Article

Emma Hull
Emma Hull 8 April 2019

Domain Authority 2.0: What's New?

This blog post looks at all of the changes to domain authority 2.0 and how it has affected different domains.

Domain authority, or ‘DA’ to most digital marketers, is a ranking score created by SEO giant Moz to determine the authority of a web page. Since 2004, Moz has been at the forefront of SEO developments and essentially, the higher the DA, the higher the probability the page will rank on SERPs. However, it is important to remember that domain authority should not be treated as a ranking factor, and rather just a benchmark.

There are three main points to how a website’s DA is formed. These are:

  1. The number of rooted domains
  2. The number of back links
  3. The trustworthiness of inbound links

So, What Has Changed for Domain Authority 2.0?

Back in February, it was announced that a new DA was about to be launched by Moz from March 5th. Moz has updated the way that domain authority is calculated and has added new factors that will improve the scores. These are the changes that have taken place:

  1. Before DA 2.0, domain authority was weighed against a large number of results and the new DA seems as if it will focus on more specific results data. The new metric should be better at understanding sites which only have historic rankings.
     
  2. The changes that have taken place to the training algorithm have resulted in a system better equipped for sniffing out link manipulation.
     
  3. Moz will now streamline a website’s back link portfolio by integrating a spam score, as well as looking at both the quality of the website’s backlinks and also the amount of traffic that it brings in.
     
  4. There is also now a new index tool, which boasts ‘exceptional data’.

How Does DA Relate to SERP Rankings?

Russ Jones, a Moz researcher, proved the strength of the relationship between both the SERP rankings and a site’s listed domain authority. The research collated 16,000 keywords and looked only at the first page of results.

Domain authority, as well as the trust and citation flows from different pages were all collected, with every domain averaged using the Spearman correlation coefficient method. The outcome showed that DA correlated 6% better with SERP rankings than its closest competitor’s metric.

However, what should be noted is that each metric’s goals vary. For example, the domain authority aims to predict the ranking of a domain, while other metrics have different objectives.

Who Has Suffered As a Result of the New Update?

  • Comment spammers – The research showed a 34% drop in comment spamming domains.
     
  • Link sellers – Sites that charge for linking on their domains dropped, on average, a huge 56% decrease in domain authority.
     
  • Auction domains – There was also a hit for auction domains. High-quality auction domains dropped 61%, while mid-quality auction domains dropped by 95%. However, the ones that took the biggest hit were the low-quality auction domains, which took a 98% drop.
     
  • Link Networks – Link farms also saw a 79% decrease.

Will This Affect Your Website?

If your DA has dropped, then there is a high-chance that your competitors have also taken a hit too, so there really isn’t much to worry about. The average drop for a domain to take is just 6%.

The best thing to do to improve your DA would be creating great content and securing high-quality links from trustworthy sites.

Read more: How to Get High Quality Links to your Website

It is important to remember that Google doesn’t look at DA when ranking domains. It is a benchmark score that helps predict rankings.

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