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It’s All in the Numbers

Jan 17, 2015 | SEO

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.

Google PageRank

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,,, 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.

Click here to read more on DA.
Click here to read more on PA.

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.