Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Linkscape’s August Update: New Domain Authority Numbers, Partners and More


Posted by randfish

Today I’m happy to announce that we’ve just updated Linkscape’s web index (which also powers Open Site Explorer and the metrics via the mozBar) with fresh link data. You should see some bright shiny links we’ve found from late July to early August in this index (e.g. our own Beginner’s Guide now has lots of interesting link information). We also have some cool updates to the API, new partnerships and more, all covered below.

50% Correlation Boost to Domain Authority (with some Oddities)

You may recall when we produced our correlation research this Spring, we showed that while Page Authority was substantively better than any other metric for an individual page’s importance, Domain Authority was much rougher (and only slightly better than homepage toolbar PageRank, i.e. pretty bad). We’ve been hard at work improving our models, adding data sources and writing code to help and this index is our first to feature an improved correlation between Google’s rankings and Domain Authority.

Domain Authority Correlation
This chart from April, if re-done today, should show ~50% better correlation for Domain Authority to Google rankings (sorry I didn’t have time to make an updated chart)

 You can see more in this video on How We Calculate Page & Domain Authority.

Unfortunately, along with this update are some strange outliers, likely stemming from us not doing as good a job testing as we should. We’ve heard feedback from our members that the new scores, in many cases, don’t make sense and seem unintuititive. We agree and we scrambled all day today (Friday) to put forward a solution. That should manifest in the next 14-20 days as DA numbers update again (separate from an index update). I’ll have more on that in a separate blog post when it launches.

In the meantime, our apologies to those whose numbers are adversely affected. Things should be considerably better in a few weeks, so if reporting or KPIs have you worried, please message to anyone receiving those data points that this temporary glitch should be solved soon and DA will much better relate to a domain’s top Page Authority URLs.

New Partnerships

Many of you may have already seen the news that Linkscape data (via our API) is now integrated in Brightedge’s enterprise platform. Their software offers an impressive collection of analysis and recommendations, and they’ve shared a few screenshots with us:

Brightedge Product Screenshot

Like our beta web app, Brightedge’s software manages a lot of critical SEO data all in one place (but for much larger sites and organizations – customers include MySpace, VMware, and Symantec).

Brightedge Link Screenshot

They also do some really spiffy stuff with layering meta data onto links (like "blog, wiki, directory, etc." as descriptors of the type of links you’re getting). This isn’t yet in the Linkscape API (probably 6+ months away) - Brightedge is analyzing the sites and adding this data themselves!

You can learn more about the integration from Laurie Sullivan on Mediapost (the only inaccuracy I saw was SEOmoz offering "consulting services" – something we haven’t done since 2009) or by contacting Brightedge directly.

We’re also psyched about integrations with several other tools and data providers including:

  • Flippa – the web’s leading site for buying and selling web properties now integrates Linkscape metrics in their due diligence section
  • Link Research Tools by Christoph Cemper
  • Raven Tools – an impressive suite of tools for managing SEO processes that now employs Linkscape metrics in their link analysis section

We’ve previously integrated with other tools and platforms from folks like Hubspot, Conductor, Authority Labs and many more. If you’re interested in the API, you can get a free key to use it (up to 1mil calls/month) here and see lots of code examples on our API wiki.

Improvements to Anchor Text

 If you ran previous link reports or have used our API, you likely had the same frustration as infamous SEO rockstar, Greg Boser (of 3DogMedia) as illustrated below:

Greg Boser wants Capitalization Agnostic Anchor Text

We’ve gone ahead and made this change, so that anchor text from Linkscape’s API and the tools it powers (Open Site Explorer, et al) are now capitalization agnostic. This means words that appeared in differently capitalized ways in link anchor text will be consolidated to a single version. For example, we may have previously shown different quantities of links for the anchor text:

  • SEO
  • Seo
  • seo

Following tonight’s update, these will all be treated as "seo" and consolidated. This should make Greg and a lot of other SEOs, considerably happier. :-)

Index Stats

This month, as always, we’ve got a new index with freshly crawled pages and links. Stats are as follows:

  • 41,362,566,619 (41 Billion) Pages
  • 366,305,174 (366 Million) Subdomains
  • 96,445,118 (96 Million) Root Domains
  • 409,355,797,533 (409 Billion) Links

Some other interesting numbers this month include:

  • 5.1% of URLs contain rel=canonical – the highest yet!
  • 3.1% of URLs contain a meta noindex directive
  • 2.06% of all links are rel=nofollow
    • 57% of rel=nofollow links are internal (pointing to pages on the same domain)
    • 43% of rel=nofollow links are external (pointing to pages on different domains)
  • 84.9% of all links are internal (linking to pages on the same root domain)
  • 87.5% of all links point to pages on shared c-block of IP addresses

Look for even more exciting things from Linkscape over the next few months, with some really big, exciting improvements to freshness and coverage by year’s end.

And, as always, feel free to give us any feedback you’ve got!

p.s. We’re taking a hard look at the feedback re: Domain Authority numbers, and have some action items ahead. Some relevant things to be aware of include:

  1. We believe our testing for this index wasn’t robust enough -we’ve now seen a lot of cases of DA 1 and DA 100 that clearly aren’t logical moves.
  2. While, on "average" DA is now better correlated with rankings, it makes far less intuitive sense. We think we may have optimized toward the wrong goal.
  3. We’re taking this very seriously, and may actually try to roll out an update to the DA metric in the next 2 weeks (prior to the next Linkscape update)
  4. As soon as I have clarity and a call is made, I’ll be posting another blog entry on what went wrong and details of the fix.

My sincere apologies to all who are adversely affected. Feel free to ignore DA scores for now if they don’t make sense for you and anticipate we’ll be shooting for a fix ASAP.  Thanks for sharing this information with us.

p.s. Update #2 – I’ve added more details in the section on Domain Authority. New scores will be out in the next 14-20 days prior to the next index update. Thanks to everyone for their vociferous and passionate feedback. We’re working hard to make this better.

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Related posts:

  1. Linkscape’s August Update: Better Domain Authority Numbers, New Partners and More
  2. Whiteboard Friday – Domain Authority & Page Authority Metrics
  3. One Giant Leap for Link Data: Announcing Open Site Explorer + Page/Domain Authority Metrics
  4. SEO Chrome Extension – Comprehensive View of Page and Domain Data
  5. Demand Media’s Using Interesting Expired Domain Redirect SEO Strategy

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