from SEMRUSH. this means it did rank and then subsequently has lost its rankings, or it ranks on another SEMRUSH database (there are 20 country databases)

– some sites from my original list might not  even come up on the SEMRUSH database, so I’ll exclude them from my link prospecting list!

– this also helps me calibrate the results against the metrics used from which ever link tool you use i.e. Majestic Domain Trust Flow.

All in all its a game changer for me and its only been possible because of this SEO DataGrabber tool we have built. Fortunately the SEMRUSH API is fairly cheap, starting from $15 USD a month, so as a result its one of my core tools.

To get Datagrabber, just go to and download it and also go and buy API access and paste in your own api key, then off you go!