Domain Authority or similar metric is perceived to be an overall metric to adjudge how “authoritative” a website or blog is. But in reality, Domain Authority or similar metric is not important to SEO and in this post, I’ll explain why.
Usually, SEOs try to get backlinks from authoritative websites and their go-to metric is Domain Authority. This is a very wrong notion and in fact, one of the SEO myths.
To put things into perspective, it’ll be good to briefly explain what Domain Authority means.
What is Domain Authority?
Generally, Domain Authority is a metric or score (over 100) given a website or blog based on its perceived authority or power it can pass to another site.
Some others call it “Domain Rating”, “Authority Score”, “Site Score”, etc. They all mean the same thing.
(Do not confuse Domain Authority Metric with the US Domain Authority Scam.)
Why The Idea Behind Domain Authority Is Good
Although today, Domain Authority is not important to SEO, the idea behind Domain Authority makes sense.
There are many metrics about a good website or blog. You do not need to have a list of all those metrics and their “score”.
But having one single metric that sums up all other metrics to provide an aggregate score for a website makes a lot of sense.
Although this is supposed to be the case for Domain Authority or similar metric, sadly, it’s not exactly that way and I’ll explain why.
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Why Domain Authority Metric Is Flawed
Today, the Domain Authority metric is flawed because it can easily be manipulated.
In an aim to make their site seem authoritative, many people go beyond limits to increase their Domain Authority.
The Domain Authority metric is purely inspired by the number of backlinks a website has. The quality of the link – be it nofollow or dofollow – does not matter when it comes to Domain Authority.
What this means is that if I want to increase my Domain Authority or Rating (per any of these SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush etc.), I just need to get unsolicited links from anywhere on the web and it’ll naturally increase on these SEO tools.
Quality is not much of a thing to consider when it comes to Domain Authority or Rating.
This explains why a DA25 website, for example, could have 100,000 organic search traffic monthly while a D50 website struggles with 10,000 organic search traffic. Can you see how flawed the metric is?
Google cares about the QUALITY of your backlink while the Domain Authority metric cares about the QUANTITY of your backlink.
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What’s The Relationship Between Domain Authority And SEO?
As mentioned earlier, in an ideal situation, Domain Authority should be a standard “SEO evaluation” of a website.
But given the flaws highlighted above, it is not ideal logically to think a website is solid SEO-wise just because they have a high Domain Authority score.
In reality, search engines like Google care less about Domain Authority.
As mentioned earlier, Google cares about the QUALITY of your backlink but the Domain Authority metric only cares about the QUANTITY.
Hence, Domain Authority has no correlation with your Search Engine ranking or how Google perceives a website.
The Reality About Domain Authority
In reality, Domain Authority is a superficial metric relatively unknown to Google or other top search engines.
The idea of “Domain Authority” sprang up from marketers like me and you and those who created SEO tools like MOZ, SEMrush etc. not from the Search Engine operators themselves.
What Should Be An Ideal “SEO Rating” For A Website?
Now that we have seen how flawed the Domain Authority metric is, you may then wonder “what is a good metric to judge how good a website is from the SEO perspective?”
The best way to rate a website’s SEO value is the number of organic search traffic.
So, when you want to get a backlink from a more “authoritative” website, your go-to metric should be the organic search traffic, not Domain Authority.
Look out for websites that have better organic search traffic than your website. It’s that simple.
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Separate yourself from the crowd of marketers who think Domain Authority is a ranking factor. It is not.
In fact, Domain Authority has no direct bearing on SEO.
What should matter to you most as an SEO is organic search traffic.