Posts Tagged: moz
There are a multitude of metrics used by internet marketers to help determine the strength and value of a website. Of course, the majority of these metrics hold slightly different meanings depending on who you talk to. Some people take Majestic’s Trust and Citation Flow metrics over Moz’s Domain and Page Authority metrics. Still others still look at the aged and publicly dismissed (by Google) PageRank.
These metrics are all useful in their own right; however, there is nothing out there that states that Google uses these metrics in determining how and where a site will rank. These metrics are great starting points, but they are just that.
So why use these metrics? Simply put, they allow us to gain an understanding on whether or not a site is stronger than another. They can let us know if a site is facing serious penalty risks or if everything is legit. Basically, they can tell you what you need to know to understand where your site stands and why. At the end of the, however, how you perceive them and which metrics you hold higher than the others will ultimately tell you the story you want to hear.
You can read more about these metrics on a previous blog entry – It’s All in the Numbers
So what is Alexa and how does it pertain to my site?
Alexa is an analytical tool for web masters to gauge differing aspects of their sites. When talking about Alexa, the one term that pops up more often than not is Alexa Rank. Simply put, Alexa Rank is a number assigned to a site to depict how popular the site is over a 3-month period. This includes global rank and “local” rank (local meaning within your country).
Many marketers and web masters use Alexa Rank to determine the popularity of any given site. The lower you rank (lower is better), the more popular your site is. Or at least, the more popular your site should be.
Like all metrics, Alexa Rank can be manipulated. Having a great Alexa Rank can look enticing to possible advertisers looking to buy some real estate on your website. Or it can allow you to sell your site at a great profit despite faulty numbers.
Despite being able to manipulate your Alexa Rank, you should first understand how Alexa works and whether or not you should really even care.
Straight from Alexa –
“Alexa’s traffic estimates and ranks are based on the browsing behavior of people in our global data panel which is a sample of all internet users.”
This is a sample of internet users and the browsing habits of that sample. What that means is that Alexa believes a small percentage of people is indicative of the entire internet using populous. And to a point, that is true.
When it comes to general tasks and popular websites, almost any sample will provide solid data. This is why Google, Facebook, and YouTube sit atop as the number 1, 2, and 3 most visited sites respectively. It’s easy to understand that the majority of people consistently use those three sites. A few more sites within the top 25: Yahoo (5), Amazon (6), Wikipedia (7), Twitter (9), LinkedIn (14), eBay (17), Bing (22), and Instagram (25). It’s easy to see why these sites sit where they sit. (You can view the top 500 ranked sites here)
What does it mean for niche sites? Likely skewed numbers. For social sites, search engines, and popular shopping sites, it’s easy to see why they rank so high. Everyone knows who they are, and they are frequented often by many people. When it comes to your stamp collecting site, however, only a small number of people may ever visit your site. Your Alexa Rank will never grow despite the growth of your site.
Simply put, because Alexa uses a sample size of internet users, they may be missing out on ranking sites where they belong. You site may have 1,000 visitors every day but rank lower than a site that has 200 visitors every day. That could be because the few people in the sample size that frequent stamp collecting sites might only know about your competitors site. You may outperform another site, but Alexa may not think so.
For this reason, it’s safe to say that Alexa Rank should be taken with a grain of salt if you are operating a niche website. To accurately measure your on-site traffic, use Google Analytics or any number of softwares, plugins, or sites that can accurately measure site in real time.
The last thing you want is for your website to be hit a penalty. Depending on the penalty and the severity, the consequences could range from loss of rank to complete removal from search engines.
To stay on top of that, you need to keep up with your Webmaster Tools and Analytics, both provided by Google. The downside to this is that they can be overwhelming or difficult to decipher if you’re not familiar with it. Then again, if you’re aren’t sure what you’re doing within Webmaster Tools or Analytics, you could get into a bit of trouble and harm your site in the process.
The good news is that there is an easier solution. Moz (moz.com) has just released Spam Score. Spam Score is a new metric available to Moz subscribers that can let you know when your site might be at risk at receiving a penalty from Google. I don’t have all the details on how it works, so it’s best to let Moz let you know what it’s all about.
You can read up on Moz’s Spam Score metrics here.
The Metrics of it All
When it comes to SEO and ranking your website, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account. Depending on who you talk to, the value of these factors can vary greatly. At the heart of it all is metrics; metrics of your site and metrics of the sites linking out to your site. Now there is no evidence that these metrics are utilized within the algorithms of the search engines nor if they are taken into account in the placement of your site within the search engine rankings.
What we do know is that these metrics are supplied by high-authority sites that are in the business of supplying internet marketers and SEOs with accurate and useful information. To that end, we can utilize this information as an excellent basis in determining what the metrics of our sites actually are and how and where our site should rank.
Remember, at the end of the day, you may have the best metrics of every other business in your city, but if your competitors web page is deemed more relevant to a specific search term, you may not necessarily outrank him. Metrics are a good jumping point, but they are only a small part of the entire picture.
Let’s start with one of the first metrics designed to rate a website. PageRank (PR) is a simple rating system from -1 to 10. A rating of -1 (or N/A) is often given to new sites who don’t have an actual rank, yet. A rating of 10 is the highest rating and often saved for the most authoritative and popular websites (think google.com, amazon.com, facebook.com, etc.).
Many SEOs out there still talk about PR as if it’s something that you need to keep an eye on. And in some instances, they may be correct. To be perfectly honest, though, you may as well ignore it. Google does not update PR on regular intervals anymore and they’ve all but said that PR is going away.
A few years ago, PR was all the rage. Today, though, PR is an antiquated metric that holds little to no actual value for analysis of a website.
Click here to read more on PR.
Moz Domain Authority and Page Authority
Moz uses many metrics to help you determine the power and authority of a site; however, the two most commonly looked at are Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). Both metrics are measured on a scale of 1-100, 100 again being reserved for only the most authoritative or popular sites. DA and PA are decent metrics to look at as they do update at regular intervals (every month or two). Having a 100-point scale also gives them the ability to differentiate what would be a strong PR4 from a weak PR4 when compared to PR.
Both DA and PA are based on a logarithmic scale. This means that moving up from 10 to 20 is much easier than moving up from 80 to 90.
DA is a measurement of the overall power of a given domain. No matter what page you visit on a website, the DA remains the same. This number is also reflective of the power and likelihood of a domain to rank.
PA is a measurement of any individual page on a domain. Every page you go to may have a different PA score. This score is indicative of the strength and likelihood of an individual page being ranked.
Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow
Similar to Moz, Majestic has two easy-access metrics that many SEOs use to gauge the strength of a given website. These metrics are Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF). They are ranked on a scaled of 0-100, again 100 being reserved for only the top sites. Again, these metrics are also logarithmic.
CF, simply put, is a number reflecting the popularity of a site based on the number of linking domains. The more domains linking in, the higher the CF. When determining your site’s CF, the strength of the incoming links is also taken into account. A site with many low-quality links may have a lower CF than a site with only a few stronger links.
TF is a metric that measures the trust of a given URL. This is determined by the trust of the sites linking to your URL.
The easiest way to describe this is to think of people. You have a 50-year old man who has been on the straight and narrow his whole life. He has never told a lie and always pays his taxes on time. He has a very high trust factor. You also have a 20-year old man who has followed the same path as the 50-year old man. However, he has not had as many experiences in his life as he is 30 years younger. Mirroring these two men are two other men who are the same ages, but both have led shady lives. They are not very trustworthy.
You know all four men. Your entire city knows all four men. You are applying for a job. All four men are willing to give you a recommendation and act as a reference. For your best shot at getting this job, who are you likely to enlist for the recommendation and reference? Of course you would ask the older trustworthy man.
It’s similar for TF. If you have a site that has a link from an aged, trustworthy site, this will greatly affect the trustworthiness of your site. On the flip side, if you have links from non-trustworthy sites, they may negatively impact the trust of your site.
You can read more on TF, CF, and the other metrics used by Majestic here.
Ahrefs Domain Rank and URL Rank
Ahrefs is more of a calculation of backlinks. Clearly stated within their metrics are the rating system for their ratings:
- 0 – 30 is unpopular
- 31 – 70 is average
- 71 – 100 is very popular
When it comes to Domain Rank (DR), the score is calculated based on the quality and number of backlinks coming to a given domain. This number is not logarithmic, however. The score is an percentage meaning a DR of 50 suggests that your site ranks higher than 50% of all domains.
URL Rank (UR), in its simplest form, is the rating of a given URL based on the power of the individual links from linking domains.
To read more on Ahrefs metrics, click here.
Put It All Together and You Get a… Headache.
As I said before, these metrics can be used as a good starting point to determine where you think a site should rank. At the end of the day, though, there is a lot more that goes in to it all.
I recommend, when you are looking at any metrics, to not rely solely on one set. The search engines take all of this information in and much, much more.
Look at the metrics. Understand them. Use them to help measure the success of your online presence.