Have you ever wondered why Google hasn’t adjusted PageRank since 2013? Something tells us that it wasn’t Google’s way of approving of Domain Authority. Domain Authority is a fascinating measure. Who doesn’t want to know how a website ranks out of 100? It can also be a very useful measure at times.
However, DA is not a number we use to assess SEO performance. In terms of success, we don’t consider a rise in DA to be a good statistic for a successful link building strategy. It’s a difficult statistic that doesn’t always tell the whole story.
As an example, the most recent DA upgrade essentially ground everything to a halt. Nonetheless, our clients’ ranks and traffic increased.
The authority of a domain name does not convey the whole picture. As a result, it cannot be used as a statistic to determine the effectiveness of a link building strategy. There have been cases where an algorithm update reduces DA across the board. Nonetheless, our clients’ rankings and traffic continue to rise. Obviously, the most significant measures for measuring the effectiveness of a link building strategy are rankings and traffic.
Every time, relevance triumphs.
An irrelevant domain with a high DA score can’t compete with a site that’s blazing on all cylinders when it comes to relevancy. Of course, there will be sites with a high DA value that are very relevant to any specific site. Those are the internet’s unicorns.
But let us be clear: both relevance and authority are important.
Both should be considered while creating links.
But, if we had to pick one to prioritize, we’d go with relevancy above domain authority every time. That’s not to suggest Domain Authority isn’t beneficial sometimes.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why we choose relevance over DA, yet DA has its uses as well.
Why Is Domain Authority Important?
We’ve previously established that DA isn’t the be-all and end-all of everything. So, what exactly is it? What function does it play in the process of link building?
Here’s what Moz has to say about it:
“Domain authority is a Moz-developed search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages” (SERPs). A Domain Authority score goes from one to one hundred, with higher values indicating a stronger capacity to rank.“
This computation takes into account a number of elements. Some examples include the overall number of links, connecting root domains, and a variety of additional signals (over 40!).
We have no idea what all 40 of these signals are.
Expect this score to change regardless of how excellent your SEO efforts are.
To evaluate the performance of your link building efforts, you should ideally utilize Domain Authority as a comparative statistic rather than an absolute one.
Domain Authority Is Observable
That is the DA score’s main attraction. We are preoccupied with percentages, statistics, and comparing numbers as humans.
A score of 100 is measurable and definite. It simplifies the lives of marketers. You may pit one website against another and see who comes out on top based on a simple score.
A DA score makes it easy to tie your SEO efforts to a concrete figure. You put in the time and effort. You enhance every area of your SEO. And there it is, glaring back at you: a huge fat number describing how “excellent” your site is.
That’s a valuable asset.
Why Do Relevant Links Matter More Than Domain Authority?
Despite all of the advantages of DA, it should never be the primary deciding factor when pursuing a link. After all, DA does not establish the significance of one site with respect to another. When it comes to creating links, relevancy takes precedence over everything else since these are the links that are actually in their native home.
These are genuine natural connections.
That is precisely what relevancy means. A link to a website when the destination page is relevant and valuable to the user. It makes sense for users, which implies it makes sense for search engines as well. Regardless of DA, it’s a nice, high-quality connection.
Users will be happy with the outcomes if they click on it. After all, that is the entire goal of a link: to connect and bridge internet pages in order to provide a better user experience.
Here’s what John Muller had to say about it:
“Absolutely not. Every site starts off small. Getting a link from a small or new site is fine& doesn’t cause problems. Similarly, linking to small or new sites is fine.”
Relevance Is A Foregone Conclusion.
If the target site is related to my target site, has decent content, and passes the “run by real humans” condition, then my link should go there. There are certainly many excellent sites with low DA rankings for a variety of reasons.
They feature fantastic information, and a wonderful user experience, are curated by humans and are relevant to a client’s speciality. They just do not have the magical number associated with them. That domain has been around for a long time, and people trust it. It will undoubtedly ignore link juice.
Yields Of Relevance Conversions And Referral Traffic That Is Targeted
It’s easy to become bogged down in the details of link building and SEO. More particular, it should power your company’s marketing and sales pillars by influencing conversions.
The first stage in that approach is to generate highly focused referral traffic. The higher the quality of traffic flowing in at the top of your funnel, the more efficient your entire system will be.
We can confidently state that relevancy is superior for driving the sort of traffic that leads to conversions.
But, can’t more authoritative sites bring even more traffic? Maybe, but without relevance, you have little chance of converting clients.
We’ll explain why.
Relevance implies context, and a link that makes contextual sense is always preferable from the standpoint of the user. For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of a user. The average website visitor has no idea what DA is. They’re on a website, either reading material or looking into a product or service.
When a user hits an external link, they have a certain intent and expectation that the destination website will meet those expectations. In this instance, domain authority is meaningless.
It is a relevant link that will guarantee that the user obtains interesting and topical information. Anything less, and you’ve lost a prospective lead. If the destination page isn’t relevant or valuable, you can bet they’ll leave and never return. Take my word for it, but don’t simply take my word for it.
Relevance Outperforms Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal.
That first page of organic search results is precious real estate. Every marketer wants it, but obtaining it is a difficult task. Many individuals argue that because relevance isn’t as definite as DA, it’s not as potent a ranking indication. That may be the case in an SEO world where the user doesn’t matter. However, this is an extremely erroneous viewpoint. Consider this.
A relevant link is the one that makes the most sense to a user since it is likely to match their aim. If the material on a specific page is more useful to the user, it is unquestionably a more click-worthy link. When you rank first in organic search, your click-through rate is several folds higher than the guy in second place.
Isn’t it in search engines’ best interests to present the most relevant stuff at the top? Yes, it is. The same reasoning applies here. It makes sense for users, which implies it makes sense for search engines as well. Regardless of DA, it’s a nice, high-quality connection. Users will be happy with the outcomes if they click on it.
That is the entire purpose of a link — linking and bridging internet pages to improve the overall user experience. The top-ranking material is determined by what the user will find most valuable in their search query. You won’t go wrong if you stick to that idea.
Relevance Scales Higher Than Domain Authority
Let me tell you something. Tangibility is not necessarily a speculative characteristic. It is not without flaws. For one thing, if it’s measured, it’s always in flux. Domain authority can fluctuate.
Given that we don’t know every single component that goes into the computation, these variations might not necessarily be your fault. This might be either disastrous or beneficial. Let’s start with the positive: you may work on enhancing your authority.
Relevant links, as a result, have the potential to become authoritative over time. That is what I mean by “scalable.” But it isn’t all.
As you are aware, high-authority connections are scarce and tough to obtain. It is far easier to amass a large list of relevant links in your niche than it is to locate authoritative links. You’ve already reduced your prospect pool if you opt to target just authoritative sites. You’ll have fewer links, and the chances of them being related to your site are just as low. If we’re talking about high-impact, low-effort marketing, I’d put my money on relevant links any day.
That is not to claim that locating relevant connections is always simple and painless. However, you will undoubtedly get compensated more for your efforts.
Relevant Links Are More Organic And Long-Lasting Than Domain Authority.
It’s impossible to discuss link-building without mentioning sustainability. The ideal natural connection is a relevant link. They are the outcome of having high-quality linkable assets rather than intentionally influencing Google’s algorithm.
The surface measurements can only get you so far, but it all comes down to two things:
- Creating material worth connecting to
- Linking to stuff that your audience would find useful
Placing a target on relevance is the most certain and natural method to hit these sweet spots. Indeed, significance has a cascading impact. Focusing on high-quality linkable items can boost your authority and build your complete SEO profile. Nothing beats plain, old-fashioned relevancy when it comes to choosing target sites for a link building effort.