In the dynamic world of search, SEO and PR professionals often rely on metrics like Domain Authority (DA), Trust Flow (TF), and Domain Rating (DR) as benchmarks. Signalling a website's credibility and strength, the influence of these metrics are undeniable. But just how powerful is a backlink when measured by its domain authority or trust flow? Does the true SEO potency of a 'high DA' link resonate with results? Let's delve into my very own website (yes the one you're reading right now) as a case study.
The Rationale Behind DA Metrics
Domain Authority (DA), along with metrics like Trust Flow (TF) and Domain Rating (DR) were designed to provide an estimate of how likely a site is to rank on search engines. These metrics essentially simulate search engine algorithms by taking into account various factors such as:
Why Google Has a Soft Spot for 'High DA' Sites
Google's primary objective is to serve its users with top-notch, reliable content. In this context, a website with a high DA acts as a beacon of reliability. It implies that various trustworthy sites have linked to it, vouching for its content. Thus, in the eyes of Google, high DA translates to credibility and quality – the kind of content that deserves the limelight.
Case Study: This Website
Using my website as evidence, there's a clear link between securing high DA backlinks and a rise in Domain Authority. In April, after gaining a Do follow link from Bright Local (DA 67), my DA increased from 4 to 7. The real game-changer was in May. Backlinks from juggernauts like Slide Share (DA 95) and Substack (DA 91) catapulted my DA from 7 straight to 15 within a month. This highlights the profound influence that high-quality domains can have on boosting your site's DA. It should be noted that DA's will jump quicker at the start (e.g. a new website), and will get harder as your site's authority increases.
High DA links may be important, but let's not overlook the power of relevancy. For a website to rank for key terms, it's essential to be endorsed by relevant sources. In my case, while sites like Slide Share and Substack have certainly elevated this website's authority, it's the targeted nods from Brighton SEO, Barbados SEO, and PR Moments that genuinely resonate with Google. A backlink from a site with a lower DA, if highly relevant, is equally as important. This is also evident as my site has started appearing on the SERPs from positions 26 to 80 in just over a year. With just a handful of backlinks secured to date, it's testament to the power of not just authoritative, but relevant backlinks.
DA and its cousins in the metric world are undoubtedly critical, but they aren't the be-all and end-all. It's essential to see them as tools, providing guidance, not as the ultimate goal. By securing backlinks that resonate with your core expertise and content, you give Google a clearer lens to understand your site's essence. Remember, genuine user engagement, building trust, and establishing your site as an authority is what truly matters.
Written by Isa Lavahun.