Domain Authority (DA) is a sexy idea. Domain Authority is a website metric created by Moz. The idea is the higher your DA, the higher Google will rank you.
The myth that Google cares about Domain Age, Domain Link profile, Domain Spam level, and TLDs have SEOs wasting a lot of money on links that aren’t as powerful as they could be.
I said ENOUGH! I’ve been building successful link networks since 2003. I know link building in and out. I just didn’t buy into Google using Domain Authority as a ranking factor.
We decided to put it to the test.
This test proved what I already knew. Domain Authority really isn’t a thing. Domains don’t have any inherent authority. What we often attribute to Domain Authority is actually the linking between pages that have authority. Authority is definitely at the page level.
The test idea is simple. If we create multiple test sets and Domain Authority IS a thing, these test sets should start to rank in an orderly fashion.
If these domains have different values attached to them, then the test pages should start to rank in the same order that we build them.
You can see that the .com should be the clear winner here. It has a Moz DA of 15. The rest have a Moz DA of 2.
We tested a .win, a .com, .club, and .loan.
The .com has 874 backlinks where the rest have 0 or 1 backlinks. If there is some sort of Domain Authority, the .com should be at the top of each set every time.
For the others, there is nothing that distinguishes them because they are all around the same “authority”.
Or you could argue that there will be Domain Authority attached to them. The domains attached to those backlinks are all different.
The .club is the only one without any backlinks so that should come out on bottom. The .com should be at the top if Google cares about Domain Authority.
The .com should be the winner but it isn’t consistently at the top. In fact, in the next set, it drops even lower. And it isn’t near the top.
The only consistency is the .win at the bottom every time. It was the .club that didn’t have any linking domains. In one of the sets, the .club was even at the top!
This test confirms that the domain itself isn’t the thing carrying the authority. Domain Authority definitely rests in the pages itself and how those pages are linked together.
Just the domain itself, having a particular Domain Authority isn’t being passed to the fresh page.
So what’s the point?
A lot of people sell links on high DA domains and are using that DA metric as a selling point. But the reality is there is little benefit, in itself, to having a link from a high DA site.
Instead, you should be looking at how well the internal link structure for that site is set up in order to determine how much link juice is going to be passed through that backlink.
For example, if you get a link on a DA60 site and the article is linked from the homepage, great! You probably have a valuable link.
But if you are getting a link from a site where your article is buried inside the blog somewhere, there isn’t much value to that link.
I discovered something powerful. When I linked my pages in a very specific way, that powerful link juice flowed through the site. This is how I create my link networks.