One thing I’ve taken notice to during my SEO campaign is my domain authority score. It was at a high of 22 a couple of days ago but had just recently declined to 7 as of today. I’m guessing this is to do with the quality of the backlinks I’m acquiring for my website.
What is domain authority?
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A score or ranking of 1 to 100 is given to all sites. The higher the number the more authoritative a site is and the higher it ranks on Google.
So for me to drop from a score of 22 to 7 (according to Ahrefs) in just a couple of days was a big concern of mine. However, my rankings were telling me otherwise. My ranking for the keyphrase “promotional products” had gone from page 24 to page 19 in just a matter of two weeks. Although my DA score was dropping and deterring me away from my SEO goals. And even more so if you look at my rankings on Neil Patel with a domain score of 1 which was a lot higher a couple of weeks ago.
Domain Rating vs Domain Score vs Domain Authority
And of course, what bothered me was my domain rating with Ahrefs vs my domain score with Neil Patel vs my domain authority with Moz was that there was a difference. A score of 7 vs 1 vs 13. Was there an error reporting this score?
Domain Rating (DR) is a proprietary Ahrefs’ metric that shows the strength of a target website’s total backlink profile (in terms of its size and quality). DR is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100, with the latter being the strongest. Whereas I’m unsure where Neil Patel’s domain score is pulled from but definitely not matching Ahrefs domain rating. And DA is a ranking score developed by Moz. My understanding between the three is that they are using their own metrics to rate a website. This would explain the three different scores.
Domain Authority and Google Rankings
But, in the last two weeks, my Google Rankings have improved for my search terms “promotional products” and “promotional items”. So does that mean that DA should be ignored when it comes to Google rankings? From my experience, the answer is yes.
Even Moz themselves tell you “Don’t obsess over Domain Authority (DA) for its own sake.”
Authority is designed to be an indicator of success, but it doesn’t drive success. DA is not used by Google and will have no direct impact on your rankings. Increasing your DA solely to increase your DA is pointless vanity. – Dr. Peter J. Meyers @ Moz
This is all coming from the company that created DA. What does that go and tell you? That obsessing over DA is irrelevant when it comes to your overall Google rankings. And I would have thought otherwise as I’m sure many others have thought too.
Conclusion, domain authority should just be looked at as a tool to gauge your website’s overall strength and success. I’m sure with any company just starting out with their SEO campaign that they’re going to see a decrease in their DA in the beginning when building backlinks. But, in the long run you’ll start to see the opposite happening. And you should start seeing an increase in both your DA and your Google Rankings.