Moz’s “domain authority” metric – which is widely regarded by SEOs as one of the most vital tools for valuing domains in relation to their Google ranking position – is set to undergo a significant update in March.
At present, Moz relies on a complex linear model in order to assign domain authorities, but will switch to a neural network.
The upgrade is intended to help strengthen the reliability of domain authority by helping to filter out paid and spam links, counter link manipulation, and improvements to the understanding of websites which don’t currently rank for any keywords at all.
Domain authority (which is most commonly abbreviated to “DA”) has been relied on by SEOs ever since Google removed their PageRank metric.
Domains are assigned a score, ranging from 1 to 100, predicting how well a website will rank in search engine results. This tends to lead to the conclusion that the higher the DA, the better a site will rank.
However, DA has long been the subject of debate; Moz are not connected with Google, so there is no guarantee that a DA is genuinely reflective of ranking ability.
Moz have also emphasised that the updates should be seen as a relative metric, rather than a reliable standalone metric that can assess the value of a domain at a glance. Some experts have even gone as far as describing DA as a “distraction” for SEOs.
Nevertheless, the changes to DA are significant and will need to be adapted to by SEO professionals over the course of the next few months.