Many vendors sell backlinks based on their Domain Authority.
The idea is that, the bigger the DA, the better is the link.
I am here to debunk this nonsense and show you 3 reasons why you should take DA with a grain of salt.
Shall we? 😎
3 Problems With DA
These problems also apply to DR (a similar to Moz’s metric that is calculated by Ahrefs) but, from my experience, to a lesser degree…
Scroll to read the rest and watch this video for more.
Problem 1: DA is Pretty Easy to Manipulate
Given that we send a lot of emails for link building purposes, one of our email address ended up on some sort of a spam newsletter list so now I get emails like these every so often.
As you can see all they do is try to sell me their do-follow link…
They also show me their “quality” metrics – DA, PA and CF (wonder why TF is not there).
This DA 30+ site looks wonderful…NOT.
A quick run through Ahrefs shows me no real traffic in Ahrefs:
And when I see these jumps in the number of referring domains (in combination with all these other factors), I am really sure that it’s spam or part of a PBN:
So, do I want to get a link from this site..?
But how’s DA so high?
Well…it can easily be manipulated by the likes of Fiverr gigs:
Problem 2: DA Doesn’t Show Relevance
When I build links to a travel site, I don’t want to get links from rock associations and cement manufacturers because…
They are super irrelevant to me.
And this is what DA avoids telling us – relevance.
If you scroll up for that email I showed you above, you will see that they list all the niches their site covers:
- education and creativity related topics
If you are building links then relevance is important – you can’t just look at DA.
There is no real tool for relevance so you have to use your best judgement here.
Problem 3: DA Takes a While to Build Up
So we got this 0.7 DR (14 DA) website linking to a client of us some time ago and…
I was super happy!
As you can see, this site is getting fantastic traffic and, in this case, it’s a matter of time before it accumulates all that DA/DR.
How to tell the site is legit?
- Look and appearance; spammy sites are not really taken care of – they just don’t look nice
- Quality articles and healthy social profiles (real followers and good engagement)
- Check Ahrefs traffic and links
How is it possible that the site has so much traffic and such a little DA/DR?
There is a number of possibilities here:
- This can be a new site with a strong brand (so people know about it and visit it directly)
- It can be a new site leveraging other traffic channels (paid and social)
- They could also be lucky
- Maybe the tools (Ahrefs/Moz) are not accurate or they are blocked from accessing the website
- Something else I am not aware of or forgot about 😛
We use both, DA and DR, to quickly assess the quality of any given website but…
I also want to hear what the site’s traffic is like at the same time.
Checking their backlink profile and analyzing any weird activity is next.
Now, if you need quality link building, then get in touch and let’s see if we are a fit. 😎