BuzzSumo VS Ahrefs Content Explorer

Apr 29th 2016

BuzzSumo VS Ahrefs Content Explorer

Marketing Tool Review

What are they for?

For your average social media or brand content manager, social insight tools sit right at the top of the toolbox. These tools allow us to track down relevant content pieces without hours of fruitless Google searching, see what is being shared and where, and – of course – curate industry-specific content pieces to share with our audiences.

Several companies have come forward with tools to fill this need. Topsy has been cut off at the kneecaps, Buzzsumo and Buzzstream have been out for a while, and the Ahrefs Content Explorer is relatively new. In this article, we compare the pros and cons to using Buzzsumo and Ahrefs Content Explorer.

BuzzSumo vs Ahrefs Content Explorer: The Breakdown

There are a lot of similarities between these two tools, as we would expect given that they reportedly perform a similar function.

Both will let you:

  • Filter by past year, month, week, or 24 or by custom date range
  • Filter by language of content
  • See all backlinks for particular article
  • Include or exclude certain domains or parts of domains (ex. .de, .com, .cz)
  • Perform advanced searches for specific sites, authors, or multiple words/phrases..
  • Save a search
  • Get alerts for new content


Ahrefs is a little more focused on technical SEO, which ties in nicely with the other offerings of the platform. This is geared more towards the technically minded, but still performs well for content discovery, placements and outreach.

What Ahrefs can do for you:

  • Can arrange list by domain rating, number of referring domains, or median number of shares
  • Automatically arranges content by “best match”, which means the most relevant content is pushed to the top automatically.
  • Shows you organic keywords a piece of content ranks for
  • Shows you anchor text of links
  • Prettier to look at, shows preview of header image
  • Charts show sharing trends


What Ahrefs can’t do for you:

  • Cannot filter by type of content
  • Can’t see individual people who shared content
  • Seems to freeze a lot


Buzzsumo has a cleaner design (which is nice) but less data for the SEO-savvy marketer. Their Chrome extension is a handy tool, but doesn’t make up for some other shortcomings.

What BuzzSumo can do for you:

  • Lets you see individuals who shared of a piece of content
  • Lets you filter by type of content
  • Has a chrome extension to automatically see number of social media shares for any domain
  • See today’s trending content for any topic, create up to 50 feeds for specific keywords and see what is being shared
  • Search for content shared by a specific Twitter user

What BuzzSumo can’t do for you:

Can only arrange list by number of shares, not referring domains or DR like Ahrefs

No organic keywords or anchor text

Unlike Ahrefs, cannot sort by ‘best match’. This means that you get a lot of irrelevant articles pushed to the top. For example, a basic search for ‘content marketing’ on BuzzSumo brings up articles from the DailyMail, BBC and YouTube first. Ahrefs brings up Moz, Jeff Bullas and CMI.  I found a similar difference in quality searching for ‘wine’ and “drywall’.

The Winner?

I love that BuzzSumo lets you see individuals who shared a piece of content. I also like being able to see what a specific Twitter user shared as well.

Overall, however, Ahrefs ‘best match’ filter seems to show the best content and I like being able to filter by DR and see more about a piece of contents backlinks.

Ahrefs wins!

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