You may have heard of Domain Authority (DA), especially when discussing potential blogger partnerships or advertising opportunities. DA is a metric that calculates the overall “strength” of your blog/website, and many PR agencies and advertisers request that the bloggers they work with meet a minimum DA threshold. This can however lead to a multitude of missed opportunities; too much importance has been placed on DA in recent years, and this article explains why.
DA is a metric developed by the popular digital marketing tool, Moz. In their own words:
“Domain Authority (DA) is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). Domain Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.”
In a nutshell, DA tells you how much potential your website has to rank well in Google. One of the goals of search engine optimisation (SEO) is to get links from other websites, with high-DA websites being very sought after. This is because high DA websites typically provide powerful links, that benefit the ranking potential of the websites they link to.
Linkbuilding is one of the cornerstones of an SEO campaign. The more links a website can get from variety of high-quality sources, the better potential it has to rank in Google. A website’s DA score is a quick and easy way to see if it’s worth attempting to get a link from said website.
Domain Authority, although useful for SEO campaigns, shouldn’t be the major consideration when undertaking a PR campaign. Although there is overlap between SEO and PR, they do not have the same outcomes. SEO’s primary objective is to improve the visibility of a website in search engines. Increased brand awareness as a result of increased website traffic is a favourable byproduct of this activity.
PR aims to improve the brand awareness of a product/service/business through a variety of methods; increased website rankings is a favourable byproduct of this activity, but not the primary objective. Not working with certain bloggers and websites because they do not meet a DA threshold could be a mistake, for the following reasons:
DA is a useful metric to quickly determine a website’s ranking potential, but that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t consider the amount of traffic or engagement a website receives, or the size and loyalty of the respective audience.
For example, a new blogger may have a highly engaged and fiercely loyal social following (great for PR partnerships), but they may well have a blog with little to no DA. This is especially true for those who have grown quickly. Not working with this blogger because they have low DA could be a serious missed opportunity.
On the other side of the fence, a blogger may have a high DA score due to one or two powerful links their website has received, but unless their audience is truly engaged, a PR partnership simply wouldn’t work. Their DA score may look great, and they may even have a large social following, but if the blogger’s readers/followers aren’t loyal and engaged, any PR activity will have a terrible return on investment.
Although DA shouldn’t be the deciding factor on whether PRs and marketing agencies work with bloggers or not, it does play its part in identifying the overall benefits of working with a specific blogger. Alongside DA, when deciding whether or not to partner with a blogger, considerations should include:
Although some of the above metrics are more tangible than others, and some are clearly subjective, ultimately, the decision to work with a blogger should always primarily rest on the blogger’s integrity, how they engage with their audience, and how their audience engages with them. It is much better to promote a brand to an audience of 1,000 loyal and engaged fans, than a website with high DA and no real engagement, or a blogger with 100,000 followers but a poor reputation and negligible fan engagement.
If you’re a blogger, the good news is to, as always, focus on the quality of your content. As your website and audience grows, your DA will naturally rise (slowly but surely). Should you encounter a potential partner that doesn’t want to work with you based on your DA, politely explain to them all the other great ways that a partnership could benefit them, from the beautiful quality of your work, to the loyal fans that follow you.