Websites often work on their SEO based on metrics like domain authority and domain rating.
These metrics are widely accepted in the digital marketing community. Their acceptance would almost make someone believe that Google itself takes them into account.
This is obviously not true. Google does not rank websites in organic search results based on their domain authority and ranking. This is because both domain authority and domain rating are third-party metrics.
While DA (domain authority) is a metric developed by Moz, DR (domain rating) is an Ahrefs metric. Both these metrics are often touted by SEOs when they discuss the authority of the website they are working on.
Why? Do these metrics actually signal website success? We discuss the accuracy of these metrics in signalling website success.
What is your goal?
SEOs have different goals. Some are trying their best to maximize traffic. Others are more focused on getting as many leads and conversions as possible.
The basic underlying metric which girds each of these goals is traffic. Higher traffic naturally results in more sales, leads, conversions, and more.
High traffic provides a higher base for websites to work from.
Your goal must thus always be to create a high base of traffic. You can then use conversion tactics to maximize the returns you get from the traffic.
There is a correlation between high authority websites and high traffic. However, there is no direct causation. This means high authority does not necessarily mean high traffic.
Avoid over-emphasis on third-party metrics
So, high authority does not necessarily translate to good traffic. Google does not take into account DA and DR while ranking websites.
Why do SEOs focus so much on these metrics then?
DA and DR signal the popularity of a website based on the number of high-quality backlinks it has.
You can get a number of high-quality backlinks through link acquisition campaigns. Paid guest posting is also necessary to get quality backlinks and enhance website authority.
These techniques will enhance your DA and DR. Both Moz and Ahrefs calculate your DA and DR based on the quality of links you get from other websites. However, these metrics do not have a direct impact on your website traffic.
Google accounts for a myriad of other factors when ranking websites on organic search. These factors most importantly include the likes of content relevance, on-page optimization, and website speed.
These factors have little do with factors like website authority.
Should you disregard third-party metrics altogether?
DA and DR are good metrics to estimate the overall popularity of a website. However, SEOs should not actively work towards improving these metrics.
The goal at every stage has to be to move the website closer to its actual goal. In most cases, the real goal is getting more traffic to a website.
Good DA and DR can be a consequence of your SEO strategy. Optimizing them cannot be your sole aim.
This piece covers the relevance of third-party metrics like DA and DR.