Moz Domain Authority Update
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Moz has updated their Domain Authority (DA) in order to give users more accurate predictions of search performance through new algorithms that search engines use. The update, which rolled out on March 5, 2019, better coincides with how Google checks for quality websites, giving users an overall better experience.
Are you wondering how this update has affected your website? Here’s a guide to what has changed, how your site has been impacted, and what kind of disruptions or DA fluctuations there could be without having made any changes to your website in preparation.
What is Domain Authority?
The first thing to understand is what exactly Domain Authority is. It’s essentially a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) and can be described as a metric to compare against other competitors’ websites. 1 is the lowest score you can have, while 100 is the highest. Naturally, the higher your DA score, the higher your site will rank on SERPs.
Domain Authority is calculated by accounting for 40 different factors. One main factor is the number of backlinks to your web page, and another factor is the number of linking root domains, which is the number of unique websites that link to yours either once or more than once. One unique website can link to your page more than once, but it will still count as one root domain.
The quality of your backlinks makes a big difference in your ranking as well. A website with a lot of high-quality backlinks will have a higher Domain Authority than a website with few or no backlinks at all. Your website can also be penalized by Google if you have poor quality backlinks that violate Google’s guidelines, which would, in turn, lower your ranking.
Luckily there is a way to check what kind of websites are linking to your site and whether they are considered high-quality backlinks or not. Backlink analysis is a crucial step to take when it comes to understanding how your website ranks and performs.
If you also aren’t sure what your Domain Authority is, you can check it using the free tool from Moz called the Moz DA Checker, which is a bulk Domain Authority checker. You can check as many URLs as you want at once, and the results are instantly available. It’s a helpful tool because once you know what your site’s Domain Authority is, you can start to work to improve it.
What is Page Authority?
Page Authority (PA) is similar to Domain Authority. It’s a ranking score ranging from 1 to 100 that measures and estimates how well a specific page will rank on SERPs. The difference between DA and PA is that Page Authority only ranks one specific web page, like a landing page, while Domain Authority ranks the whole domain as one unit.
Why is my Page Authority 1?
Usually, a page that has a PA ranking of 1 means that Moz’s index crawler has not yet discovered it. Additionally, smaller websites tend to be removed from the index if no new domains backlink to them. If a new backlink is discovered, the website will be put back into the queue for re-indexing. If you have a small website and want to consistently rank in PA or increase the ranking you currently have, having high-quality backlinks at least once every 190 days (when Moz’s cache is cleared) is crucial.
What are the changes for Moz’s DA update?
The changes Moz made to their DA are all technical ones. They have made the switch from relying on training Domain Authority against unmanipulated search results by shifting to a neural network from a complex linear training algorithm model. This means that Domain Authority is much more reliable than it was. Furthermore, they have adapted the factors that contribute to a high-ranking DA, which is usually determined by link counts. Now, they are more focused on links based on traffic and quality, among other factors.
Essentially, what this all means is that Moz has updated its algorithm to better match Google’s. Instead of focusing on the quantity of links, they are focusing on the quality of the links. It all leads to a more refined user experience, as well as a more trustworthy and overall better metric than it was before.
Your Domain Authority score would most likely have changed when the update was launched. It might have been a small change, but it also could have helped show you which parts of your website need re-establishing so you can make adjustments yourself. Because of the new factors taken into consideration for Domain Authority ranking, like link pattern identification and Moz’s Spam Score metric, changes to your DA were inevitable. Your Page Authority score would not have been impacted, as the update was only for DA.
Remember that your DA is a relative metric, and is useless on its own. It only becomes an important factor when you compare it to competitor’s websites, not any site from a business in your vicinity. It isn’t important if your DA improves or worsens unless you’re comparing the changes to a competitor’s website.
What makes a good Domain Authority?
It’s easy to get caught up in all the technical aspects of a website and forget what the basics of a great website entail, but this update could be the catalyst of change, especially if it has negatively impacted your site. There are a few aspects to remember that make a high-quality website, including employing good search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, using link building to improve trust, generating traffic using high-quality backlinks, removing poor quality backlinks, including internal links, consistently creating quality content and having guest posts, and having useful and engaging copy. Other factors to consider outside of content are your website’s speed, if your website is mobile-friendly, and making sure you have an active social media presence.
Keep in mind that algorithms are continually being adapted and changed, so much like Google, Moz will most likely make Domain Authority changes and improvements over time. This is so your Domain Authority can stay up-to-date and will remain relevant, even when the search engine algorithms change.