Why I don’t use Domain Authority..
Now, if you’re a newbie to SEO, or just plain don’t give a crap about DA, stop reading and just hire me to do your SEO for you!
But if you want to know the ins and outs of why I don’t use this misused metric, read on…
First I’ll say purely just from my own experience and that of my peers and my mentor (an extremely experienced man who has worked with every business type under the sun.)
Domain authority has been overall – unreliable and irrelevant when building links.
So whether you agree or not, I’ve reached this conclusion from the culmination of thousands of hours of work, which are reiterated by other industry professionals.
And it really pains me when I see a listing like this:
This person would be better placed to just make sure they are creating good, engaging content and then getting plenty of relevant links…
Rather than scouring through lists and throwing out stuff which isn’t deemed “high” enough. It wastes both their time as a business owner and the freelancers time.
Setting a DA limit just doesn’t make any sense to me.
Without this becoming a rant, I’ll go into a few reasons why.
- Its not even a Google metric, it’s a third party metric from Moz
Don’t get me wrong, Moz is a useful tool, for analysing backlinks, keeping track of rankings, etc. But being too reliant on a third party metric to determine if it’s a “good” link is bad practice. They are not in any way affiliated with Google and neither Google, Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs or whoever, share any data whatsoever.
- Its too simplistic.
Trying to compare Moz and Google is like David and Goliath. Its like equating Google, ( a multi-billion dollar company that has been crawling the net since 1993) and their closely guarded Rank Brain Artifical Intelligence algorithm system…With a sub-200 employee company like Moz. Who have a fairly mediocre way of calculating the “strength” of a site based on 40 factors.
- It’s a prediction of rankings
It’s a best guess at how they think that site would perform on its own rankings, not how it affects other sites!
And this is coming straight from Moz! (https://moz.com/learn/seo/domain-authority)
“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 metric is meant to approximate how competitive a given site is in Google.com”
Note the bolded words here?
- Google stopped using PageRank for this very reason!
Google used to have a metric exactly like this, that everyone could see, called Pagerank. And the way it was calculated was probably similar to DA
“PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites”
Even back then, it was probably still more complex than Moz’s DA, but….. Google dropped it!
- Only ONE metric really matters in link building- RELEVANCE!
Now, of couse, to determine if something is relevant or not, is pretty hard to quantify. You would either need a human to determine that by eye (which is what most white hat link builders do). Or like Google have done with RankBrain, you plunge billions of dollars into developing and continually improving an AI system to do so.
Lets just say, Google is the ONLY company who have managed to do that anywhere near effectively enough.
Now I said I wouldn’t rant!
But if that wasn’t enough for you, here are a few more statements, from various Google employees and industry experts.
Google’s John Mueller here says Google does not have a “website authority score” at the 43 minute mark.