Have you ever wondered why some websites remain in the topmost position of search engine results? It’s not just about the content – they’ve got powerful metrics backing them up. 

Did you know that websites on the first page of Google receive 91.5% of traffic share? As someone who has built and grown websites like ThriveMyWay.com and CreateAndGrow.com, I’ve learned that understanding and leveraging website authority is crucial.

Today, I’m going to compare three major website authority checkers: Domain Authority by Moz, Domain Rating by Ahrefs, and Authority Score by Semrush. Each offers unique insights, but which is the best? Let’s find out.

1. Domain Authority by Moz

Moz homepage featuring Domain Authority Checker tool.

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz is one of the oldest and most well-known metrics. Initially, it gained significant popularity due to its user-friendly browser extension and straightforward score out of 100.

How It Works

DA is primarily calculated by the number of root domains and total backlinks pointing to your site.


  • Easy-to-use browser extension
  • Simple calculation method


  • Easy to manipulate
  • Lacks complexity and depth

In my experience, Moz’s DA feels a bit dated and can be gamed quite easily. I’ve seen websites with poor content but high DA simply because of spammy backlink profiles. It’s like having a shiny car with no engine.

2. Domain Rating by Ahrefs

Ahrefs homepage featuring Domain Rating tool.

Domain Rating (DR) by Ahrefs is a metric highly favored by agencies and freelancers selling backlinks. DR evaluates a websites in terms of the quality and quantity of links it has but doesn’t factor in organic traffic, which is a critical oversight.

How It Works

Ahrefs calculates DR based on the number and quality of backlinks.


  • Widely recognized and used
  • Detailed backlink analysis


  • Ignores website traffic
  • Susceptible to manipulation

For example, on Fiverr, you can find gigs for €10 or $10 to boost your domain rating to 70+. This won’t improve your Google ranking, as sellers often fake metrics like DR, DA, and Trust Flow, making them unreliable. It’s a classic case of “all that glitters is not gold.”

3. Authority Score by Semrush

Finally, let’s talk about Authority Score by Semrush, the dark horse that’s rapidly gaining traction. This metric evaluates backlinks, the organic traffic and overall website health.

How It Works

Authority Score combines backlink data with estimated monthly organic traffic.


  • Considers organic traffic
  • Harder to manipulate
  • Provides a more holistic view


  • Still gaining industry recognition

I’ve found that Authority Score is the most reliable indicator of a site’s true authority. After all, what good are high metrics if they don’t translate to real visitors? Unlike DR, you won’t find a freelancer promising to boost your Authority Score overnight.

Breaking It Down: Which Metric Should You Use?

So, which metric is the best? 

Here’s a handy breakdown:

Ease of Use:

  • DA: Simple and straightforward
  • DR: Also easy, with extensive Ahrefs tools
  • AS: Comprehensive but requires more investment


  • DA: Can be gamed with low-quality links
  • DR: Better but still manipulable
  • AS: Harder to game due to traffic inclusion

Holistic View:

  • DA: Limited to backlink quantity
  • DR: Focused on backlink quality
  • AS: Includes traffic for a fuller picture

Manipulation Risk:

  • DA: High
  • DR: Medium
  • AS: Low


So, which metric should you trust? If you want a quick, superficial check, DA by Moz can suffice. For a deeper dive into backlinks, DR by Ahrefs is useful. But if you’re looking for a comprehensive, less manipulable metric, Authority Score by Semrush is the way to go.

If you’re serious about SEO and want a metric that reflects your true authority, I’d recommend focusing on Semrush’s Authority Score. It’s robust, comprehensive, and aligns with what really matters – organic traffic.

Pro Tip: Get the Most Out of Your Tools

Here’s a little insider secret: You can get an extended 14-day free trial of Semrush by using my special link. This partnership gives you a full two weeks to explore all their toolkits. Trust me, once you start, you’ll see why Authority Score stands out.

If you find Semrush as beneficial as I do, consider upgrading to a paid plan. By using my affiliate link, you’ll support my work, and I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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