Moz Domain Authority 2.0 Update : Serious Case Study

The webmasters and bloggers use different types of metrics to check the popularity or authority of their sites and blogs. The Domain authority a.k.a. DA is among one of the tools used by SEOs or webmasters. The domain authority or DA is a property of Moz. It was founded by Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig in 2004. Thousands of webmasters and SEO agencies consider DA as the major raking factor. Just like the search giant Google and other other third party metrics company, Moz has done hundreds of algorithmic changes to the DA since it’s inception. On March 5th, 2019 Moz has updated the algorithm and it is called Domain authority 2.0.

The Moz has announced 1 month about the update in February. The update was launched on March 5, 2019 as it was announced. Now the real problem has emerged. The thousands of websites were affected by the DA 2.0 update. Many webmasters showed their frustration on DA update through the tweets to Moz. Some people’s reactions were like the Earth would stop rotating after this update. Agreed that your hard earned DA is crashed. But, do you think it is the end of your rankings?

What Does Moz Say About The Domain Authority 2.0 Update?

The Moz has clearly mentioned in their blog post that this update will combat the illegal link building practices. So what does it mean? Many SEO agencies have tried to manipulate domain authority by offering money to webmasters for buying links. The search engine Google is strictly against link selling. Link selling undeniably is a bad practice. The Domain authority update 2.0 intentionally targeted link sellers. I personally saw some PBNs and sites got badly affected. In some cases the domain authority even dropped to 1. Ironically, some small sites have gained substantial domain authority.

Is Moz Domain Authority Essential For Websites?

This is somewhat a tricky question. Moz Domain authority is a third party tool like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Alexa and Majestic. There may be hundreds of tools but these are widely used by SEO professionals. Moz tool is used by SEO agencies for satisfying clients needs. This DA update has ruined many SEO businesses. Earlier these SEO agencies manipulated domain authority of websites or blogs belonging to clients by following few strategies like buying links from existing posts and sidebar. Apart from it, they also offered spinned or low quality content with do-follow links. Moz has launched Domain authority 2.0 to fight against these bad guys.

Coming to the question about essentiality of Moz Domain authority, there is no need to panic about this tool. There is a misconception about Domain authority that it depends on Google rankings. Moz Domain authority has no connection with Google rankings. If your site’s domain authority is dropped, that doesn’t mean that Google rankings have dropped. However, the Moz has mentioned in their blog post that DA update 2.0 will look into the Google rankings. But, you should not understand that it relies completely on Google rankings. The factors like distribution of links based on traffic and quality, spam score and many more decide the new DA score.

The SEO agencies must shift their focus from third party metrics to Google rankings. Even Google  changes it’s search algorithm very often. But, there are brighter chances to recover from the penalties or updates. At the end of day, Google will not disappoint you or your customer. You might be surprised to know that I never cared about any third party metrics. To be honest, I checked Moz DA in February after the announcement and the DA score was 41. I didn’t celebrate at that time because I know that it keeps on changing. Now it is dropped to 29. Still I do not care about it. My main focus is delivering useful content to the readers.

Why Do People Care About Domain Authority By Moz?

Any third party metrics literally hijack your mind. It is human tendency to check the metrics and compare with your competitors. Earlier it was Pagerank metric by Google which ruled for few years and SEO experts chased it. Luckily Pagerank is no more. Moz has clearly stated that webmasters must use Domain authority as the tool to compare their sites with competitors sites. My perspective is it is useless to get trapped in this number game.

Any webmaster’s ultimate goal is making money. Of course there are few exceptions like information portals, personal blogs, non profitable organizations, Government agencies, public safety departments who do not care about monetization part. But, many businesses, blogs, affiliate networks, product or service based sites, ECommerce portals monetize through ad networks, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and direct selling. These people hire SEO agencies for ranking their sites and ultimately making money out of it.

Majority of the SEO agencies use Domain authority as a ranking factor. The customers or clients believe that DA is the deciding factor when it comes to search engine ranking. No, it is not true. Even Google has confirmed that they do not use third party metrics like DA for ranking. There are some agencies who contact high DA site owners and offer them money for placing links in the existing posts or in the sidebar.

At the same time some webmasters tried to manipulate DA by artificial link building for the sake of making money. They think that the higher DA score would fetch decent income. It may be or may not be true. In my experience I saw many sites having low DA and PA are earning good income without selling links.

As long as you add value to the readers or visitors, you can make money from your website. There are many ways to earn money from your website. You can read this blog post for reference.

How To Recover From The Domain Authority Penalty By The Moz?

This is the questions being asked by hundreds of  webmasters after DA 2.0 update. You might be surprised to see me quoting the word penalty. Generally, Google penalizes webmasters for practicing malpractices and people talk about penalty. In this case, I believe that Moz penalized bad webmasters. The Moz did not give any clarity about the recovery. But, from my perspective you can recover from this penalty by following these methods :

  • The very first step is identify bad or dangerous backlinks. Contact the respective site owners. and ask them to remove them. If they do not respond to your requests, then go to step 2.
  • Disavow the bad links. But, be cautious while disavowing any link. If you do not have any idea, then hire a SEO expert in the Fiverr.
  • The webmasters must not indulge in artificial link building at any cost. It involves selling and buying links.
  • Keep updating your website or be consistent in writing blog posts and use relevant links wherever they are necessary.


Related : I wrote an article in 2013 about how Pagerank, Domain Authority and Alexa Rank helps bloggers. Ironically, search engine industry has undergone hundreds of changes from the time of writing that article to till date.

Conclusion :

DA got down!!!!… No worries. There is no impact on your Google rankings. The content is still king and keep consistency in updating website or blog. On the other hand, the Moz people must make an official announcement that DA score has nothing to do with Google rankings. Moz’s announcement will certainly help newbies or people who are in confusion. The webmasters and SEO agencies must go with Google rankings factor because it is flawless.

Tagline :  The perfect third party metrics tool doesn’t exist.

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2 thoughts on “Moz Domain Authority 2.0 Update : Serious Case Study

  1. Nice Post, Suresh!

    Webmasters do SEO for search engine rankings. If Google can reward or penalize a site based on the webmaster’s SEO activity. It’s all between the Webmaster and Google bot.

    The third-party tool like Moz and Majestic are just signals. If a site has a high DA that doesn’t mean that it is performing well in search engine. There are many sites gets nice traffic even though their DA is very low.

    I think that a webmaster should focus only on Search console.

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