If you think you understand SEO and you’re smug because you have a high DA and you’re generally happy with your life online, the following news might upset you:
Moz has just updated its Domain Authority score, and according to Russ Jones, Principal Search Scientist at Moz, “Domain Authority scores, by and large, will go down across the board by about 7 percent.”
Do not go into a tailspin. I repeat. Do not go into a tailspin.
If you have an exceptionally high DA, there is no need to panic. You aren’t about to fall off the face of the earth (or the first page of Google). Because, if you don’t already know this, let me enlighten you: your DA has NOTHING to do with where you rank on Google.
Nothing. Nada. Niente..
Domain authority has nothing to do with Google
You may have been labouring under the mistaken belief that the higher the DA of a website, the more authority it has on SERP (search engine rankings page), but this is an unfortunate rumour that exploitative link vendors insist on peddling, to con website novices out of £££.
And sadly so many people fall for it, naively assuming that DA has something to do with Google, but that just isn’t true.
Inexperienced website owners in particular, get wrapped around the axle about ‘boosting their DA’, when in actual fact, what they really mean is, they want to boost their Google page ranking – something that comes through SEO.
So we’ll say it again: improving your SEO and improving your DA are two very separate things.
The link between Domain Authority and Google
Let’s back it up a minute to explain the misunderstanding.
The DA of a website is just a search engine ranking score, developed by Moz, intended to predict how a website will rank on search engine pages.
Why is DA held in such high regard, if it has nothing to do with Google and their rankings, and is not one of their metrics?
Simply, because Google is a black hole.
The mystery of Google
No one knows for sure how Google ranks the search results. And so Moz developed their own data sets and algorithms to try and predict where Google would rank a webpage, and currently their solution – DA, is the closest thing that seems to work.
Moz isn’t the only SEO tool provider to come up with an algorithm to guess how Google will react to your website, but it’s the most popular, and it’s the one that devious SEO vendors flaunt as ‘being able to improve’.
So if DA isn’t a google metric, and your DA score doesn’t influence your Google ranking, why do people get so worked up about trying to improve their DA score and why should we even care that Moz is releasing a new and improved DA version 2.0?
Why DA matters
Well, your DA score is important as a comparative metric to see how you stand against your competition, but we can not stress this enough – DA on its own means very little, and has about as much influence on your Google ranking as asking the pixies to help you win the lottery.
All of this ranking furore stems from when Google DID used to rank pages. People were spellbound, and became obsessed with trying to improve their GoogleRank.
People used to buy, trade and sell links to improve their GoogleRank, careers were made and broken over it. But then Google stopped making GoogleRank publicly visible in 2016, and the whole world started panicking, searching desperately for a way to figure out where they stood, and looked for a metric to define their success, and well, that’s where Moz and their DA fit into the story.
And so for those of you itching to improve your page ranking, boosting your DA score is not the answer.
Yes, DA 2.0 has been released, the likely impact on your business will be that you drop approximately 7% on that score. Don’t. Start. Panicking. So will everyone else’s.
And remember – your DA score could whittle away to zero, and you can still be number one on Google.
THE TWO AREN’T CONNECTED.
So, the moral of the story: focus on improving your SEO and be savvy when link builders come knocking, with their misleading DA pitches. If you want to be on page one of SERP- start your SEO journey from the beginning. Check out this article for basic SEO principles for your blog, once you’re done there, have a read of this one to learn the 7 SEO mistakes everyone mistakes – and remember, link building is one tiny part of SEO – don’t get distracted by a tantalisingly high DA score.
Here endeth the lesson.