Is Domain Authority Really the New Page Rank?

Search Engine Optimisation is set to face new challenges in 2013 as Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms continue to put pressure on sites to avoid spam linking, instead focusing on high quality content and linking from authoritative sources. Domain Authority, a metric developed by SEOMoz, is becoming more important as a way of measuring domain wide authority, as well as the individual strengths of pages listed by Page Rank. A Domain Authority ranking is more focused on the trust placed in a particular site within search engine listings, and is primarily based on the quality of inbound links to a domain.

Domain Authority consequently relies on creating a model that measures how well a particular domain stands up to others, and uses a range of different sub metrics in order to calculate the quality of links to a page on a scale from 0 to 100. Google are putting more of an emphasis with Penguin and Panda on the business authority of domains, and whether or not the majority of links from other sites are from trusted sources. Good examples of high quality domains include Apple and Wikipedia.

By comparison, PageRank ranks the number of links being made to a particular site within Google, and works more in terms of the quantity of links, rather than the quality of links coming to them. While PageRank is effective at demonstrating quantity, the actual links that are boosting a website’s search engine results might not be viewed as highly relevant by Google, or don’t produce a good percentage of internal links within the samedomain. Again, the issue for SEO marketers in building a site’s value is to develop the number of quality links coming from sites that have their own high percentage of links from trusted sites.

In this context, Domain Authority arguably works better than PageRank by using a more comprehensive set of metrics to try to work out the quality of the links that are being made to a particular site; these metrics can provide a more authoritative sense of how much trust should be placed in these inbound links. Older, ‘black hat’ SEO tactics of generating large numbers of links from spam sites, or sites containing irrelevant content, to artificially increase PageRank, can no longer be trusted after Penguin and Panda, which were designed to cut down on link farming and other negative tactics.

All of these trends point to what’s going to be another tough year for SEO in 2013, as the need to deliver more quality and less quantity in linking sites together – metrics and search engine algorithms that recognise where a site is packed full of organic, relevant content and guest posts that receive links from other high quality sites with established search engine rankings are making it more difficult to deliver artificial perspectives. Website owners that want to boost their SEO in 2013 consequently need to explore Domain Authority as a metric suited to these trends, while continuing to use Page Rank to optimise individual pages and ensure that link traffic is still being maintained.

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Emily Steves recommends Webigence development services when building the site. Emily runs several successful sites and enjoys the challenges it brings. She can be found blogging about the different things she has had to learn over the years to keep her sites and businesses going.

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