According to SEO industry heavyweight, Moz, the update to their widely used Domain Authority metric is finally rolling out this week.
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking metric or score that Moz developed in order to help quantify a site’s ranking power. It uses a scale between 1 and 100, with higher scores displaying a greater chance for ranking well in the SERPs.
In their recent statements, they acknowledged that a large part of what makes Domain Authority valuable to track is its stability, so any changes they wanted to make had to positively outweigh the negative impact of interrupting the service.
What’s new on Moz Domain Authority 2.0?
There are a number of technical changes to cover, but before we dive in, it’s important to make clear that Domain Authority isn’t a Google ranking factor. It’s more accurate to say that it’s a good gauge for page authority, which can indirectly affect the rank of a page and other pages that it links to. Moz refers to it as an indicator of rankability.
The first thing they have pointed out is that they’ve made Domain Authority much more reliable. Previously, Domain Authority had to be trained against large amounts of raw search data. Moz has hinted that the new Domain Authority is calculated with data “from the ground up” to make the metric more accurate. They’ve also stated that this will make the new DA particularly better at scoring sites that do not rank for keywords.
New Training Algorithm
Moz has also upgraded its DA algorithm – making the switch from a complex linear model to a neural network. This upgrade will help yield more accurate results, and be able to detect previously hidden factors such as link manipulation.
New DA Ranking Factors
Domain Authority has its own set of ranking factors, and these have been completely re-tooled. On top of counting links, DA 2.0 will take into account link distribution based on traffic and quality, integrate the Moz proprietary Spam Score, and a number of other ranking factors.
All these changes to the Domain Authority metric will be integrated into the new Moz Link Explorer (released in May last year) which now impressively indexes over 35 trillion links.
Why does the Domain Authority update matter?
As a widely used tool in the world of SEO, it’s significant that the Domain Authority metric is improving, especially as it aims to stay updated in the face of Google’s constant algorithm changes.
“In a nutshell, this update will better mimic how Google weights domains. So you’ll be able to judge the value of your site and your competitors’ more accurately than ever.”
When DA 2.0 launches on the 5th of March (in the western hemisphere), there are bound to be some sudden fluctuations on many page scores. The important thing to remember is that the pages themselves aren’t changing rank – the metric tracking them is.
The new Domain Authority promises to deliver more accurate metrics, help webmasters and owners remove spam, improve correlations, and update your DA ranking whenever there’s a Google algorithm change.
Keeping up with Google
Moz has expressed that a major driver for the 2.0 update is to create a platform that they can continually improve on. Just as Google issues hundreds of updates a year, we should expect that Domain Authority will respond and evolve in order to stay relevant. This gives both website managers and owners another tool to see whether or not they’ve been affected by Google’s constant algorithm changes.
When is DA 2.0 rolling out in New Zealand?
At the time of writing, Moz plans to roll out the new-and-improved Domain Authority on the 5th of March, 2019. For us here in NZ, that means Wednesday, the 6th of March.
If you’ve read this update as part of our weekly newsletter, then update day is today! If you’d like to get our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest in search straight from New Zealand’s leading SEO team, sign up today!
Sam Mannell has been a writer for the Pure SEO content team since August '18, and is now Lead Editor. He quickly found his place in the company as resident Dungeon Master and coffee expert. Sam holds a BA from University of Auckland, where he double-majored in Linguistics and English.