After about 2 years of not updating it’s Pagerank score, Google have finally confirmed that they are going to remove the Pagerank score from their toolbar. Really, over the last year or two it has been more of a legacy statistic.
Unfortunately, IMAutomator was built in 2009 when PR was very much the most important metric to indicate the power of a domain and so we build our credit scoring system around that. We will be changing the way we score our sites.
Introducing DA, DR, MR, MT & TF!
We actually talked about how PR had become obsolete and how other metrics were more important back in May 2015 when we posted our updated Social Bookmarking Strategy post.
There are five metrics which we have decided to focus on, and some which we are leaving out. Here is a full explanation of the metrics that we will be using for scoring IMAutomator sites from now on:
Domain Authority (but not Page Authority)
Domain and Page authority are metrics that were created by Moz, a very reputable SEO company. The Domain Authority is a number given to the domain as a whole, and the Page Authority is allocated to just a single page on the domain.
When you create a social bookmark, in 99% of cases (and in all of the sites that we build ourselves for IMAutomator), a new page on that domain is created to house your bookmark link. Because that page is brand new, it has a PA of 1. The power comes from the fact that it is on a high authority domain. The page itself, carries no power.
You can get a PA score for the home page of a domain but it is not really useful, because your bookmark will only stay on the home page for a short time before it rolls off.
Therefore we will focus on Domain Authority only.
Moz Rank & Moz Trust
Two more stats from Moz. Moz Rank is a number which indicates the potential ranking power of a domain. It is probably the metric that most closely correlates with what Pagerank used to be.
For example, IMAutomator.com has been a PR4 since 2009. The Moz Rank is 3.72. Delicious.com, which is the strongest site in our system has a PR of 8, and has a Moz Rank of 7.52.
The difference, is that MR is updated. We have some sites in our system that have a very high PR but their MR is low. Bear in mind that PR has not been updated since 2014 (it might have been the end of 2013 actually), so it shows how powerful a site was 2 years ago. This is why it’s important to use these updated metrics.
Moz Trust is the first of two metrics that are used to indicate how trusted a site is. With clever spamming techniques, most metrics can actually be manipulated, but not so much the trust metrics. This metric takes into consideration spam indicators and will score accordingly.
For a good site, the MT would be similar to the MR. If it was considerably lower, that would indicate that whilst the domain has some power, it might not be seen as very trustworthy to Google.
Domain Rank (but not URL Rank)
Domain and URL rank are metrics created by Ahrefs which is one of the best domain crawlers around. They work in the same way as the Moz DA & PA metrics. Domain Rank is a score given to the domain as a whole, and URL rank is a score given to just an individual page.
Ahrefs and Moz will score domains differently but not hugely so. For example, Delicious is scored with a Moz DA of 97 and an Ahrefs DR of 80. Both scores are out of 100 so it gives an idea of power.
Moz tend to give quite a lot of credit to no-follow links and they don’t give much credit to .Gov and .Edu links so their metric can often show very high in domains that have a lot of nofollow links. But in general, these links don’t give anywhere near the ranking power of dofollow links.
The Ahrefs metric is less lenient. Even Google.com only scores a DR of 93, where as Moz gives it a DA of 100 🙂
Majestic Trust Flow & Citation Flow
Majestic is another domain crawler and their Trust Flow metric is now considered just about the most important metric for domains in 2016. Like MozTrust, it is an indicator of how trusted a site is.
The difference is that it is by far the most difficult metric to manipulate. Also, it works in conjunction with another metric called Citation Flow – this is a metric that gives an idea of link velocity or volume. In other words, domains with a high number of backlinks will have a high CF.
But lots of backlinks is not always a good thing, especially if they are low quality. What is important is to look at the ratio of Trust Flow to Citation flow. In an ideal situation both numbers would be similar, the ratio would be around 1:1.
In most cases though, the CF will be higher than the TF. Delicious.com has a TF of 74 and a CF of 81. These are both HUGE. IMAutomator.com on the other hand has a CF of 36 but a TF of only 13! And of course this is a genuine site that has been around for 7 years! That gives you an idea of how tough it is to find a good TF score. I’ll say up front right now that most of the sites in IMAutomator will not score particularly well for Trust Flow.
Bringing all the Metrics Together in a Unified Score
As you can see, all these metrics calculate things in a slightly different way. And you’ll often find that a domain can be quite strong in one area but weak in another. It’s far more valuable to look at the overall big picture than to focus on one metric alone. Therefore we are actually going to be using a scoring algorithm based on ALL of these metrics, and we will also be factoring in a logarithmic scale so it will function in a similar way to PageRank.
If you want to know the actual math behind it, here is the formula in several steps
- Trust Ratio = Trust Flow / Citation Flow
- Basic score = Domain Rank + Domain Authority + (10 * Moz Rank) + (10 * Moz Trust) + (Trust Flow * Trust Ratio)
- Scaling score = base score * base score / 100 (increases the gap between good and bad sites)
- Credit Cost = Logarithmic value of the Scaling Score to Base 3.25, rounded to the nearest integer
What I was aiming for, was to come up with a scoring algorithm that would accurately grade the sites in our system according to all of the above metrics, but keep the credit costs for submission kind of similar overall to what they were when they were based on PageRank.
Below is a table showing all 50 sites that we have in the system today, the PageRank which is the current credit cost, and the new credit score based on the above algorithm. This new algorithm scores the sites much more smoothly.
The best sites score 6 whereas before they were 6, 7 & 8. And we also have a few dud sites that had good PR but have rubbish metrics otherwise. Some of them even score 0 using our new algorithm; we’ll be removing those sites as they will not give you valuable backlinks.
So currently, if you were to submit to every site in the system it would cost 208 credits. With our new algorithm it would cost 210 credits.
UPDATE: 23rd March – Upon further investigation we noticed that aside from the handful of sites that had particularly bad metrics and came out with a score of 0, most of the sites were getting an increase in credits, so we tweaked the algorithm a bit to bring them down. You can now see the new scores live for all our sites.
Managing the Difference In Credit Costs
Now obviously, the difference in scoring between the old and new values will cause a disparity and we don’t want members losing out on any credits. There are sites that will score lower and those that will score higher.
We actually already have a mechanism in place to deal with this. When you submit a job to IMAutomator, you are charged the credit cost at the time of submission.
However, due to our drip feed mechanism, that submission could actually occur several days, weeks or even months later. What happens is that when the submission is actually processed, the cost is looked at again. Here’s the important bits:
If the credit cost at the point of processing is LOWER than at the point of submission, you are REFUNDED the difference.
If the credit cost at the point of processing is HIGHER than at the point of submission, there is NO CHANGE.
So, in other words, let’s say you have submitted a job last week to http://www.assouae.org/ and paid 5 credits for it. That site will have a score of 0 under the new algorithm. When that submission gets processed it will check the difference between the old score and the new score, and you will be REFUNDED the 5 credits.
But on the other hand, if you had submitted a job to http://www.clickets.de/ which cost 1 credits, it will now cost 5 credits going forward but any existing jobs in the system are honored at 1 credit. Only new jobs submitted once the new algorithm is in place will cost 5 credits.
So, just to summarise in case any of this is not clear:
You will most likely get some extra credits from refunds as your submissions process. You will not be charged any extra credits for anything you have already submitted!
When Will This Go Live?
The change is live right now. As your current jobs are processed, you are likely to get a few additional refunds for sites that have had their costs lowered and for any new jobs you submit from this point on, you will see the sites marked with their new scores.