Acronyms and Abbreviations, Link Juice, and Domain Authority is Fake News

I wanted to talk about something that came up recently that I’ve mentioned before but is worth devoting some time to.

Three things – 

1: Acronyms and abbreviations

2: Link Juice

3: Domain Authority

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Acronyms and abbreviations. One of the few things that I don’t use an acronym for is SEO and URL as they are pretty much common knowledge amongst even non-marketers.

Everything else I do my best to say the full wording. 

Some acronyms in marketing that I talk about that not everyone may be 100% familiar with that I’ll give a hint of background on as well:

B2B: Business to Business

B2C: business to Consumer

ccTLD: Country Code Top Level Domain ( instead of

CTR: Click Through Rate (Click over Impressions ratio usually on search result pages)

DA Domain Authority (A metric created by the SEO company Moz)

GA: Google Analytics

GSC: Google Search Console.

GTM: Google Tag Manager

H1, H2, H3, etc: Heading tags on a webpage, built in HTML

HTML Hypertext Markup Language – Pretty much the most basic code for a webpage

MQL Marketing Qualified Lead

MVP Minimum Viable Product
NAP Name Address Phone Number

PPC Pay Per Click – Think Google Ads

PSA Public Service Announcement

QA Quality assurance

ROI    Return on Investment / ROAS – return on ad spend

SaaS Software as a service

SEM    Search Engine Marketing

SEO Search Engine Optimization

SERP: Search Engine Results Page

SMB    Small and Medium Businesses

TLD Top level domain

UI User interface

URL    Uniform Resource Locator

USP Unique Selling Point / Unique selling proposition

UTM Urchin Tracking Module

VR: virtual reality

UX User experience

XML    Extensible Markup Language

Y2K    Year Two Thousand


301 Resource Moved Permanently (A permanent redirect code to a new domain or location)

302 Resource Moved Temporarily (A temporary redirect code to a new domain or location)

404 Resource (page) not found

500 Server Error

503 The server is unavailable (usually a temporary response due to overloading or maintenance)

So with that said, I do my best to not use acronyms or abbreviations as much as possible, however I don’t catch them all.

Now a phrase that’s been around for a while, but I just never really liked:

Link Juice – it is a slang for “Link Equity”, which is really just a fancy way of saying authority derived from links. You can just say authority, link equity, or link authority. 

The term is often confused with PageRank, which was the basis of Google’s algorithm. Now PageRank sounds like just a nice term, but did you know that the name “PageRank” plays on the name of developer Larry Page. Anyways – the term link juice seemed to reach an all time high around 2006,and has slowly been winding down since about 2014. I’m glad to see it being phased out more and more. 

The term itself has merit, just not the actual phrasing, especially as someone who is a big proponent of internal linking structures as well as earning backlinks. But I think we’ve outgrown the slang terms in the industry and we can adopt more professional terms.

The last part of my opinionated rant is domain authority – 

This is a term that was coined at Moz by Rand Fishkin about ten years ago around 2012. I don’t have the exact date, but that’s when it first shows up in Google Trends. Domain Authority was used to help approximate where a site should rank based on a 0-100 score. Ten years ago, this aligned pretty well with search engine result pages, you would often see higher DA (domain authority) sites ranking at the top, while the number would slowly go down as you went down the result page.

Getting a link from a high “DA” site would be better than a low “DA” site, and you still see this today. Google used to have a PageRank toolbar which would tell you your rank from 0-10. This was heavily based on backlinks and over time was easily gamed. Google discontinued the toolbar and any public indication of a sites PageRank metric in 2016. The power of the metric Domain Authority really came into its own as the toolbar went away and SEOs were looking for an overall metric that they could use.

There is the issue. This is a metric that approximates Google’s algorithm. It uses about a dozen factors as well as the backlink data from Moz’s link explorer. I hope you are catching what I’m saying here, Google uses something like 200 factors (which is kind of unconfirmed) and has what I’d say is the largest index of sites, so the largest database of backlinks. Moz’s version 2.0 of DA came out in 2019, and uses machine learning to help model the number to what they actually see on Google, but this isn’t Google’s data.

DA is not a ranking factor, and though it’s an approximation, it has value only in seeing best guess on how your site is doing against others.

I’ll give you an example of the main site I work on. We have a Domain Authority of 69, while our next competitor is about 60. We have a 59% visibility, while they have a 2.4% visibility.

So this is often called a vanity metric. That is any metric that look good on paper, but doesn’t really do anything for your business goals. 

Stick to things that matter to your business, leads, conversions, engaged traffic, are all things that are measurable that tell you how you are doing. Make sure to always measure year over year so seasonality doesn’t affect you.

And so, when someone mentions a “high DA” site, remember, that’s just a flashy number that’s based on guesses and really doesn’t mean anything.