How Important Is Domain Metrics like DA, PA Etc?

Domain Metrics

Domain metrics are a range of values of different parameters to assess the quality of your website. 

PAGE RANK: THE FIRST OF ITS KIND

The first domain metric was invented by Google Co-Founder Larry Page in 1997.

It was called PageRank.(A clever use of a pun on Page). Placed on the Google toolbar, it ranked the websites by taking into account the number of other sites linking to them, on a scale of 10. The higher, the better. These were ‘good old days when you would have gotten away with crappy link stuffing. Slowly, it became clear that the top results were not always relevant.

This limitation led to its eventual removal in 2016. But it is believed that Google still uses the metric internally.

DOMAIN METRICS NOW

Over the years, Google’s algorithm has evolved and so have the SEO strategies. There is no room for keyword and link stuffing today. Try doing it and Google will bury your content to death.

But that does not mean, link building is an outdated phenomenon. It still stands tall when it comes to opting for an effective SEO strategy. A little research on Google’s SERP lay bare Google’s affection for a strong backlink profile. But not all links will benefit you. Moreover, some will benefit you more than others. How do you distinguish between a good link and a bad link? How do you decide whether a particular link will help you in your SEO endeavors or not?

How do you compare between two links? With the intention of helping marketers struggling with these questions, several third-party companies came out with their different domain metrics like DA, PA, DR, UR, TF, AND CF. This barrage of acronyms can be overwhelming. But don’t worry. We will discuss each one of them in layman’s terms.

  1. DA(Domain Authority)

Parent Company: MOZ

It is a measure of how likely a website is going to rank on the Search Engine Result Page(SERP). It incorporates machine learning to simulate how Google analyses a particular site while indexing. The score is given in the range of 1 to 100 with higher scores meaning a higher probability of the page getting ranked.

  1. PA(Page Authority)

Parent Company: MOZ

Similar to DA, it is a measure of how likely a page is going to rank on the Search Engine Result Page. Again the scores range from 1 to 100. The higher the scores, the higher the chances of getting ranked.

  1. DR( Domain Rating)

Parent Company: Ahrefs

It is the measure of the strength of a site’s backlink profile in terms of size and quality. The scale is 1 to 100. The higher the score, the better it is.

Size- How many websites are linking to you.

Quality- How relevant are they to your content.

  1. UR(URL rating)

Parent Company: Ahrefs

Unlike the DR, it is a page-level metric that measures the strength of a  particular page’s backlink profile. Not only the external links but the internal ones are also taken into account.

Again the scale is between 1 to 100 and again, the higher the better.

  1. TF( Trust Flow)

Parent Company: Majestic

It is the measure of the trustworthiness of a website by analyzing the quality of links pointing to the website. 

Scale is 1 to 100. The higher, the better.

  1. CF( Citation Flow)

Parent Company: Majestic

Unlike TF which focuses on the quality of the backlinks, CF measures the influential power of a website by measuring the quantity of the links pointing to that website.

Scale: 1 to 100. The higher, the better.

ARE THESE DOMAIN METRICS REALLY IMPORTANT?

I hope you noticed that each of the above domain metrics was focussing on a single aspect: a strong backlink profile. So why different names? Because as we saw, they were invented by different companies. Are these domain metrics important?  Do the values actually mean something? Here are  some facts:

  • The SEO industry is a sea of intangibles. Hence these tangible scores come as a sigh of relief for the marketers.
  • Take them with a pinch of salt. They are just rough estimates and not stringent rules. A new page with a DA score of 90+ will be ranked lower than a page with a DA of 70, which has been there for around 15 years in the SERP.
  • The computing power of Google is beyond the reach of any of these companies. The crawlers of these companies cannot crawl the web as efficiently as Google’s. Moreover, these tools make use of around 40 factors to decide the score whereas Google takes around 200 factors into consideration.  Hence, simulating Google is a chimera even today.
  • If you research a little, you will not find any correlation between the values of these domain metrics for a particular site and the site’s actual position on the Google result page.
  • For the same website, values are different across different metrics. (The score that Youtube receives from Ahrefs will differ from that of Majestic, which in turn will differ from that of Moz)
  • These values can be manipulated as well. There is a whole industry selling links with high DA, PA, DR, etc.

Tips for the Marketers:

  • Content is the king. High-quality content will inevitably get you backlinks, no matter what these metrics say. Hence, do not obsess over these values.
  • These metrics can be used to save time in the initial stages of filtering out the potential websites to link to. 
  • You can have your baseline value below which you will not consider on the website.
  • Do not use all these metrics simultaneously. You will end up confusing yourself. As I said earlier, all these metrics more or less measure the same thing. Therefore, stick to a single metric for your link-building endeavor. 

Conclusion:

 When used sensibly, these domain metrics can definitely save time. But focusing all your energy on improving these domain metrics can cost you dearly. There is a limit to their use. They are complementary dishes and not the main course. Use them to save your time. You can save yourself from rigorous research of various sites and just look for their scores.

But remember, today, two parameters rule the SEO industry. Quality and User experience. Hence the lion’s share of effort must go into generating good and relevant content while making sure users feel good visiting your website.

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