DR And DA SEO Metrics – What Do they Mean and Are Still Valuable?


Let’s get this out of the way, domain authority and domain rating metrics have some value. This is how link-building services are priced in many agencies. At the same time, they are not the gospel, and shouldn’t be followed without using common sense. This article will take an in-depth look into this and more.

Keep in mind that while the Ahrefs domain rating does have some value, it’s not all you should be paying attention to.

Google isn’t Concerned About Domain Rating

It’s important to realize that Google doesn’t care much about Domain Authority or Domain Rating and similar kinds of metrics. What they actually care about is their users.

Domain Rating is not a ranking factor by itself, instead, it’s more of a vanity metric. Google usually ranks content that is valuable to the people using the search engine. It won’t rank your content higher, simply because you have 10 DR70 links or more to the page.

Moreover, if your site only has high DR links, it will seem unnatural, which makes your backlink profile rather strange. It’s therefore important to avoid getting too hung up on DR and DA metrics and use common sense when link building.

Think of it this way, when trying to lose weight, you wouldn’t just start eating fruit all day just because they are healthy, right? You need to pay attention to other factors too. While a lot of it might be subjective, you would need to look at what you’re eating, how you’re sleeping, how much protein you gain, and your workout routine. It’s the same with link building.

Other Metrics to Consider

When it comes to link building, you have to consider other metrics and factors such as:

  1. The content’s quality
  2. The quality of your website
  3. Whether the website has received any penalties
  4. The history of organic traffic to the website

Other factors that you can’t immediately see when using a tool like domain ratings.

It’s important to balance the DR, which does have some value, but still look at other subjective SEO metrics as well. If you’re only looking at the DR and ignoring the rest, it will be a short-sighted link-building strategy. You could end up missing some powerful link-building opportunities, just because you think, “Well, it’s not a DR50 or DR30 website, so it’s not worth the time and effort”.

There are many low-DR sites out there that present awesome link-building opportunities, just because they get more organic traffic, are more relevant, and are more natural compared to sites with inflated DR metrics.

DA and DR Metrics are Easily Manipulated

Other links can easily manipulate DA and DR metrics. For instance, you may see lots of PBNs with a high DR, which technically means they are relatively high-quality websites. However, you may then look at the quality of the site, see the number of organic traffic to the site, and realize it’s a dead site. It just has a high DR due to inflated metrics via other PBNs.

These Will Likely Do More Harm Than Good to Your Website

While PBNs might produce higher DR metrics, it doesn’t make them a good link. You could go to platforms like fiverr.com and purchase DR70 links all day, but will it actually help your website? Definitely not. Will it boost your search rankings? No. It will probably do more harm than good to your website.

You need other metrics to be in good order, instead of using the DR blindly, if you want to increase the search rankings for your site. Don’t assume that going with a DR90 or DR80 link will take your site to the moon. It’s highly unlikely, unless it’s fundamentally a high-quality site with quality content, lots of organic traffic, and doesn’t have a spammy link profile.

Keep in mind that you need to make sure that other metrics aside from the domain rating are in great shape to measure the quality of a backlink.

Quality Sites May Have Low DR

Finally, there are some sites with a very low DR metric, but actually get thousands of organic visitors per month from Google.

Google usually loves these sites, and it often favors them in the rankings. You wouldn’t want to miss out on valuable link-building opportunities from sites like that, just because you don’t want links from sites that are below say, DR30, would you?

Focusing on sites with a high DR score will mean that you will be missing out on quality links from other quality websites with low scores. This would certainly hurt your efforts to help move the needle for your website, especially if your website is in a small niche where there are not many link-building opportunities.

Consider a site with DR10 that is on an upward trend and its domain rating has been growing every month for 6 months to a year. It will soon become a DR20 or DR30 site, meaning that it will also help move the needle even more for your site.

If you acquire a backlink from them now, the effect is just going to compound. If you receive 10, 20, or 50 backlinks from sites that are DR10 now and are on an upward trajectory toward becoming a DR20 or DR50 site, you will also reap the benefits.

Think Long Term

When it comes to link-building, you want to think long-term for you to reap the benefits of the compound effect with backlinks. You will get links from sites that have been growing in authority, and this will benefit you even more in the future.

This is a great opportunity for your website.

If you just launched a website without any backlinks and it’s currently a DR10, a link from nearly any other relevant site will move the needle for you.

Even if you get links from DR5s or DR10s, if you have a new site with no backlinks, these links will be important and you shouldn’t ignore them. They will be powerful link-building avenues for now and likely in the future.

In closing, domain authority and domain rating metrics are still useful and valuable for your website. However, you should aim at using other metrics as well if you are looking to build a high-quality backlink profile. This will help get the needle moving for your site, and you should be able to achieve those coveted high rankings on Google.