On March 5th MOZ will be releasing a big update to their algorithm that calculates Domain Authority (DA). Since we use Domain Authority as one of over a dozen metrics to judge keyword difficulty we wanted to make you (our users) aware of the change.
All in all this change should only make our keyword difficulty calculations more accurate moving forward. Difficulty scores have always fluctuated overtime for the same keyword as metrics, SERP’s and our algorithm change but this update to DA may have slightly bigger than normal fluctuations over the coming weeks as our difficulty score caches update with the new metrics.
What is Domain Authority
Domain Authority is MOZ’s metric that calculates how strong (or authoritative) a domain is, and hence it’s power to rank in the search engine results. It uses a complex algorithm based on backlink data to determine a score for every domain on the web.
The core algorithm behind Domain Authority hadn’t been updated for years. It seems MOZ has developed a better algorithm that more accurately incorporates spam and low quality linking signals. This in-turn leads to a more accurate DA score that better predicts the ranking power of each domain. You can read more about the backbone of the changes here:
What This Means
As stated above, all this basically means is that our keyword difficulty scores should be even better than ever. It also means that you may notice that keyword scores you checked previously might have larger than normal fluctuations from the last time you checked them. If you notice this, this just means the domains within the first page results for the particular keyword have been found to have a higher or lower DA then they did previously which will change their keyword difficulty score slightly.
DA is just one of many metrics we use to determine keyword difficulty so for most keyword difficulty scores you probably won’t even notice the change. Also this change is a one time change. Meaning the fluctuations would only be more drastic for keywords checked before the DA update and after the DA update.
Assuming MOZ has done a good job with the new algorithm (which I am sure they have) this should be a great update all around!