This guide will help you understand the key differences between Outranking, Frase, Jarvis, Surfer, and MarketMuse. While these tools do not allow for a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, we can compare some key strengths and weaknesses. We are only comparing optimization and writing capabilities in this post.
Let’s get right to it!
The first part of this comparison is search engine optimization capabilities. While most of these tools claim to use SERP analysis as the backbone of their data analysis, the depth and data can be significantly different depending on the approach.
A comprehensive SERP analysis includes all on-page SEO elements, not just topics (Google NLP terms). Most of the tools in this comparison use topic scoring methods only and hence cannot address the many other requirements for creating a ranking topic. Let’s explore this in detail.
Using the right related keywords and properly handling the main elements in your content can significantly improve the number of keywords you can rank for using one web page. This is the most common mistake in the method that many people use for optimization. It’s not how many keywords you use; it’s all about how and where you use these keywords.
Let’s look at the features for related keywords in each product.
Google NLP terms help you address the search intent in the most comprehensive way. Writing your content around these can help you improve the content score for the focus keyword and help increase the probability of your content ranking. Many people confuse this suggestion with keyword density (how many times you use a keyword in the content). The keyword density method is discouraged by Google itself and isn’t the preferred method of optimizing content in 2022.
The Google NLP data can differ from platform to platform based on the source they are analyzing and the underlying algorithms. While some platforms have a lot more data, this doesn’t necessarily mean a higher ranking.
Let’s see how these features compare.
On-page optimization guidance is a major shortcoming for most of these tools when compared with Outranking. On-page optimization guidance refers to optimizing all on-page SEO elements in the content to improve its ranking and align with the search intent.
We evaluated the optimization features for the following items:
Frase, Jarvis, Surfer, and MarketMuse
While the approach to creating content briefs is the same for most of these tools, the depth of the data provided can be significantly different based on the elements suggested for each brief. Hence, we analyzed the extensiveness of each tool.
MarketMuse and Surfer SEO are not content writing tools, so we will leave them out of this section.
Outranking can extract concepts related to any heading by reading into all ranking pages, bringing real automation to how research is conducted. It can extract benefits, disadvantages, related information, and a lot more from any set of unstructured or remotely related text. This is a major feature that stands out in terms of writing.
This allows you to further influence the AI with factual information and automatically write around it.
Jarvis is not a research tool, so it does not read any information. Moreover, since it relies on Surfer integrated with an iframe, it does not have the capability to bring the research into the editor to meaningfully combine the research and AI.
Frase research extraction depends on extractive summaries from reading the existing text. Hence, the data pulled in can be unrelated to the heading if you do not use the exact headings from SERP data.
Due to this, the actual research process of extracting information from the existing text can be a bit lacking.
Frase, Outranking, and Jarvis all provide a continuous writing approach, which is often referred to as “Write for me.” Here are the core differences between the competitors based on the engines they use for text completion.
The modular writing approach is proprietary to Outranking. It is also known as concept summarization.
The modular approach to writing is giving the AI the key talking points from the research extracted to create content blocks. This reduces the amount of time it takes writers to build out paragraphs based on the given talking points.
Watch the video in the above section #6 to understand what the modular writing approach is.
First drafts are full blog posts that are generated automatically by giving just an outline to the AI engine. While these full blog posts are not final drafts, they reduce the time to delivery. You might need to add more value, examples, and copy edit the first draft before it’s published. You might also have to further optimize the content.
The point is to reduce writer’s block and create content without distraction.
Outranking: Outranking allows you to create the first draft using AI completion only, as well as by abstractive summary extraction from source information. The pros of this method are that the AI will stay on track and will try to write factual information from the source data is found.
Jarvis: Jarvis has recipes that allow you to automate the writing process, but it only uses AI completion. The cons of this method is that AI will more often lie about facts and make up things that are totally useless.
Frase: Frase provides a first draft based on AI completion and extractive summaries. The cons of this method is that AI will not only lie just like Jarvis but it will also spit out plagiarized content (or you call it extractive summaries).
No such feature in Frase or Jarvis
Premium drafts are factual first drafts written with user-added outlines. A premium draft uses SERP research and concept extraction before combining it with the specified tone of voice and writing complete factual sections. Premium drafts consume more AI credits in Outranking.
Although the heading says “AI” outline builder, the tools we compared are evaluated regardless of whether they are using AI or not. Before building an outline, selecting a focus keyword and writing a title and description are important. The title and description of the web page guide the outline of the content.
Surfer SEO, Frase, and MarketMuse
Watch the video in the above section #6 for a demo of the AI outline builder.
While all the products evaluated have drag-and-drop, summary viewer, and organization features, Outranking is still the most comprehensive, and it has more AI guidance and SEO suggestions.
We will not go over all the templates in detail, but here is a quick overview of the landscape and what tool you should choose based on your goals.
Since Surfer SEO and MarketMuse are not writing platforms, we did not consider them here.
Has 50+ writing methods, which are mostly focused on social media and sales copy. These templates are a great way to brainstorm ideas and come up with something creative faster than you normally would.
Frase has general templates that can be used in various categories, without one specific focus. While all the templates were not evaluated, it is safe to say that this is probably in line with Jarvis.
Outranking focuses on web pages and offers tools that help you create ranking content. Thus, the templates are driven towards creating web content, such as product pages, webinar pages, recipe posts, and press releases.
If you are leaning towards writing for social media or sales copy emails, lean towards Jarvis or several cheaper tools.
If you are leaning towards creating ranking content, lean towards Outranking.
All products offer team collaboration. The only difference with Outranking is that you can control the number of documents and AI characters your team members can write every month.
Commenting is an important feature of team collaboration. Imagine writing content and not being able to get or give feedback on the document. You will constantly end up moving content into Google Docs and back into the platform’s editor. This reduces productivity!
Outranking is the only platform on the list to provide this feature.
Most products offer folders or some sort of tagging system to organize documents.
Outranking: Best for creating long-form content or any web content that needs to be optimized for organic traffic. If you write content for blog posts, eCommerce products, webinars, press releases, recipe posts, and other such web pages, Outranking outshines all the other tools mentioned.
Jarvis: If you are heavily focused on social media, email, and sales copy-type content, then Jarvis, along with several cheaper tools, is your best bet.
MarketMuse: If your methodology involves creating content around NLP terms only and you don’t mind compromising on several other utilities, MarketMuse is your best bet.
Surfer SEO and Frase: Both of these tools are decent at what they do, but fall short of on-page SEO guidance and factual AI writing practices.