Recently Moz updated its Domain Authority scoring.
Moz says, “Domain Authority has become the industry standard for measuring the strength of a domain relative to ranking.”
We recently published a guide to Link Building for 2019. In it we describe that DA doesn’t directly affect Google rankings, but can be useful in benchmarking against other sites.
Here’s what Moz’ Russ Jones (Principal Search Scientist) had to say:
“Domain Authority is a comparative metric, and I cannot stress this enough. On its own, in a vacuum, DA means very little. When looked at through the lens of competitors – such as comparing Papa Johns to Pizza Hut to Little Caesars – DA is a very powerful metric.”
When asked about how the new release will affect sites in the short term, he admitted that most sites will see a decrease in ranking of about 7%. Long term, however, this should balance out and will correct itself quicker than ever, due to the enhanced link database, which updates more frequently now.
Russ Jones also said: “To be clear, Domain Authority enables webmasters to make decisions on what they might need to do to improve site performance. For example, if a webmaster’s site has far fewer rankings than a competitor, despite having a higher Domain Authority, it likely indicates that the webmaster needs to improve the quality and quantity of content on their site.”
He also touched on link-selling/buying schemes. The link index, spam detection and advanced machine-learned model will address these problems. “Moz can identify link manipulation and devalue DA scores in a way similar to how Google and Bing devalue bad backlinks. Our model does not specifically target any particular type of scheme, but rather identifies patterns of link manipulation that don’t result in improved rankings and devalues them.”
The upshot, as Jones says, is this: “Domain Authority is meaningless when it isn’t compared to other sites, full stop. What matters isn’t whether your site drops or increases — it’s whether it drops or increases relative to your competitors.”