I just wrapped up an article about website “metrics” called Good “Metrics” Do Not Mean Valuable Backlinks. I wrote that because I am constantly hearing about “Domain Authority” when people are evaluating backlinks, as if this magic number between 1-100 is the sole metric to evaluate a website’s health.
The gist of that last article is to see how a site ranks. If a site is healthy, it will rank well. You wouldn’t buy a house based on a score of 1-100, you’d look at the neighbors, the age, if it’s one or two stories, mortgage interest rates, the price, comparable sales and so on and so forth.
Many High Domain Authority Sites Are Lacking … Authority.
There are lots of websites with great Domain Authority getting hammered in search results these days, especially after the August 2018 Google Core Algorithm Update (which some are calling the “Medic Update”). While my article about the update isn’t 100% conclusive and I don’t have the code to Google’s search engine, I (ironically) lean towards the type of link being used as a primary factor for evaluating the Trust and Authority of a site, especially YMYL websites requiring E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness). If you haven’t heard of these terms before, please check out the article.
In other words, getting DA40 links isn’t necessarily going to magically increase your rankings, there are many more factors in play these days.
Google Medic Update Crushes High Domain Authority Sites.
A picture is worth a thousand words…
In my coverage of the Medic Update, a guy named David chimed in, pointing out that many of the sites hit had great Domain Authority. He’s right. Here are some sites which were hit:
PBN Sites have High DA, too.
I like DA and I use the metric frequently, however, I see PBN sites with high DA all the time. Just today, someone asked me if they should accept a link swap with an “attorney rankings SEO agency”. This agency is well known (to me, anyways) for cross linking their sites. Site A links to site B, site B links to site C, then site C links to site A. This small step prevents “reciprocal linking”, a well known spam tactic from like 10 – 15 years ago, but c’mon man… Would you bet the health of your law firm’s Internet presence on this sort of foolishness?
By the way, all of their rankings suck. I don’t care what their DA is, there’s no changing the fact that Google basically loves 79 of their competitors more than them. If your website is 80th in Google’s search results it is because Google has buried that thing as deep as they can to prevent their users from ever seeing it. I can’t tell if ALL of their sites just suck, or if MOST of their sites were algorithmically punished for their link scheme. Many of the sites have an estimated monthly traffic count of 9. Yes, N-I-N-E.
I really like Domain Authority and other metrics.
My intent here is not to bash Domain Authority. I use it all the time and it has its place on the top shelf of my toolbox. I am super happy it is here and I will continue using the metric. Just think twice before declaring that Citation Flow, Domain Authority, Trust Flow, Spam Score, Page Authority, Alexa Rank, PageRank, Authority Score, Ahrefs Rank, Page Score, Domain Score, Trust Score is the end all way to evaluate the health of a site. That just isn’t the case, and websites with great metrics get sent off to the slaughterhouse all the time.
If you have anything useful to contribute to my rant, please be my guest and share it below.