Is Domain Authority the best metric to use for knowing how a site will rank?

When working on your website and looking at ways to make your site rank better, you’ll often go to the Domain Authority (DA) to get an idea. DA is Moz’s way of telling us how well a website should rank, but did you know it isn’t tied to any Google metrics for ranking?

Is Domain Authority the best metric to use for knowing how a site will rank?
Written by Emily Yates
SEO  |   1 minute read

When working on your website and looking at ways to make your site rank better, you’ll often go to the Domain Authority (DA) to get an idea. DA is Moz’s way of telling us how well a website should rank, but did you know it isn’t tied to any Google metrics for ranking?

So to answer the question — is DA the best metric for knowing how a site will rank? We say no; we don’t believe it is. Let us explain why and what we use instead.

When looking at what makes your site rank, there are many things to consider. Most of them are part of the core web vitals as well as how effective and relevant your website content is for website visitors. That being said, there's no denying how much DA has been considered as part of the ranking factors for many years.

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DA is an engineered estimate of how authoritative Google sees the domain or page and not an actual representation of how it ranks. Moz even states that “Domain Authority is not a metric used by Google in determining search rankings and has no effect on the SERPs.” 

Between our SEO department and our Marketing Strategists, the decision has been made to move away from DA as a metric and use the SEMrush Authority score moving forward.

Semrush Authority Score is a compound metric used for measuring a domain's or web page's overall quality and SEO performance. The score is based on many metrics that represent trustworthiness and authority. It uses a neural network and machine learning to ensure the score is always accurate and fresh.

Anthony Biggs, Senior SEO at Digital 22, explains a little more:

“Over the last few years, DA scores have been increasingly manipulated by spammers, so we feel that it's not a relevant metric to use when valuing a site, which is why we're moving to SEMrush, which we feel is a more trusted metric. 

“That said, using only one metric to gauge the value of a site is quite simplistic and should be used in combination with a number of other factors.”

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