Firm Logo


Shiny Object Syndrome: What You’re Missing When You Focus on Domain Authority

Jason BrownJason Brown

J. M. Brown

Posted On: March 22, 2024

Domain AuthorityDomain Authority

Which metric is better, Moz's Domain Authority, Ahrefs' Domain Rank, or Semrush's Authority Score?

The answer: none of them.

As early as 1998, Google began issuing websites with PageRank scores ranging from zero to ten. Google was extremely slow to update its scores and finally discontinued updating and publishing them in 2016. To fill the void, Moz decided to build out its Domain Authority metrics to predict the quality of the links and emulate Google. Ahrefs and Semrush followed suit with their Domain Rank and Authority Score, respectively.

How much do these metrics matter in determining how your website performs in Google searches? John Mueller, a Google search Advocate, has repeatedly stated that Google doesn't use these metrics as ranking factors.

You need to take these metrics with a grain of salt. They are severely limited. They can't crawl and see every link. Semrush, for example, will show lost links in the dashboard, but when you click on them, they are still live.

The people who love DA, DR, and AS are link sellers and guest posting websites. Blackhats, as SEO “experts” who use devious tactics that violate Google’s guidelines are sometimes known, use tricks to boost a website's DA, DR, and AS scores and to inflate the sale price of the domain or increase the cost of a guest post. But, since Google doesn’t use these metrics in its search engine rankings, inflating them through questionable practices does nothing to improve your website’s reach.

DA, DR, and AS scores are nothing more than shiny objects. Focusing on them does more harm than good.

Here at Esquire Digital, we focus on what matters: calls, leads, and month-over-month performance.

Jason BrownJason Brown


J. M. Brown

J. M. Brown is the Head of Digital Marketing for Esquire Digital. He is the leading expert on online reviews. He has written for Semrush, BrightLocal, and LocalU. He has done webinars for Pubcon, LocalU, and BrightLocaL. J. M. has been interviewed by The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, The New York Times, and various ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC affiliates.

Firm Logo


View Case Studies