The Domain Authority Metric is Not Reliable

The Domain Authority Metric is Not Reliable

by Wanda Moore March 08, 2019

For years and years, SEOs and digital marketers have entrusted their results to the metrics of a single or more SEO tools, calculating the wave of numbers and using them as a yardstick to evaluate their online skills. Where we can say The Domain Authority Metric is Not Reliable.

Today finally in the forums and in the many groups on the social network you start to clarify speaking openly about these metrics and trying to make people understand, especially those who have recently started this job that first of all the numbers must always be interpreted and above all that often they are not objective but metric numbers .

Metrics invented by those who developed the tool and therefore it is for this reason that we can say that the Domain Authority metric is not reliable.

And to say it is certainly not us, but the same  MOZ (creator of the tool) that a few days ago announced that it is about to launch a major update of the metrics of the DA , according to him, will make it more reliable.

That’s why focusing on a single metric such as domain authority metric is imprecise and unreliable because what really matters is a more holistic approach to traffic assessment, engagement and relevance.

However, regardless of the reliability of the single tool, there are, as regards MOZ, other important questions on the use of the metric and the way in which the DA is used.

Here are some key issues that many industry players are discouraged by this metric.

Misuse of MOZ metric DA

One of the most significant problems is the misuse of the metric. Often beginner SEOs “marry” a metric (be it DA or other) and focus only on that.

Not to mention that there exists above all an entire industry of SEO industry focused on the sale of “high-DA” links .

Because the Domain Authority metric is not reliable

As we said the main problem is that determining the strength of a site, page or link focusing on one metric is wrong and, in the specific case, below you will find some points that show how the DA is inaccurate and unreliable.

1) Use of third-party metrics

Moz currently uses around 40 factors to calculate the domain authority score , including the linking root domain and the total number of links (which have never been fully disclosed). But even if the calculation is complex it is not enough to accurately calculate the ranking capacity of a domain or the true strength of links coming from a domain.

Google has been crawling on the web since 1993 and there’s a reason why the market leader is on the run in search technology. Their algorithms are designed to use (at least) 200 factors to evaluate page ranking. The complexity of the RankBrain algorithm , its evolving nature, the way it adapts, learns human linguistics should make us understand that it is not possible to match it or to make conjectures or predictions, with a fairly simplistic metric system like DA, because by its nature it is not complex enough to be so precise.

2) It is a forecast

Experiencing an increase or decrease in DA is not directly related to a change in ranking. It is a forecast. Nothing more. And Moz directly says it in this section.

“Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines …. Over 40 signals are included in this calculation … this is how to approximate how competitive a given site is in “

The Domain Authority is a score (on a scale of 100 points) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will be classified in search engines (…) Over 40 signals are included in this calculation (…) this metric aims to approximate the competitiveness of a given site in “.

3) PageRank has also been abandoned because it is too simplistic

How many times in our blog we talked about PageRank,  the “secret sauce” of Google released in 2000. For a long time Google decided to abandon it. The main reason? They did not want people to focus so much on a single metric.

Also because the PageRank alone could never determine the ranking of a site. In reality, the ranking has always been a combination of multiple factors including the PageRank.

The various Google insiders such as John Mueller , over the years, have said they do not have an internal equivalent of a “web authority” score. Although secretly they had an equivalent they use internally, the fact remains that a single score would never be enough to determine the value.

4) DA can be manipulated

To some extent, even rankings on Google can be manipulated. As such, DA scores can also be manipulated. And if we wanted to make a bet we would all agree that it is definitely easier to manipulate a score than the Google ranking.

This is why if you are tempted by the online sale / purchase of “high-DA link”, it is necessary to consider that measuring the value of a link based on DA alone could be problematic if the DA is not an accurate representation of the true value of that link .

5) The relevance is what really matters

The problem of focusing on a metric like DA is also related to the fact that people forget to focus on the things that matter most when link building is done or the value of a site or page is determined.

Answer some simple questions as “is a contextually relevant link? – is the content of the page valuable for visitors? “Should always be the bases from which to start

And to answer these questions, there is certainly no need for a metric system. What you need is to determine it by eye (which is what the most expert link builders do with the manual outreach ).


The purpose of this article, in addition to doing a little ‘clarity just because as we said it is the same MOZ that in these days is reviewing the reliability of its metric, it was above all to identify a modus operandi that does not go to focus only on the domain authority to ignore everything else that should be evaluated in an SEO strategy.

Well we understand why many people appreciate DA so much. In a sector where there are so many intangible assets, it can be a relief to find something tangible, such as achieving the maximum score and reading the number 100. And it is for this reason that, exactly contrary to what has been said up to now, in the long term, having a stability or a constant increase in domain authority can be a fairly valid indication that the work done is going in the right direction.


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