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Are you a blogger? I’ve got some bad news fo...

Are you a blogger? I’ve got some bad news for you…

Today, my Domain Authority went down. Which actually is pretty annoying. I’ve worked so flipping hard on SEO – who knows how many hours I put into it – only to take my impressive-to-me DA down three points. My MozRank went up 0.92, and my Page Authority increased two-fold, but that’s beside the point.

Domain Authority, for those who are unsure, is a metric used by a website called Moz, which predicts how well your site will perform on search engines. It’s based on your domain name’s age, your popularity, and size. They use their secret algorithms to determine everything from how spammy a site is, to how many people have been talking about it. It’s then given a score out of 100. 1 is useless, 100 is Google.

domain authority measurement

In the SEO world, it’s how some brands will determine how valuable your blog is to work with.

After confirming it was actually correct, my DA had dropped much like the bass, I took to twitter to see if anyone else was affected. 98% of those who’d checked said the same thing, and were similarly disappointed.

What really annoyed me, was those who were saying it wasn’t the end of the world.

No. Not it’s not the end of the world, and in the grand scheme of natural disasters and nuclear activity, it’s unlikely my DA dropping was going to cause an Armageddon of catastrophic proportions. I understand. I understand all human life isn’t going to end in a comet-based extinction event thanks to this man-made website telling me I’d lost some cred.

I know. I know it might be ‘just a metric.’

Unfortunately, it happens to be one of the most authoritative ways of finding out how strong your website is. Lower score = less worth.

The June 10th Domain Authority drop, and what it means for me

For me, it represents a whole lot of hard work, and spare time down the crapper. All those hours disavowing bad links, finding good ones and basically doing what they told me I needed to do was wasted because it wasn’t good enough to increase my worth.

It also means the opportunities open to me before are once again limited. It means brands who considered working with me whose very measurement requirements included a healthily DA score may turn around and say I’m not good enough if they don’t keep up with industry news and realise a lot of people have been affected.

It means the measurement I used to justify me working with certain brands, them paying me for my time and efforts to increase this very metric for them, had to be explained. I can’t just say ‘it happens’ because clearly there’s an issue here. Cue awkward conversations around whether I’ve actually been doing what I was paid to do.

Most importantly, it also means I can’t work with some bloggers and remunerate them because my clients wants DA30+. And too bad, you were 30 yesterday but you’re 22 now. And unless they realise the implication, this affects you. Because we my not ask for your DA – we may have checked it and verified it before we even approached you. Just because you’ve never been asked, doesn’t mean it’s not used for, or against, you.

Yes of course I’m going to keep creating quality content. Of course I’m going to keep on going to make my site as attractive to others as it is to me. Of course I’m going to spend time making my little slice of the web my own. But to belittle blogger’s hard work with statements dismissing a metric most have worked hard to ensure is the best it can be is actually quite patronising.

My blog is my hobby. I don’t’ want to blog full-time but I do want to reach my own goals. Goals I’ve made for my own personal satisfaction and growth. And DA is one of those.

There’s not much that can be done now. Rumours abound about whether the update was meant to happen today, if there’s been an error on the algorithm, and that everything will be reset in two weeks. Until then, it’s back to the drawing board.

UPDATE 10.06.15: Moz’s Wizard Rand has given an official statement from the team. Nothing’s been released too early, and there’s been no mistake. The good news is your DA is likely to increase over the next few iterations.

Hey gang – thought I’d jump in with some official word from the Mozscape/Big Data team:

This latest index is smaller than prior ones, meaning we indexed fewer webpages total. However, the quality and importance of those pages in general is higher. In particular we’ve cut out a exceedingly large number of pages and subdomains on many Chinese sites that appeared to be biasing our crawl priorities and giving us some serious processing trouble.

DA, PA, and link metrics have maintained very similar correlations with Google rankings in this index, so if you’ve seen a large drop in either, it may be related to the removal of links that Google may not have been counting very highly. However, it’s also possible that you’ve lost DA/PA from links that Google did count and Moz should be, too. As we regrow our index size in the next 2-3 updates, you may see a return of those scores. We do expect the next few indices to process much more quickly than the lag we experienced in the last few, and are watching indices very closely to make sure we’re on the right track.

Also, with DA/PA drops, note that every index these occur, primarily because the sites and pages at the very top of the metrics scale (with PA/DA scores in the 99-100 range) are growing their link profiles massively, thus stretching what it means to have those incredibly high scores. If you had a DA of 90, and gained great links at the same rate you did last year, but many other DA 90+ sites were growing their link profiles even more rapidly (which tends to be how the web goes – the rich get richer, faster, every month), your DA would likely fall a few points even though you technically are still growing your link profile. DA/PA of 100 gets harder and harder to achieve every index because of the rate of growth of pages like Twitter.com, Google.com, and Facebook.com.


  • Mine dropped by 5. I’m really disappointed, but will keep going x

  • Mine’s dropped to – just need to keep up the hard work I guess… 🙁

  • Catherine Lux

    Before the last update mine was 32…it’s now 24. I’m actually devastated. I’ve worked so hard over the past four years to build a site with quality content, and now I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I have links to my site from the likes of the BBC, Huffington Post, and Buzzfeed…and yet I feel like there’s a major issue with my site. I work in SEO and I’ve put my site through all the tools and I literally can’t find anything wrong with it. I’m so confused! It’s even more confusing when a blog that’s only been around for a year or so has a much higher DA. I just don’t get it. Feeling really deflated right now.

    C x

    • Catherine I’m shocked! Your site is so easy to use and I know it’s SEO optimised, that kind of drop is incredibly worrying.
      What I find unfair is how they’ve totally moved the goalposts, and they admit as such. What’s the point of a metric that’s so unreliable the rules can be changed as and when they feel like it?

      • Catherine Lux

        Thank you, but yes, this is why I’m so worried! I’m thinking it might be because Google index my archive pages and tags, so I’m gonna get the tech guys at work to look into it for me and see what they say. I might just have to add hundreds of canonical tags or something.

        Totally agree, it’s really unfair on the smaller sites and blogs, it’s like they only care about the big major websites.

        C x

    • That really really sucks Catherine – it’s just not fair!

  • I know I should know what this all means/is about, but I don’t so I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that I haven’t been affected (I’m sure I will have been though) and get my SEO friend to help/look into it for me…!?!
    Rosie xx

  • Jessica Dearnley

    This is such a great post and I can totally relate to all of it. My blog has dropped from 28 to 22 and before the previous update it was 30. I’m absolutely gutted. But like you I intend to keep on trying and see if there’s someway I can rectify this before the next update. x

  • Google, why oh why – it’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next few months. According to mine it’s dropped – I think 5 points. Hopefully it rises back again – though some days I wonder just how the Google Ninjas work these things out!

  • Simon Huizinga

    Well atleast this discussion got you a shitload of visitors ;). Google and Moz alike are trying to find ways to crawl the web in an effective way and credit the right links. Your hard work will pay off! 🙂

    • I think for any small-time blogger it’s going to have a knock-on affect. There isn’t much that can be done, so on with the plan!

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